Homemade Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Lil Chickie Mama, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Lil Chickie Mama

    Lil Chickie Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2009
    I've read many posts about people who use certain mixes from the feed store for optimal chicken health, but does anyone make their own feed? I mean, if you had a little scratch like corn or rice, that's one thing, but what about for a complete diet? If I grew mealworms, crickets, and worms I'd have plenty of protein for them and some calcium. Crushed egg shells and whey provide more calcium. Would I still need oyster shells? What else? Oh yeah, and they'll free range too on clover and alfalfa (and more bugs) and I'll be harvesting lots of seeds from pumpkin, squash, sunflowers, ect.

    I'm just going by what I've read on here so I may be way off on what ingredients actually contribute to their nutrition, but that's the reason for the post. I want to learn the requirements so that I can make this endeavor as healthy for them and cost-efficient for me as possible. I think feed stores will try to make you pay way too much, but either way, I would like to know what I can make myself.

    My goal is to buy as little as possible so they can just eat what we have.
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Outside of the need for additional calcium for the laying hens, chickens and humans have very similar requirements.

    They may do a better job digesting whole grains but their use of forage plants in their diet is limited. They have a gizzard but not a ruminant's complex stomach.

    We could just "set another place at the table" for our chickens but that may not be cost-efficient.

    That's one thing that the feed industry is involved with - efficient use of food products. There's not much that slips past them in quantity that could be eaten by something, somewhere.

    You can look at what was fed by knowledgeable people a century ago. James Dryden wrote "Feeding for Eggs" and you can download that booklet thru the Oregon State University library. It is a short pdf file.

    Dryden was interested in commercial size flocks of laying hens and the farmer's work feeding them. That may not be quite what you are thinking of but he was a poultry scientist at the time when a lot of people didn't realize the productive ability of a laying hen. He took things far beyond having a flock scavenging around the farmyard and producing a few batches of chicks each year.

  3. SimplyForties

    SimplyForties Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Carroll County, Va

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by