Help woth homemade chicken feed recipe.

Backyardbaby

In the Brooder
Jun 7, 2021
7
17
21
My neighbor raises chickens and uses a homemade recipe that she has shared with me. I would like to run it past you guys and see how you think it stacks up nutritionally and if it would be a viable option.

This recipe is for chicken starter. At 6 weeks she adds a half cup of mealworms and half cup of millet. After about 18 Weeks she reduced the amount of meal to 1 cup and now adds 1 cup of millet and one additional cup of oats as a replacement for the meal along with an additional half cup of mealworms and optional calcium.

The recipe...

  • 7 cups oats
  • 5 cups wheat
  • 3 cups split peas
  • 1 1/2 cups corn meal
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
  • 1/4 cup dehydrated kale powder
  • 2 tablespoons brewers yeast

How do you think this stacks up as a starter then with some added ingredients later for older chickens?
 

21hens-incharge

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
28,781
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Northern Colorado
I know my birds would pick through eating only portions of it.

I don't see any added vitamins, minerals, amino acids at all.

I think attempting to mix ones own feed is a recipe for disaster really.

With todays birds being bred for a higher egg laying rate than generations past their nutritional needs are much different than grandmas birds. For the small time backyard chicken keeper obtaining the necessary items is difficult at best. Then there is mixing in the correct proportions, storing to avoid spoilage(many things can only be obtained by the ton), and ensuring the birds actually eat all parts of it.

To me it is far more hassle and far costlier than it's worth.
 

Backyardbaby

In the Brooder
Jun 7, 2021
7
17
21
The reason I am looking into making homemade feed is because I believe that in this day and age we need to keep our options opened. It is east to say that it is a hassle and hard so not worth it.. but..

What if hyperinflation sets in and prices go through the roof? What if feeding ones stock becomes harder due to prices or availability? What if war breaks out and I can not get feed? I have most of the listed ingredients on my farm. Time and resources are not a question. I am thinking of what I have in availability to me to be able to self sustain without outside help if, good Lord forbid, we end up in a situation where we can not just run to the feed store and grab a couple bags of feed.

This may be a worse case scenario and hopefully I can always drive up and grab that bag of feed.. but in the case that I can't I would like to be prepared if anyone has any suggestions to tweaking this recipe to fit a healthy chicken.

Hope I will never have to use it but I know how to feed myself and my family if I need to alone. I also want to know how to feed my animals and I think we could all do well with learning how to self sustain in the situation that we ever need to. Those of us trying to learn this would appreciate genuine feedback without being told it is not worth the effort. Self sustaining is a valid question in this day and age.
 

Backyardbaby

In the Brooder
Jun 7, 2021
7
17
21
The reason I am looking into making homemade feed is because I believe that in this day and age we need to keep our options opened. It is east to say that it is a hassle and hard so not worth it.. but..

What if hyperinflation sets in and prices go through the roof? What if feeding ones stock becomes harder due to prices or availability? What if war breaks out and I can not get feed? I have most of the listed ingredients on my farm. Time and resources are not a question. I am thinking of what I have in availability to me to be able to self sustain without outside help if, good Lord forbid, we end up in a situation where we can not just run to the feed store and grab a couple bags of feed.

This may be a worse case scenario and hopefully I can always drive up and grab that bag of feed.. but in the case that I can't I would like to be prepared if anyone has any suggestions to tweaking this recipe to fit a healthy chicken.

Hope I will never have to use it but I know how to feed myself and my family if I need to alone. I also want to know how to feed my animals and I think we could all do well with learning how to self sustain in the situation that we ever need to. Those of us trying to learn this would appreciate genuine feedback without being told it is not worth the effort. Self sustaining is a valid question in this day and age.
So one workable solution would then be adding the amino acids which could be attained through salmon which I can fresh catch and store if needed. What else is this lacking?
 

Bananer86

Mother of Cluckers
May 25, 2021
315
1,217
206
Central Alabama
The reason I am looking into making homemade feed is because I believe that in this day and age we need to keep our options opened. It is east to say that it is a hassle and hard so not worth it.. but..

What if hyperinflation sets in and prices go through the roof? What if feeding ones stock becomes harder due to prices or availability? What if war breaks out and I can not get feed? I have most of the listed ingredients on my farm. Time and resources are not a question. I am thinking of what I have in availability to me to be able to self sustain without outside help if, good Lord forbid, we end up in a situation where we can not just run to the feed store and grab a couple bags of feed.

This may be a worse case scenario and hopefully I can always drive up and grab that bag of feed.. but in the case that I can't I would like to be prepared if anyone has any suggestions to tweaking this recipe to fit a healthy chicken.

Hope I will never have to use it but I know how to feed myself and my family if I need to alone. I also want to know how to feed my animals and I think we could all do well with learning how to self sustain in the situation that we ever need to. Those of us trying to learn this would appreciate genuine feedback without being told it is not worth the effort. Self sustaining is a valid question in this day and age.
Following

I agree, I think it is important to know how to feed our animals from scratch. I am very interested in this thread. I have been making some feed for my chickens & give them free choice between their crumble & homemade feed.
I also feel that sometimes homemade feed is healthier if done correctly. Last summer I had to start making my dog food due to him having intestinal problems. Homemade food did wonders for him, not just his intestines but his coat, skin & all. He had problems with eczema since we got him at 8 weeks. A week after starting homemade feed the eczema was gone. I believe the same can happen with chickens. It just takes lots of time & research to make sure it’s nutritionally sound.
 
May 5, 2021
1,088
2,315
301
Connecticut
I know my birds would pick through eating only portions of it.

I don't see any added vitamins, minerals, amino acids at all.

I think attempting to mix ones own feed is a recipe for disaster really.

With todays birds being bred for a higher egg laying rate than generations past their nutritional needs are much different than grandmas birds. For the small time backyard chicken keeper obtaining the necessary items is difficult at best. Then there is mixing in the correct proportions, storing to avoid spoilage(many things can only be obtained by the ton), and ensuring the birds actually eat all parts of it.

To me it is far more hassle and far costlier than it's worth.
Thank you. Responses like this are necessary and very helpful. I learned early on that making homemade chicken feed is not unheard of, but, really not realistic in terms of time/cost/storage/ingredient availability and the number one thing imo, certainty each bird is eating all the sources of nutrition in the mix. When they eat the pellets or crumble, each little piece got all the goods. Thank you for your expertise. Its people like you that help new chicken owners have a flock that can thrive. 🐓❤️
 

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doreensav

In the Brooder
Sep 6, 2021
6
3
11
My neighbor raises chickens and uses a homemade recipe that she has shared with me. I would like to run it past you guys and see how you think it stacks up nutritionally and if it would be a viable option.

This recipe is for chicken starter. At 6 weeks she adds a half cup of mealworms and half cup of millet. After about 18 Weeks she reduced the amount of meal to 1 cup and now adds 1 cup of millet and one additional cup of oats as a replacement for the meal along with an additional half cup of mealworms and optional calcium.

The recipe...

  • 7 cups oats
  • 5 cups wheat
  • 3 cups split peas
  • 1 1/2 cups corn meal
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
  • 1/4 cup dehydrated kale powder
  • 2 tablespoons brewers yeast

How do you think this stacks up as a starter then with some added ingredients later for older chickens?
I have read that feed should be less than 15% oats, as more can cause diarrhea. I found some helpful websites (and you can too with a google search) that lists specific percentages of each ingredient as well as a list of ingredients and their corresponding percentage of protein so you can adjust your recipes to what you have on hand or that is available to you. I also purchased a nutritial balancer that takes much of the guesswork out of the equation.
 

Beamerz

Songster
Sep 23, 2020
86
101
106
Martha's Vineyard Island, MA
I know my birds would pick through eating only portions of it.

I don't see any added vitamins, minerals, amino acids at all.

I think attempting to mix ones own feed is a recipe for disaster really.

With todays birds being bred for a higher egg laying rate than generations past their nutritional needs are much different than grandmas birds. For the small time backyard chicken keeper obtaining the necessary items is difficult at best. Then there is mixing in the correct proportions, storing to avoid spoilage(many things can only be obtained by the ton), and ensuring the birds actually eat all parts of it.

To me it is far more hassle and far costlier than it's worth.
21hena-incharge: I've been at it about 18months and trying to please flock is challenging.. I've been wanting to do my own mix but it is so confusing and hard to hit all the marks for health so I've come to the same conclusion you stated about just buying it premade , and I'm planning to try to supplement this winter with sprouting some greens under my grow lights as I don't use them really until Spring to start plants I thought it would be great to be able to offer a flat a few times a week or whatever I can do...when it's snowing!
 

MaggieRose2001

Songster
Jun 27, 2021
113
220
111
Bangor, Maine
My Coop
My Coop
I have read that feed should be less than 15% oats, as more can cause diarrhea. I found some helpful websites (and you can too with a google search) that lists specific percentages of each ingredient as well as a list of ingredients and their corresponding percentage of protein so you can adjust your recipes to what you have on hand or that is available to you. I also purchased a nutritial balancer that takes much of the guesswork out of the equation.
I was wondering if you could give the name of the nutritional balancer you use. I have been looking for something and all I have found is a poultry booster at tractor supply. I am wondering if it is the same type of thing you use. Thanks.
 

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