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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jmofaustin, Apr 27, 2007.
i give my chickens all the table scraps
iv been thinking..
so i know this is an old topic.. but...
amaranth (easy to grow at home)
sunflower seeds ( easy to grow at home)
black soldier fly larvae (easy to raise at home)
goats milk (easy to raise at home)
duckweed and comfrey (easy to grow at home)
along with free ranging this could be really good!
I have found the best place to get my feed is from a local feed mill. He charges a very small fee to mix whatever feed I would like.
He is very knowledgable about the needed nutrients of all livestock.
I get a 21% layer formula for $10 a 50lb bag. Can't find it cheaper then that and I certainly can't make it myself for that.
I could save alt more if I lowered the protien level but I like having the higher protien so if I want to add treats of feed scratch grains it won't lower their protien to much.
Quote:Yes I would use a feed mill if I had one locally and just get them to make me a nice recipe. You are so fortunate!!!
ok, need advice on portions to feed hens....
I have cracked corn, wheat, peas, oyster shells, rice, pinto beans, oats, then fresh veggies/fruits, table scraps....
Any suggestions on ratio of each, I prefer to make my own?? how does one figure that out??
Cook your pinto beans definitely!!! White rice is a treat not substinence but brown rice is great. Sounds like you will be doing fine. Black oil sunflower seeds are great too. Flax and peanuts are good additions.
They will not like the peas if you are giving them too many. You can grind them into a flour if you wish them to eat more. See links for max. recommended dose of peas.
See link for protein percentages of corn etc. You want your protein percentages around 16 percent at the very minimum.
Also you can sprout your beans.
I thought I would update. We now buy wheat and barley by the ton as this is the best for ducks and also for turkeys and chickens as well. The grain can store airtight for up to 8 years if you do not grind it. Once you grind it, you need to use it within a month.
We provide the wheat and barley free choice 24 hours a day for our turkeys and chickens. We ration it for the ducks since we have about 150 right now. We add ground tumeric, cayenne, garlic granules and probiotic/electrolyte powder. During the summer this is all we give them as they free-range on 8 acres. We do also bring in fresh produce for our pigs that the birds also enjoy. Almost 3000 pounds a week. So they get a lot of food!
During the winter, we do the same. However, we buy bags of the following at Winco or the feed store: Lentils, split peas, groats, oats, camelina meal, BOSS, and wheat bran and sometimes kelp or alfalfa powder. We make a mix of the above in a smaller feeder and let them have it on days when it very cold or the weather is too harsh for free-ranging. They still prefer the wheat and barley over all the rest. But they do nibble at the higher protein items and we feel they are eating what they need and we've observed that they eat that mostly in the evening before frost sets in and they have to roost for the night.
On VERY cold days (talking 2 feet snow on the ground), we make a mash with wheat, barley, oats, fresh minced garlic and add olive oil to it along with hard-boiled eggs. It is also great to add alfalfa tea to as well. This gives them extra fat to stay warm through the evenings and boosts their immune system.
We also add raw apple cider vinegar to their waterers. And we have another waterer with a powdered vitamin/electrolyte mix so they can choose which one they want to drink.
If birds are sick as happens in wintertime, add fresh minced garlic to all the waterers along with the raw apple cider vinegar. We cull sick birds and find that the others stay healthy if we give them the mash.
I found overall that if we don't grind anything that the birds naturally pick out what they want. At 8 weeks old, the gizzards are developed enough to grind food on their own. This also means less waste and the when we have ground it for the younger birds, we struggle with waste and mold on the ground. If you want to kill your birds, expose them to mold spores! We found this out the hard way a few times.
Hope this helps!
Barley not digestable for chickens... They lack the ability to break down an enzyme. It is in fact bad for them as it causes them to not utilize other feedstuffs.
I'm curious if anyone with a small flock (under 6) mixes their own food and if so, how they do it. I would like to do this but I think any large bulk orders of grain would stale or mold before my 3 girls got anywhere close to done with them.
Quote:Whole grains, stored properly, have a pretty long shelf life. I buy wheat, corn, oats, and peas in 50 pound bags, then parcel them into plastic buckets with a sprinkling of DE. It helps that i have room to store the buckets inside.
Mold might be a problem if the moisture content of the grain is high, but I haven't run into that.