do you make your own chicken food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by notducky, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. notducky

    notducky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2014
    I'd like to start making the chicken feed and possibly fodder/ sprouts. Anyone have a tried and true recipe?
     
  2. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    I make fermented feed--or mash, we call it--from commercial mix (layer, starter, or whatever--I prefer starter, even for laying hens, because of the higher protein for the same price) combined with other feed ingredients that we grow on-farm, especially crops that are surplus or unmarketable, or food waste that we recycle. We live in the wet tropics and do not grow grains, so examples include cooked starchy root crops like cassava, taro, etc., and bananas and other fruit, beets, squash, potato peelings, stale bread, old weavil infested dried beans, etc. Ingredients that need to be cooked are thrown in a pot together and boiled into a mash, to which the raw things like fruits are added, and then the whole thing is mixed with the commercial feed, with about 1/2 to 2/3 volume being the commercial feed, depending on the feed value of the ingredients. We add enough extra water (in addtion to the cooking water of the mash) to make a very wet mash, like thick porridge, and some raw ACV or overripe kombucha or something similar to promote the right kind of souring fermentation. We provide oyster shell free choice on the side.

    The wet fermentation makes the feed more nutritious and filling, so less is needed, and the addition of the other ingredients makes it even more economical. We probably buy a third or half the amount of feed that we would need if we fed dry feed only as the main ration.

    Also, our chickens have access to what is essentially a compost pile 24/7, and get first pickings of all kitchen scraps (including eggshells), harvest trimmings, weeds, or fallen fruits that go on it. They get a handful of greens like chard, kale, lettuce, etc. twice daily from the nearby garden. We also have a tub of water full of azolla growing next to the coop door, and can grab a handful to feed any time we want to give some extra protein.

    I live where a 50 pound bag of feed costs over $40, and I'm here to tell you that raising chickens does not have to be expensive or difficult! [​IMG] There's no one magic formula that works for everyone's situation, but I do highly recommend making some kind of wet fermented feed, as well as taking advantage of local resources. Cheers and good luck.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Carter Critters

    Carter Critters Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2014
    Sweet Home Alabama
    I am very new but I do a lot like the above post.. I use old eggshells and grind them up .Use them in feed or in plants or in garden.. Our compost box is in their coop.. free access to that,, we have 2 plots of land just for chicken and goats.. mixed greens, turnip,kale.mustard..any of garden that wasn't fit..okra ..tomatoes,squash,,
    also during this time but onk quick question ...potatoes are the big no no...? please give me some more ides
     
  4. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Not sure what your question is exactly, but....

    Potato tubers, or the peelings thereof, are just fine to feed to chickens--IF they are cooked first and aren't green. They are excellent to put in mash, especially for winter feeding (see the book "the Resilient Gardener"). However, Potato leaves, stems, etc. aren't good for any animal that I know of to eat...
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014

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