Forage cakes

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sassifrassi, May 31, 2011.

  1. sassifrassi

    sassifrassi Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2010
    Toronto
    Just made my first batch of Forage Cakes/balls . Spent 60 bucks at the bulk food store and made about 100 dollars worth of forage cake. With enough ingredients to make 3 more batches. The Farmers Helper forage cakes are way too expensive! Anyone else doing this?
    Another reason why I am doing this is that my chooks poops are runny (normal but runny and hard to pick up) and I have heard that the DE content of the forage cakes will tighten them up.
    Fingers crossed they eat this stuff!!!
    Hoping my parrots will be interested in the same - might tweek the ingredients.
     
  2. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can guarantee you that yours are not equivalent.
     
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I don't make them but I do buy flock blocks from our local TSC.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The DE will help, but it's only part of the equation for that. There are other ingredients in ForageCakes which help with that as well. Beet Pulp is one. But, how much are you gonna add? Do you know the recommended inclusion limits for each/any given ingredient?

    With all due respect and my most sincere good wishes, please be careful about the potential of misleading the gullie-bulls on here by insinuating that you've cracked the code on ForageCakes. I make a similar product for my own chickens, but I would never ever call it by the same name or imply that it is anywhere near the proven performer that ForageCakes are. My product has been undergoing constant revision for a year now and is the result of a whole lot of ongoing research, a background in animal health, flock observation and consultations with experts.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. sassifrassi

    sassifrassi Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't included anything they don't already eat. They still get their pellets, too.
    I didn't realize that the name forage cake was patented. I was using the name to describe them.
    Chicken Balls then . No wait that is taken too.
    I too have background in animal health and have learned that the more humans interfere with the diet of their pets and deviate from nature, the more problems they create. I like too see the ingredients in my pets food. So I don't see any harm in offering what I make to them. As long as their diet is varied. I don't feel it is any different than somone giving tablescraps.
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    have a look at all the ingredients in ForageCakes, the more obscure things like dicalcium phosphate and what-not, those are in there, in part, to get the calcium/phosphorus ratio balanced. Bone meal (steamed) is something that can be used for this. Sustainability issues aside, I've used this while searching for more appropriate/sustainable source.

    Check out Fertell's "Poultry Nutri-Balancer", as well as Redmond Conditioner. Even if you don't use them, you can glean information from their literature.

    Also, the spices listed in the ingredient list are worthy of consideration; paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, as well as red pepper flakes.

    Side note: my eggs are costing me around $4 per dozen in feed alone. I quickly dropped all my production birds and became strictly a conservation poultier as my feed formula got more and more expensive.

    Another side note: I've seen/cured three different flocks of the feather-picking madness after their owners kept them on an inadequate homemade diet. It happened in my own flock for a little while, until I started using peas. My own problem initially was with too much wheat, which contains a lysine inhibitor. The generally recommended inclusion limit for wheat is 30% and peas are a good source of lysine. The fish meal gives you your methionine. This is another area where I have to put sustainability on the back burner in the interest of the chickens' nutritional requirements.

    In addition to "inclusion limits", also look for "anti-nutritional factors" or "ANFs" in your reading.

    If you get it down, you and your chickens will be very happy. But once again, proceed with extreme caution and keep in mind that nature is not always a perfect guide in this territory, as there isn't really much "natural" about a domestic chicken. Wild (feral) chickens most probably do not lay 5-7 eggs a week.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. pinkwindsong

    pinkwindsong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2011
    Laurens SC
    i looked at one of those blocks today.. I dont have too many chickens so for me one of those blocks would last quite a while .. but I can see why if having a lot of birds you would want to give them homemade goodie blocks.. at an additive to their diet..
    good luck with it and keep us up on how the flock does..
    blessed be and smiles
    )O(
    Pink
     
  8. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds great to me. Specially if you feel your backyard forage isn't particularly high value (speaking of minerals etc).

    However I'd be extra careful of using too much bone meal around layers. It may be great for growers as they're putting down bone, but the phosphorus is way to high compared to calcium to feed layers, and it will muck up their shell production (and may cause internal laying and EYP).

    I'm sure you know what you're doing...

    Erica
     
  9. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's why it's used in conjunction with a calcium source in order to achieve the correct Ca/Ph ratio.
     
  10. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, but then you have to think about whether it's suitable for growers. [​IMG]
     

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