Growing chicken feed?

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by Wolfstead, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. Wolfstead

    Wolfstead Just Hatched

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    Once we are out on our land, we are going to be out in the middle of nowhere so whatever we can grow, we're going to. I have been doing research, but want some expert advice. What would you grow to feed chickens? I know that obviously oyster shell will have to be bought, but what would be a good crop, or crops of things to feed the chickens? They will be free range file purpose birds, I'm thinking New Hampshire Reds more than likely. I know they will eat a lot of bugs and forage, but is there anything else I need to grow for them? We will have corn and grains like oats and amaranth for sure but I know they don't need too many grains so would thing like collard greens be good? We're also going to be organic so I plan on using oregano and essential oils and things like that to help prevent infections so things that give them a lot of vitamins and keep their immune system up would be best. I'm still new to this and trying to learn as much as I can before we do anything.
     
  2. WillGriffin03

    WillGriffin03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always use pullet grower, it's really great.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I assume your land is in Texas? If so, you could grow a culture of Black Soldier Fly larvae. Input compostables (fruits and veggies, etc.) and have a never ending supply of high protein, high calcium soldier fly larvae. Plant your land to a variety of grain crops, fruit trees and plant a diverse garden for your own use, as well as giving the left overs to the flock. Sorgum, corn, various grains, sunflowers. You can even plant those crops as green manure or fodder. Chickens will go to town on pumpkins/winter squash. I have planted Bocking # 14 comfrey as a high protein fodder and green compost in my orchard. Have also planted Siberian Pea tree/shrub. Mulberry trees would grow in your climate, and produce bountiful crops. Plant your free range area to multiple open areas surrounded by strips of denser, taller vegetation. You'll have to come up with a workable balance between good free range while providing protection from predators. B/C the very things that provide good free range can also provide cover for predators.
     
  4. Mountainwalker

    Mountainwalker Out Of The Brooder

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    If there is one thing I would have to chose to grow for my birds that would be KALE, period. Kale has everything, vitamins, minerals, calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc.. it's an incredible plant good both for poultry and humans.
    This is why I believe having a garden alone is not enough, it must be accompanied by chickens and vise versa, the chickens make manure and compost for your garden and the garden feeds your chickens... might I say for free? yes, I did, you can feed your chickens for free, from your garden all year long.
    Also I would like to mention that Siberian kale for example is EXTREMELY cold hardy, it will keep growing in -40, after all it comes from Siberia in one of the coldest places in the world, so you never run out of feed for chickens in the winter.
    Kale is the only plant that grows all year long and can be considered a super food(if it already isn't), just make sure when you plant it you give it plenty of compost and manure so it will grow to be big and strong and rich in nutrients, the bugs also will not touch it(aphids is usually a huge problem with all of the cabbage family which includes kale) if your plants are big and healthy.
    Do a test if you want to see for yourself, have a bowl or a bucket with regular feed and then a bunch of organic kale leaves from the store or garden, they will ALWAYS go for the kale, because of it's nutrient density, they know by instinct what's good for them.
    And you will get amazing eggs too.
     

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