Homegrown winter feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Whistling Badger, May 27, 2008.

  1. Whistling Badger

    Whistling Badger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2008
    a burrow in a pasture
    Do any of you grow your own winter feed? If I wanted to keep a few hens and a rooster through a Wyoming winter (frequent dips below zero, sometimes for several days), I'm assuming something with a high protein and fat content...I'm thinking maybe a mix of millet and sunflower seeds, supplemented with veggie scraps from the kitchen and maybe some milk now and then for extra protein.

    We can't grow corn here--it always seems to freeze before it ripens. So we need something that grows pretty quick.

    Ideas?

    Tom
     
  2. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * I would think the sunflowers would be a great addition for winter feeding. Don't know how big your flock is or what kind of room you've got though. I do know you have to wrap the heads of sunflowers and that would be pretty labor intensive if you need a lot to make it through a long winter.
     
  3. Whistling Badger

    Whistling Badger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2008
    a burrow in a pasture
    Can chickens open sunflower seeds, or would they need to be cracked first?

    Just trying to not work any harder than I have to--I already have a full time job and I'm a full time grad student. So I want to grow stuff that I can scatter on the ground and let the critters do the rest of the work. [​IMG]

    BTW, I don't have a flock yet--18 wyandotte eggs on the way, and a local supplier of chicks if they fail! Lots and lots of room--about 2 acres we aren't using. Enough for a world supply of sun flowers, if we get them started soon.

    Thanks!

    Tom
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    They eat the sunflower seeds shell and all.
     
  5. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * You'll need to grow the all-black seeded kind, not the big striped-seeded kind, WB. . . Do a BYC search for "BOSS", meaning "black oil sunflower seed". and [​IMG]
     
  6. Whistling Badger

    Whistling Badger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2008
    a burrow in a pasture
    Thanks! Good to know.
    T
     
  7. Timmo

    Timmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    I know you said it freezes there before corn ripens, but maybe you could try some of the fast gowing hybrid sweet corn? Alot of it is ready to eat green in about 60-70 days. You could even eat some of it green yourself, and leave the rest on the stalk to dry for winter.

    Something like this: http://gurneys.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_14436

    That particular seed might be a little pricey to grow for feed, but I've seen early corn at MFA in the bulk cabinet much cheaper.
     
  8. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * We also had some postings about homemade suet blocks for winter chicken treats. . . .That was a bit ago.
     
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I'm growing wheat and Alaska field peas for a small backyard flock.

    Soon, I'll plant foxtail millet with peas, as well.

    This will be a 1st time for me to grow food specifically for the chickens but I've grown these crops before. And, the chickens get a lot of vegetables throughout the year.

    Steve
     

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