Gluten Free Homemade Feed Recipe

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by adalau, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. adalau

    adalau Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, first of all, I have no chickens yet. I'm just in the planning phase. [​IMG]

    I am only planning on 3-4 chickens.

    My husband has celiac disease so I want a gluten free feed (for lots of reasons but mainly so that the kids and I aren't tracking gluten into the house on our hands/clothes/shoes/etc). He also is part of the small percentage of celiacs who don't tolerate oats so those are out as well. As far as I can tell an organic, gluten free feed doesn't exist commercially. Said husband is also an economist and excel spreadsheet wizard and came up with the cheapest possible organic, gluten free feed recipe based on what items are available in bulk from Azure Standard. But I'm not really sure real life chickens will eat his "economical" feed as it's pretty heavy on alfalfa pellets and split peas. [​IMG]

    So, for your consideration, the 18% protein, gluten free, organic layer feed recipe from the almighty excel:

    5 Parts Organic Alfalfa Pellets
    3 Parts Organic Yellow Split Peas
    1 Part Organic Corn
    1 Part Organic Sunflower Seeds

    I am thinking I would also add DE, kelp granules, brewers yeast and will trial fermenting. And offer oyster shell free choice...

    So what do you think? Would real live chickens eat this??? They would also get all of our table scraps & get to free range for an hour or two per day in my small backyard.

    TIA!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    That diet is really limited and I would worry about how balanced it was. How do you plan to feed them as chicks, or do you intend to get adults? Below are some links that I like about diets in general. I do not know what ingredients would be off limits for the kind of diet you are trying for. I think if I were doing an diet with such limited ingredients I would try and add some sort of poultry vitamin and mineral supplement for sure.

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=2114&page=21
    http://www.poultryhub.org/nutrition/feed-ingredients/
    http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/avian/feedingchickens.pdf
    http://www2.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/feed_ingredients/grains.html
    http://ucanr.org/sites/placernevadasmallfarms/files/102989.pdf
    http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G8352
     
  3. adalau

    adalau Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2013
    Thanks! Yes, I agree it's limited. I was telling my husband I had not seen any chicken feed recipes with only four ingredients. But for him it was just all about the numbers, cheapest feed at 18% protein! They will get a lot of fruit & veggie peals & scraps from the house & some grass & bugs outside year round since we are in Southern California.

    I am hoping to get pullets so I can avoid the chick feeding dilemma.

    We need to avoid:
    -wheat
    -barley
    -rye
    -oats
    -spelt
    -einkorn
    -triticale
    -kamut

    Also want to avoid:
    -GMOs
    -soy

    Acceptable grains:
    -organic corn
    -buckwheat
    -millet
    -milo/sorghum
    -rice
    -teff
    -amaranth
    (though I think teff & amaranth are probably too expensive to feed to chickens!)

    I also am interested in possibly sprouting seeds/grains for feed. I saw on this site where someone was sprouting BOSS for their feed. We could definitely do that.

    I will look at the links you posted.

    Thanks so much.
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Just from my experience, my birds weren't thrilled with the alfalfa pellets. I was mixing them in with the feed to give them some "greens" during the winter and they always left them for last and only cleaned them up when I didn't feed more.

    I've seen the split peas in lots of the homemade feed recipes but have never fed them to my birds, so I don't know how they'll eat them.

    Have you looked into raising some meat protein for them? Worms, mealworms, whatever. This may be a good option for you to increase protein intake in your birds. Or, just feed them meat sometimes. Can't imagine they'd need much to boost protein.

    I do know the corn and sunflower seeds are pretty much universally scarfed by chickens [​IMG]
     
  6. adalau

    adalau Out Of The Brooder

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    I did see that recipe when I googled GF feed recipes. Maybe I could substitute buckwheat for the oats?

    I will look into raising worms. I hadn't thought of that. And I have read/heard many people say their chickens don't love the alfalfa pellets. I wonder how much of that is training/exposure though??? I would say most little kids don't love green vegetables, but when you give them a lot of green veggies and don't give them junk they learn to love their veggies. Just thinking... And I don't know that processed alfalfa pellets are a good comparison to green vegetables!

    I am trialing sprouting some BOSS right now that I will feed to the neighbors chickens. Do people feed just sprouts? Single grains/seeds? Or does it need to be a mix? Or maybe single seeds/grains in a rotation?
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Mine eat veggies/greens like crazy, and if I put grass hay in there they love it also. I don't know if it was the pellet form (I know lots of folks here say they have a hard time switching from crumbles to pellets with commercial feeds) or the alfalfa itself. I feed lots of garden surplus and all kitchen scraps. I'd just tried the pellets for a more consistent source of greens in the winter. And, they did eat it, eventually, but I'm not sure they'd do well with it at their main food source.

    I'll be interested to see what you come up with [​IMG]
     
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    If I feed alfalfa pellets or cubes I wet them and feed them as a mash, they do like and eat them like that... do this for greens in the winter and feed it warm. I also feed it to chicks or birds that are locked up and do not have access to greens year round, so they get used to it fairly young. They will not eat the alfalfa pellets as pellets unless they are pretty desperate, I do feed my adults their chicken feed as pellets so they are used to eating pellets, they just don't like the alfalfa as pellets that much. They like to eat the leaves off of alfalfa hay also, but that would be pretty expensive as chicken feed since there would be so much waste.
     
  9. adalau

    adalau Out Of The Brooder

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    I know someone who ferments the alfalfa pellets (which also turns them to mush) & her chickens like that.

    And I just started reading this thread about fodder:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/713334/growing-fodder-for-chickens/30

    But most seem to be using wheat or barley. So I need to keep reading and figure out if I can use buckwheat, split peas, lentils or sunflower seeds instead.
     
  10. adalau

    adalau Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, fodder seems very promising & economical! That thread is huge so I'm still working my way through it but people are sprouting BOSS & lentils very successfully & I've read brief mentions of people sprouting corn & rice.

    However, my chicken plans are currently on hold as we are putting an offer on a house. If we get it I would have room for a lot more chickens. :)
     

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