homemade chicken feed and transitioning from commercial feed.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by flockmarket, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. flockmarket

    flockmarket Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    okay so,
    i know thats it not necessarily economical, okay, but im interested in it. so, im thinking about growing the following
    sesame seeds
    sunflowers (seeds)
    Black soldier fly
    goats milk (clabber)
    along with free ranging.

    am i missing something? what can i emit? how long will it take the hens to adjust and continue laying?
  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi flockmarket,

    It seems you're up to something similar to a few other BYCers like me (see also Jake Levi's thread on heritage feeds for heritage breeds). The ingredients you've listed all sound great, but it's impossible to verify your recipe (and I'm not a nutritionist so wouldn't presume to anyway) without some idea of how much you're using of each.

    I'll just say though, on the surface it seems like a great start, particularly with soldier fly larvae and the soured goat milk (which will be high in B vitamins as well as having some sulphur amino acids like methionine). Are you avoiding wheat for any reason? I have a feeling wheat is more versatile than oats (in terms of what it adds to a mix), but I might be wrong... I'm learning stuff the hard way and still have a long way to go, plus my brain is sometimes slightly sieve-like. [​IMG]

    Having set out my lack of qualifications I will say that if you sprouted the oats and corn (and wheat if you get some) you'd be doing a lot of good in terms of vitamin availability...

    One other thing from my various readings, peas can be high in anti-nutritional compounds, so follow recommended maximum inclusion rates (available on many agricultural or feedstuff websites, I think it tends to be around the 5% mark, lower for young chicks; or perhaps look at grinding/cooking).

    Love what you're attempting, please keep us up to date on it!

    Missed important query about how long it takes hens to adjust... It all depends on if you're giving the feed as whole grains or as mash etc... I find with birds used to a commercial mash they swap over quite readily to the new version if it's fed in the same way (i.e. moist). Took my birds only a few days to start really hoeing into the sprouts! However training birds to take whole grain if it's uncracked and unsprouted can mean a drop in overall health until the gizzard adjusts (gets stronger). I'd almost feel it's not worth feeding whole dry grains unless you're absolutely certain the birds have tough gizzards and plenty of free range...

    And sorry, I'm treating your setout as a recipe, whereas you're talking about growing stuff... In which case I'd add that I've got no idea about sesame seeds as a feedstuff, and seem to remember something about possible drawbacks to using it in young birds (can't remember why, might be fungus, might be anti-nutritional factors, might be too oily?). But the main thing I'd add as far as growing your own is the need to be sure harvesting conditions and storage are absolutely right, as too-damp grains can harbour mould toxins that can devastate the flock.

    There now, bit of an info-dump, hope it's not too scatty.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  3. flockmarket

    flockmarket Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    thanks for the support, i feel really guilty every time i feed commercial gmo commercial feed to the chickens...
    i didn't mention wheat because i think oats are overrall healthier. it may take a while to discover the appropriate amounts but i think it can be done.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by