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Homemade feeds? And what contents?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by brahmabantam, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. brahmabantam

    brahmabantam Out Of The Brooder

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    I am just starting to get interested in buying non-commercialiazed feeds for my birds. I was wondering what ingredients do I want for good egg laying and healthy chickens. I know that corn is not the best, but I was woundering what type of grains and other ingredients I should have in a more natural feed.
    Thanks
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Depending on the size of your flock, it may or may not be worth it considering you need a variety of grains and they usually only come in bulk and only stay good for so long. There are a lot of recipes online, whether just a basic layer feed or organic, soy free, or whatever floats your boat. There are also several whole grain layer mixes, some of which can be bought online. Again, it depends on the number of birds and whether you feel it is worth the cost. The upside to pellets is that they can't pick through it and only pick their favorite seeds to eat, similar to a kid picking at what he likes and not eating the rest. You get a balanced diet, and it's rather natural other than the shape and the addition of the vitamin and mineral mix (which you will also want to add to a whole grain feed you make yourself). Pellets are just grains that have been ground down and then formed into a pellet under high pressure. They are less processed than, for instance, a loaf of bread.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=who...rome..69i57.4344j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
     
    Folly's place and brahmabantam like this.
  3. brahmabantam

    brahmabantam Out Of The Brooder

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    What brand of pellets would you recommend? We have been using DuMor lately. What about Home-grown feed? Since I want something that is closer to the natural side, but won't bust the bank or prove unethical.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I fed Purina Flock Raiser, with oyster shell on the side. It's always fresh at the local TSC and is good for all my birds, young and old. Home made is more expensive and difficult; you can buy the ingredients and the vitamin/mineral mix, but unless you are feeding MANY birds, it's not going to be worthwhile. You could buy an organic feed premade, which will still be ls expensive than home made. Mary
     
  5. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, home grown would be even more difficult than buying already harvested grains. People do supplement with sprouts, and that is easy enough if you have a small flock, but actually growing their entire ration would use a lot of space and time. Supplementing with sprouts is more useful in winter time when vegetation is low, IME, unless you are not able to free range at all at any time of the year, in which case it would be a good supplement throughout the year.

    I was feeding Flock Raiser but decided to switch to pellets to save on waste, though I use a crumble starter in the fermented feed. They get fermented feed in the am and pellets are available almost all day except when they are free ranging since then I want them to focus on eating the bugs and vegetation instead of being fat lazies hanging out by the feeder. The pellets I buy are a 20% meat bird pellet, nutrition is near identical to flock raiser, and they are mini pellets since they are designed to be fed from 3 weeks on. I get them from my local Southern States dealer. I pay $11.95/50# bag, tax included. I also have a small two compartment trough in the run and one side has grit and the other side has oyster shell.

    In my fermented feed I use a 28% game bird starter and cut that to 18-20% using a low-corn scratch grains mixture. Cutting and fermenting alter the nutritional value of both components, but they also get to free range daily and get some scraps so their nutrients are not being solely met by any one source anyway. Why do I also give them fermented feed? It stretches my feed further (I have ~70 birds at any given time though I constantly hatch and sell so it fluctuates), I like that they get some whole grains, they really seem to like it, and it is supposed to have great nutritional and gut health benefits.
     
  6. GldnValleyHens

    GldnValleyHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We prefer to feed our chickens organic, but the price tag is $22 for a 40 lb bag, and thats the cheapest at our farm store! My question is this; does anyone know of cheaper organic food either online ordered, or at a feed mill near Galena IL? Or is there a simple organic feed recipe that is proven to be good that someone uses?
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    There is no way you can compete with a prepared blended chicken feed. It is put together to meet the nutritional needs of the bird, and the formula is based on lots of research. That being said, IMO, feed companies will put the bare minimum in their blend, while maximizing their profit margin. Give them a prepared feed, ferment it (to maximize their benefit from the nutrition provided). Never buy old feed. By the time it has been milled for 6 weeks, the nutrients are starting to break down. Then, supplement their feed with free range, and a good deep litter management in their run, (and coop if you can manage that.)
     
  8. GldnValleyHens

    GldnValleyHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! What is the process of fermenting chicken food? I've heard of it. Our feed is like a powdery mix with wheat and cracked corn, and our hens free-range mostly all day and eat weeds, grass, table scraps, etc
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    There is a link to an article by Tikki Jane at the bottom of my signature. It explains the how and why of FF very well.
     
  10. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I always see that feed over 6 weeks is old. Fertrell says their vitamins are good for 6 months. While I would never buy feed near that old, most feed in stores & TSC is at least 2-4 weeks old when I get it. Please tell me how you get food that is so fresh! I normally buy feed to last a month (80 lbs.) & never have had a problem. Just seems hard for many people to feed a food that is less than 6 weeks from mill date.
     

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