Everyone, post your best homemade chicken feed recipes!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jmofaustin, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:I buy my split peas, unsalted peanuts, and flax seed from Winco- bulk bins. They will order anything they carry for you, the whole bag if you call them on the phone (or if you happen to be in the store they will check in the back to see if they have a bag to sell you).

    They mark on the bag with a sharpie to tell the cashier how much to charge.

    It usually takes only a couple of days to get your food.

    You can enter Azure Standard in the BYC search bar, as others have used them. I haven't tried them. I buy everything else from the feed store- and they will special order things sometimes if you ask (animal-grade is cheaper than human-grade for food).
  2. stonecottagefarm

    stonecottagefarm Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    Pacific NorthWest
    Thanks! I just went through the Azure website, they pretty much have everything I would or could want. I just need to price compare at Winco sometime this week. Azure sells amaranth, teff and quinoa but they are spendy. Wondering if any of those grains would be worth it.

    So far, I have formulated this after looking through a lot of threads and websites. Pricing was a big factor for me which is why I chose the ingredients I did. Let me know what you think.

    BOSS - 6 parts
    Groats - 6 parts
    Hard Red Wheat - 6 parts
    Alfalfa Pellets - 3 parts
    Corn Whole - 3 parts
    Flax Seeds - 1 part
    Split Peas - 1 part
    Lentils - 1 part
    Sesame Seeds - 1 part
    Kelp - 1 part
    Brewer's Yeast - 1 part

    It comes out to about 17.75% protein. I will also add iodized salt, oyster shells, DE and tumeric powder. I know I could add more peas and lentils but my chickens pick through them and leave them all over the ground to rot. The Brewers Yeast makes it spendy, otherwise it wouldn't cost much. I might omit that. Hoping that providing a smaller amount will help with that. They also occassionally free-range 8 acres. I also grow Comfrey which is one of the highest protein and highest mineral plants with low fiber. I still plan on high quality providing layer pellets as well.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:You might enjoy this website:

    another good one - note the caution on oats having lots of hulls

    *Don't forget to make sure they are free ranging or have grit supplied size #3 (here is the correct size according to my grit bag):

    I got that you are right at 16% not including the yeast and kelp (completely ignoring them). Nice protein percentage!

    16% x 6 parts BOSS
    16% x 6 Oats
    14% x 6 red wheat
    17% x 3 alfalfa
    7% x 3 corn
    20% x 1 flax
    25% x 1 split peas
    30% x 1 lentils
    19% x 1 sesame seeds


    448 divided by 28 parts = 16% protein

    Now I have some suggestions:

    1. I recommend you switch to pounds instead of parts. I used to use parts, too.

    If you will notice, if you plug in the food to the website on my BYC page (USDA), it give you the amount of protein per 100 grams. But you can also select cups.

    I base mine on the grams result of searching their pages. Hence my recipe (see my BYC page) is in lbs. I cannot take credit for this wonderful insight- a fellow BYC'er said it (I think Chris09).

    2. Winco sells sesame seeds for around $2 per lb. At least in my area. Peanuts, unsalted with 25 % protein, at $1.32 per lb is available at Winco in the bulk section. They LOVE peanuts, and you don't have to crush them (I'm assuming these are not chicks under 6 weeks). They peck at them and break them up. I used to crush them. [​IMG]

    3. Millet is a good option. It is $16 per 50 lb in my area, 11% protein.

    4. Lentils might need to be sprouted first- you might want to look into this to decide for yourself. Peas are low in anti-nutrients (not zero though), but I BELIEVE lentils are higher.

    5. If you get "rolled oats" at the feed store, the hull is still attached, and the protein level goes down to 10% but it is really cheap ($10 per 50 lb or so). It will be cheaper than human oats, but the protein level will be less.

    6. Rolled barley from the feed store is very cheap ($12 per 50 lb in my area).

    7. In my area, a bag of red feed wheat is $18 per 50lb, while white feed wheat is $15 per 50lb. Red wheat is grown in Montana, and white wheat is grown

    here in the Pac.NW.

    8. If you can get a good price on birdseed, that is millet.

    9. Split peas at winco are about 46 cents a pound in my area.

    10. Flax seeds at winco are about 69 cents a pound in my area.

    11. You can buy organic chick starter and mix in if you want to increase protein for younger pullets or throw them some more seeds. Less than 6 weeks I feed organic chick starter to. I switch them to my mix at 6 weeks.

    12. Another option for you is wheat bran. It has 17% protein and isn't that expensive at the feed store. Nice, huh? But it is dusty and fine. Great for mealworm colonies I have heard.

    Sorry if I talked too much here!

    Everyone has their own thoughts on feed, and keep in mind that I just do what seems right to me, and all that I have said is just my opinion- I am no expert.
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  4. stonecottagefarm

    stonecottagefarm Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    Pacific NorthWest
    Okay, that was so helpful, I just printed everything you said. Thank you!

    I still have to go to Winco and price stuff out so your pricing really helps because I think they are the same as mine will be. I live close to the Vancouver ones. I have seen stuff there before and know that they have some stuff that is cheaper than azure. So, is groats just oat with hulls? I was wondering if wheat bran could be used and might replace the brewer's yeast to bring the price down. I think I will add that to my list. Where do you get your Millet and wheats?

    So far, here is what I have priced out on Azure... included the protein contents.

    Groats - 52 cents a pound - 18%
    Hard Winter Red Wheat - 38 cents a pound - %14
    Kelp - $4.85 a pound
    Alfalfa pellets - 31 cents a pound 17%
    Whole corn - 43 cents a pound - 9%
    Flax seed - 1.58 a pound -34%
    Split peas - 38 cents a pound - 24.5%
    lentils - 70 cents a pound 24%
    Teff - 1.52 a pound ?%
    Amaranth - 1.74 a pound - ?%
    White sofft wheat - 42 cents a pound - 14%
    Steel cut oats - 71 cents a pound - 14%
    Buckwheat - $1 a pound ?%
    Barley - 74 cents a pound - 12.3%
    Millet - 57 cents a pound - 9%
    Brewer's yeast - 10.90 a pound - 45%
    Sesame seeds - 2.35 a pound - 24%
    Punpkin seeds shelled - 4.96 a pound - 14%
    Raw sunflower shelled - 1.57 a pound - 26.3%

    Now it's a matter of calling feed stores and getting Winco's prices and then deciding on which grains/legumes to go with and how much to use of everything.
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Oat groats are with no hull.

    I go to the Wilco in Battle Ground for everything except split peas, peanuts unsalted, and flax seed (all these from Winco). The last time I checked they were charging $18 per 50lb for wheat bran at Wilco.

    Wilco has millet in 50 lb bags, but also birdseed. They charge around $16 per 50 lb for the millet.

    I hope it all works out for you!!!

    Also- I wanted to mention that with this type of basically free choice feeding (as they eat what they want out of the feeders), it is vital to pay attention to their desires for more grains especially over the winter. They will leave the undesirables at the bottom of the feeder and are generally spot-on in terms of maintaining good eating choices in this manner.

    So if I notice they seem like they want more grains, I throw them some wheat on the ground, or mix it in. Other times the feed level in the feeders just drops, with everything being eaten.

    I mix the oyster shell right into the feed- my chickens require this. If I put it on the side I don't have good results.
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    One helpful tip is that if you have dusty components of the feed, you can mix them in a separate bin and just take out what you need for the day to mix with your other feed in a bucket.

    This way when you are mixing the bulk of it you don't get covered in dust.
  7. stonecottagefarm

    stonecottagefarm Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    Pacific NorthWest
    Thank you so much! I called Wilco yesterday and got some good pricing. Now, I just need to set up a system and figure out where I am going to keep all of this stuff. Do you just keep your bags all open and scoop out what you need and mix in the feeder? Or do you pre-mix all of it ahead of time.
  8. stonecottagefarm

    stonecottagefarm Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    Pacific NorthWest
    Also, I just PMed you with my contact info since it sounds like we're neighbors.
  9. pasunset

    pasunset Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2011
    Berwick, PA
    I'm up in Northeastern PA and I have 10 pullets that my girls are raising for 4-H and laying eggs. My chickens only free range about 1 day a week and the rest of the time they are enclosed in their run. What would be a good supplement and treat to feed for them other than their regular pellets.
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:I have info on my BYC page about how I mix it and store it. Have fun (it IS fun)! TY for the contact info! [​IMG]

    What I really love is to see how beautiful the mix is, and how the girls go crazy for it. Much better than boring pellets.

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