Does homemade feeds improve meat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sydney13, May 7, 2011.

  1. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    I've read on here of many people saying that they can definitly taste a difference in the eggs when they feed the hens homemade feed as opposed to commercial feeds. I was wondering if the same thing goes for the meat?
     
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would bet that a homemade feed would result in poorer growing birds with smaller carcasses compared to those fed commercial feeds formulated to meet the high nutrient demand of the fast growing broilers. Feeding a homemade ration MIGHT result in a 'tastier' meat product but at what cost?

    Jim
     
  3. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,092
    16
    151
    Apr 14, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    I would rather have a smaller bird with better health and taste, than more bird watered down by commercial feed. Our ancestors raised chickens far longer than commercial feeds have been around. More is NOT always better.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay :

    I would bet that a homemade feed would result in poorer growing birds with smaller carcasses compared to those fed commercial feeds formulated to meet the high nutrient demand of the fast growing broilers. Feeding a homemade ration MIGHT result in a 'tastier' meat product but at what cost?

    Jim

    Yes, someone on BYC did this study with his birds and they did dress out smaller than usual with the homemade feed. I don't remember who did it....maybe I could do a search if you are interested, OP. He unfortunately used fish meal or fish? and the carcasses tasted like fish. [​IMG]

    The homemade feed DOES improve the taste of the eggs, big time IMO, having done both.​
     
  5. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

    10,060
    199
    361
    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    All my meat birds are raised in tractors that get moved as often as they run out of grass, every few days to once a week. They are not fed a commercial food, they are fed a mash that is made by the mill down the road from me. They grow their own grains and grind them up or leave some whole, like sorghum. I add a bit of their hog feed to my meat birds food, too. And I often feed starter all the way through to processing.
    I feed a lot of rolled oats with whole grains, too. Whatever fruit the local farms have going to waste is brought home to add in the warm months and all our meat scraps go into the pens in the winter. We do not feed any cat food to them.

    Not sure that the meat tastes any better because of it but I feel better because of it. My breeds taste different anyhow. We only eat our extra roos and that can be a lot! So far my Marans are the best tasting of all the breeds we have processed. I get some great breast, legs and thighs from them but even my banty Cochins can give me some great big chunks of breast. I think grass and dirt is good for them.
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    183
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Home made feed? Are you growing all yourself? if not, if you are buying grain, you are feeding the same grain that is in the commercial feeds.

    What improves the taste of eggs and meat is allowing your birds to get sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. Let them eat some fresh grass and some bugs and keep them in a manner that they are not stressed.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,531
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I just ate our first cornish cross tonight and I don't think anything could have tasted better! They were raised on commercial food from our Grange Co-op, a little cracked corn the last few weeks, free range. One bird made chicken soup, shredded bbq chicken sammiches, and there's leftovers for honey to pick off the bones tomorrow. Seriously, don't think it could have tasted better.
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Home made feed can be better or worse than commercial feed. They can also be similar to commercial feed. It just depends on whether you took the time to come up with a good feed recipe.

    Commercial feeds aren't all the same, either. Some are better than others, too. People have noticed a difference in how their chickens feather out, how well they lay or how much their poop smells.

    Animals and chickens raised on pasture have a different nutrient profile in their meat and eggs. I think that's what effects taste in a good way, for us.
     
  9. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    741
    14
    151
    Sep 1, 2008
    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay :

    I would bet that a homemade feed would result in poorer growing birds with smaller carcasses compared to those fed commercial feeds formulated to meet the high nutrient demand of the fast growing broilers. Feeding a homemade ration MIGHT result in a 'tastier' meat product but at what cost?

    Jim

    Jim-
    Speculate-
    Say we take a hatchery Rock, Red, Sussex . . . whatever chick and raise it to 6 weeks of age (average slaughter age of a meat chicken in the US) on any home brewed "non commercial diet" that can be concocted. Hey, lets give them more of a chance- throw in some good ole bugs, some green feed of low nutritional value from the weed patch and a few parasite infested worms to add flavor.
    I am going to bet that the only difference in the taste of the meat (what little there is of it) to that of an industrial strain bird will be attributable only to the lesser amount of fat caried by the "breeds". I am going to estimate that the meat will be just as tender.
    Whatcha think?​
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by