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Growing Chicken Feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Rin, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Rin

    Rin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2009
    Moonglade (EU)
    Does anyone here grow their own chicken feed? If so, what do you plant for them and when and where do you live(climate)? I live in central Florida and would prefer to grow my own chicken feed if possible. I want to be self-reliant, it's not so much an issue of money as I prefer to grow it myself if I can. That is part of why I want chickens - I'm trying to rely more on myself for my own food.

    I'm expecting about 7 chicks in about a week and they're from ideal so possibly another 7 birds in the form of packing peanuts with them which I decided I might actually keep a few and raise up for eating or selling. The 7 I ordered are D'uccles so wont be food so much as pets, eggs, and garbage disposals for all the bugs and foodscraps I get.

    There's a /lot/ of animal protein to be had for them and honestly a ton of weeds too. I'm also willing to grow fresh greens, berries and veggies for them too if there's any you'd recommend as being best for a varied chickens diet.
     
  2. Rin

    Rin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2009
    Moonglade (EU)
    I guess not...
     
  3. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]
     
  4. elem

    elem Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2009
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    I'm in Vancouver, BC so your list might be a bit different but here's a list of some stuff that I grow for me and the chickens: lettuces, spinach, chard, kale, buckwheat, wheat, rye, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, and any garden scraps or plants from beds that they break in to. I am going to try grow sunflowers, amaranth, and millet this year also.
     
  5. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:But do you give them this and no store bought chicken feed? I'm interested in the idea too, but I think protein is an important ingredient.
     
  6. Rin

    Rin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Moonglade (EU)
    Quote:But do you give them this and no store bought chicken feed? I'm interested in the idea too, but I think protein is an important ingredient.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one interested in this XD and hmm. It sounds like it might be? In fact, some of the greens mentioned like kale, completely floored me because it's like "why didn't I think of that?!" I used to keep iguanas and that was one of the #1 greens you feed them to prevent metabolic bone disease due to it's high calcium content (something the girls would also likely need, even if i have crushed oyster shell).

    What would you give for protein? I know my girls will be getting a lot of wild bugs. Heck, as I constructed their run - I kept disturbing little baby crickets in the grass and dirt from digging for the poles. Suckers were bouncing all over the place. Them and the ants that kept biting the tar out of my feet. Also, most of my food scraps are meat-related. Should I attempt to breed crickets to ensure they get enough animal protein? Or are you thinking plant protein to accompany the animal sort?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  7. rittert3

    rittert3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Ks (Manhattan area)
    murray mcmurray hatchery sells something called proso it's actually broom corn a type of millet, You plant it, it matures fairly quick and is good forage for chickens but wouldnt be a totally complete diet
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  8. Rin

    Rin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2009
    Moonglade (EU)
    Quote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proso_millet

    That looks /very/ promising. Thank you! [​IMG] and of course not, chickens are omnivores. One thing would never make a complete diet, just like it would never be complete for a human to eat nothing but corn all the time. Just corn, nothing on it. Nothing else.
     
  9. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    I have been watching this post [​IMG] I like the idea of growing things for my chickies, but I figure they will still get some rations like I did last year. I have been looking at different types of millet to grow but haven't settled on a specific one yet. This is all very interesting. I should have thought of kale too for the extra calcium!! Great topic! I am going to grow them some watermelons this year, they LOVED it last year. Nothing funnier to watch them eat either!
     
  10. elem

    elem Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2009
    Vancouver
    Quote:But do you give them this and no store bought chicken feed? I'm interested in the idea too, but I think protein is an important ingredient.

    I do have layer pellets available for them at all times but I am working towards growing a lot of their food myself. For plant ideas I am using this recipe: http://www.greenerpasturesfarm.com/ChickenFeedRecipe.html . Layer pellets usually contain soy for protein but the hard wheat, legumes, quinoa, and amaranth (and buckwheat) are the main protein sources in the feed recipe. On the recipe page it does state that the birds also forage for bugs and such.

    My goal is to reduce the amount of food that I have to purchase and provide fresh food from a known source (my garden) as much as possible. I don't have the space or climate to grow all of the plants in the recipe and I don't know if I can grow enough of any to be able to store some for at least part of the winter so this is an experiment for the year. That said, we have a mild climate here and I am using my front and back yards and my neighbour's front and back yards. Because of the mild climate I can keep greens going all winter long under row covers and get at least two crops of some of the items.
     

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