Growing your own chicken feed?


10 Years
Aug 3, 2009
Do you grow your own chicken feed? If so, what do you grow and how much, for how many birds? I've read that mangel beets are excellent feed for chickens, but haven't found how many you need to grow, and haven't found anywhere to order them from yet (I'm thinking one of the places that sell heritage seeds will have them?). I'm planning to grow beets, corn, milo, and sunflower seeds for my chickens next year, and also see if I can get some Safflower going, as well, for my pigeons. But I don't know how many plants I'll need, and am hoping I'll be able to grow enough. I haven't counted lately, but believe I have 30 chickens right now, and intend to hatch out a BUNCH next year- I am a lacto/ovo vegetarian, but my sisters eat meat, so they will have plenty of roosters for meat, and we'll all have plenty of eggs. Anyway, I'm going to need more feed... lol
A littel more background- I keep my birds mainly cooped up, as there are so many predators around- I can let them out every now and then as a treat, but more than a couple of days and the predators catch on and demolish my flock (which is why the numbers are so low right now- I keep trying to be able to let them out). I feed lay crumbles, and go through 3-4 bags per month (I give them as much as they want to eat). I forgot to mention that the entire reason for growing my own chicken feed is because I'm a prepper lol (it's embarrassing to admit) We have very little rainfall here, so grass is out of the equasion except as an occassional treat. They eat my hollyhocks like crazy when they get the chance, and hollyhocks are completely edible for us (and grow very well here) so that is one option- but I don't know if there is enough nutrition, etc. Also, I can cook up ground venison for them, but dont want that to be their sole diet. They like alfalfa hay, too, but it doesnt grow here, and if Im storing up alfalfa it'll be for the horses and dairy goats.
As for the beets, mine willeat just about any vegetable, even pickles (they love pickles... my MIL experimented with bread and butter pickles last summer, they were not good because the cukes were way too old and tough). I dont mind cooking and canning for the chickens, too.

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