fodder?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by miller17015, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. miller17015

    miller17015 New Egg

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    I have grown up my entire life on the family farm an cant remember a time without chickens, now that have my own little plot an im slowly getting into my own little homestead. i have at the time 5 chickens, a welsummer red links barred and two mixed ones that i call salt an pepper. the welsummer as far as i can tell from the egg color is my only egg producing chicken. the welsummer and red link were chicks this spring my others are 2-3 years old and had been laying an 1-2 a week between the three of them. they will soon be going to my brother to sell or butcher. i like to re-stock my small flock every year with new chickens to try an keep the egg production going, and i have started to get into the fodder feed. i just started a test batch to see how it goes before i jump into building full setup. im hoping to reduce the amount of feed they go through as of now i buy a 50lb bag of layer and 50lb of cracked corn and use 1/3 of the corn mixed with all the layer an mix in grit as well. the red link has a bad habit of spilling alot of this on the ground and they wont touch it once its on the floor of the coop. so im in the beginning stages of planning out a new more user friendly coop then what i have at the time. this new coop will include a better water and feed system but i still want to start feeding fodder. So has anyone here tried or use fodder? i am refering to the method of sprouting barley seed. i would like to expand my flock beyond just chickens it would be nice to have some ducks and turkey but the cost of feed is what holds me back. im also not 100% sure as to the amount of fodder to feed per chicken. i plan to keep feeding them the layer grit and corn as well just reduce the amount. I just would like some input on it as i will be enlarging my chicken flock as soon as my brother gets finds a nice rooster and hens at market i plan to start hatching some of my own.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I feed fodder in winter to make up for greens not growing now and here's a thread discussing it.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/713334/growing-fodder-for-chickens
    Here's my barley
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    However you have some other issues.
    You need a proper feeder so you don't waste so much feed.
    I like this one that prevents billing out feed.
    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/harris-farms-hanging-feeder-10-lb-capacity

    I'd hold off eating those 2-3 year old hens. 3 days ago was the shortest day of the year. Days are getting longer now and, if properly fed, they'll start laying in the next month or two.
    I have a hen going on 7 years old and though she takes a break from September to December, she lays 5 or 6 eggs a week from January thru August. My 4 and 5 year old hens have resumed laying and even though it's winter, I'm getting around 5 eggs a day from 7 of them with added light bringing the day length to 13 hours.

    That brings me to the feed point. Layer feed is a complete feed for birds actively laying. Adding that much corn will diminish the overall nutrition but most importantly, amino acid content.
    Your layer feed is likely 16% protein. Mixing in 1 part corn to 2 parts layer will lower the protein to around 13% protein. That is way too low to expect egg production.
    Corn or other supplements shouldn't be more than 5-10% of the total intake.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I have switched my flock to a pellet all flock, mine are beginning to lay again and they don't waste the pellet like they did the crumble, I do agree mixing with corn will cut the protein and production, that's part of why I switched to a higher protein as I like feeding some corn and sunflower seeds. I also give mine hay to pick through during the winter.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Mixing scratch grains and feed together will most likely increase billing out as well as diluting the nutrition of the feed.
    The feeder that CC posted does not really deter billing out, the trough is too shallow.
    Only feeding enough for one 24 hour period also will encourage them to pick up anything they spilled on the floor/ground.

    I grow fodder also for winter greens...nice for the chooks and nice for me to see some fresh green in winter.

    I devised this feeder which most definitely deters all billing out.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aarts-almost-waste-free-funnel-bucket-feeder
    [​IMG]
     
  5. johnny5819

    johnny5819 Just Hatched

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    Happy holidays to all......have anyone tried feeding soybean sprouts to their birds
     

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