Going 100% home-fed! Need all the help I can get!

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Songster
11 Years
Nov 23, 2008
300
0
129
In the middle of it all
Well, the title just about says it!

I'm keeping a bag of commercial feed as a precaution, but ever since I got my family involved, we're getting scraps from all over town! Just last night, someone had a party and let us have the ENTIRE SALAD, cheese, lettuce, all the good stuff!

I've decided we're going to have so many scraps we might not even need to feed commercial ration. I'm going to mix cracked corn and whole wheat with their scraps (purchased from a local farmer). Their protein will come from the following:

Cheese
Meat scraps
Nuts
Mealworms (from my farm)
Random buggies (free-ranging chooks find them)
All-meat baby food
Wheat berries (got a whole bag of 'em!)

Their energy will come from:

Corn
Various cereals (corn flakes, corn gritz, oatmeal, etc)
Dried fruits
Fresh fruits
Bread
Crackers
Nuts

Their greens will come from:

Lettuce
Grass
Various veggies (carrots, tomatoes, peppers, Swiss chard, etc.)
Dandelions
Other weeds from around the garden

Questions:

Can chickens have the following:

Vinegar
Olives
Hot peppers


They get grit from my gravel driveway and oyster shell.

What can't chickens have? Are there any foods I REALLY have to avoid? I know about toasting soybeans, I've read the treat chart and the links below, but what am I ACTUALLY likely to feed?

How do you prepare shells for calcium? I don't want my chickens ending up egg-eaters!

Is there a place I can get all-organic, already toasted soybeans for my chickens? Or do I have to buy them and toast them myself?

Where can I get a balanced mineral mix? If I can't, what foods should I feed on a regular basis to ensure my chickens are getting what they need?

Can I give my chickens TOO MUCH meat?

I read on the treat chart that I should feed cheese in moderation. Why?

Do I have to toast ALL beans?

What other insects can I grow for my chickens? How?

What grains are best for protein?

Am I asking too many questions?


Thank you, everyone, for your time in reading this! My chickens will love you for the rest of their lives! (And I do too!
)
 

Guitartists

Resistance is futile
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
5,471
22
261
Michigan
I can't answer a lot of your questions either


I have heard that Soy beans must be cooked first.... so it probably is a good idea to cook all beans first, plus it should aid in digestion, I would think anyhow.

There is a treats list that has some DON'TS listed at the bottom... things like onions, potatoes, etc. But I think those are more of a ... don't feed them gobs of.. kind of a thing... mine love french fries and left overs that I have used onion in. Birds cannot taste pepper.... you can use red pepper to keep squirrels out of feed etc... so yes, they can have it... and I've heard said that it will kick start them laying


https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart
 
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cwc362

Songster
11 Years
Sep 26, 2008
1,623
16
194
Huntingdon- West Tn
Quote:
I AM THE MASTER OF LONG POSTS! BOW TO ME!!!


Sorry I can't right now- I pulled something in my back yesterday!! But I would if I could. YOu are indeed a master of long posts!! But I enjoyed every word - even through my pain!!
 

cwc362

Songster
11 Years
Sep 26, 2008
1,623
16
194
Huntingdon- West Tn
Quote:I think you are supposed to cook all the beans and the peas. I think cooked potatoes are okay too. I've read that the potatoe peelings are not good for them. But mine have always just left them laying there anyway . lol And there's all kinds of post I've read on here about red pepper and adding Apple Cider Vinegar to their water. I gave mine a couple of doses of Cayenne and My hens started laying more , BUT it made my roosters extremely "anxious" and testy. I guess it's kind of like a chicken aphrodisiac !
 

Skip

Songster
11 Years
Nov 23, 2008
300
0
129
In the middle of it all
Quote:I think you are supposed to cook all the beans and the peas. I think cooked potatoes are okay too. I've read that the potatoe peelings are not good for them. But mine have always just left them laying there anyway . lol And there's all kinds of post I've read on here about red pepper and adding Apple Cider Vinegar to their water. I gave mine a couple of doses of Cayenne and My hens started laying more , BUT it made my roosters extremely "anxious" and testy. I guess it's kind of like a chicken aphrodisiac !


Chicken aphrodisiac? Wow! Maybe I'll try some. My girls are lazy layers right now...
 

cwc362

Songster
11 Years
Sep 26, 2008
1,623
16
194
Huntingdon- West Tn
There's whole threads about feeding them Cayenne . And the Ac vinegar in their water is supposed to help keep them healthy and helps them not get worms. But I had some roosters that grew up together and didn't fight and after I dosed them with the cayenne, they beat the snot out of each other!!
 

Tweeza

Songster
11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
335
1
132
New England
Quote:!!!Black Soldier Fly Larvae!!! They can eat what you don't feed the chickens or what you wouldn't feed your chickens like rotten stuff and coffee. They are very nutritious creatures and my chickens go nuts over them. So much so that the mean ones don't bother the lowest girls when they're eating them, like they do when eating scratch. They must be afraid they'll not get their fair share should their beaks stray from eating to pecking another.
 

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