Does anyone make their own feed?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
I have been having a hard time finding natural chicken feed at the local feed store.
This is my first time raising chickens and I want them to be healthy and happy. (I am receiving baby chicks in a 8 weeks or so)
I have seen recipees online to make your own chicken feed, does anyone do this?
I am not against a commercial layer I just am a little put off at what it may contain.
The recipees I have seen are alfalfa, corn, oats, fish meal, aragonite, kelp ect....
It doesn't seem that it would be that hard to mix that all up in a blender or something?
Advice very much appreciated.
I think there are a few people that do mix their own feeds, however, they do it by the hundreds of lbs if not by the ton because of the cost of the ingredients and work involved. If you did mix your own feed in large lots, you'd have to take into consideration how long you could keep it "fresh" too.
I'm planning to mix my own feed. It's been a real challenge trying to find ingredients in my area. I'm planning to use sunflower, flax and safflower seeds, alfalfa, wheat, oats, kelp plus beef scrap, yogurt and some other things. We're only going to have 4 chickens so I'm starting out buying several of the ingredients at one of those barrel grocer stores (where they have the bins full of bulk ingredients and you scoop out what you need.) Once they're bigger and I know how much they will be eating I'll think about ordering larger bags of the individual ingredients. This is all just theory so far since we're still waiting for our chicks.
* I mixed my own feed when Chook first showed up b/c there wasn't any available in the city. It contained at least a dozen ingredients, so it certainly wasn't cheap to fix!! But, she did well on it for several mths. Finally found layer feed 6 towns/3O miles away.
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Good lord no! I can see the temptation, but the expense would be prohibitive not to mention I don't need one more chore! I have to wonder if this is like other pet food (dog, cat) where it can be better to make fresh but seldom truly is better because there are so many ways to go wrong.
Interesting responses. I am surprised that no one does this!

I thought it would be fairly simple since I am at the feed store anyhow buying grain ect for the horses. I could easily buy alfalfa pellets, corn ect and mash it up. I would only be feeding 4 chickens.
I guess I will just have to go with the locally available commercial layer, I just thought it might be neat to make my own.
Thanks for all of the replies.
If you haven't already seen them, there are at least 2 articles in the magazine Backyard Poultry about mixing your own poultry feed. You can view them in the archives of past issues online at

I found the author's attitude very helpful. He's encourages people to experiment and not be afraid of doing it yourself. It definitely gave me more confidence that I'm not going to kill my chickens.
thanks! I wasn't aware of that magazine, it seem like a great resource.
I think I will feed the commercial chick starter then switch them to my home-made mix....
The other thread on animal protein is precisely why I brought this up!
Thanks again
Yes you can do it. I'm growing grain this year and some of it will end up going to the chickens. However, I don't plan on entirely mixing a "complete ration" for them, since it does involve a lot of time. A neighbor does mix his own here, so he can market soya free eggs and meat, but it does take him a good 6 hours per week to grind and mix everything.

You just really need an excel spreadsheet to work it out. You can find tables in lots of chicken books giving the protein % of many commonly available components (seed meal, differet grains, fish mean, etc). You then work out a ratio of bulk to protein to get the desired %.

Another way to go about this: If you have ever had a soils test performed for your farm and have had a custom mineral made for your animals, then you're over halfway there. The loose mineral mix you get is actually considered a feed 'pre-mix'. So if you mix it with the correct volumes of grains & meals, you pretty much have made your own complete ration for them.

I have about 4 acres in winter rye, 3 in mixed oats/field peas... and I"m looking at a 40 year old combine on Sunday which is field ready...

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