how to make feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by atxjess, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. atxjess

    atxjess New Egg

    Jan 1, 2009
    I don't want my chickens to eat yeast or added vitamins because they come from yeast. I'm starting from chicks so I need starter and adult layer feed.I'm not gonna have roosters.Any ideas how to make my own from scratch.I'm gonna have free choice calcium, phosphorus, salt, and grit.
  2. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    Welcome to BYC! Depending on your situation there are lots of possibilities. Growing your own grain if you have enough room is an option. Alternate feed is another. One lady located on the Pacific coast was going to look into seaweed for feed. One option I am already using and plan on using more is comfrey. It is a fast growing (4 to 5 cuttings per year) perennial broadleaf plant with very high protein content, comparable to alfalfa even. It is not invasive in that it has to be propigated with cuttings (very easy to do). I have a bed of comfrey about 20 x 8 feet with about 15 or so plants and will greatly enlarge it this summer. I have used it for feeding rabbits and baby chicks. They love it and do very well on it. I plan on incorporating into my flocks daily feed.

    It has some drawbacks. If you listen to some folks it is dangerous to eat. Maybe some strains are, anyway I don't eat it my animals do. I use Bocking #4 which was developed especially as a fodder for livestock. It also has a high moisture content which accounts for it's unpopularity next to alfalfa. Alfalfa is easily dried and processed for use. Comfrey can take two to three days to dry completely depending on the weather. Also the leaves are somewhat hairy which puts some animals off. I feed it fresh and chopped up to the chicks and they love it. When I had rabbits they would eat it fresh with no problem. I have read that letting it wilt before feeding it fresh makes it more palatable for the animals. Also starting when they are very young gets animals used to it. I plan on drying it and chopping it to add in with regular feed.

    One mature plant 2 or 3 years old will give you 6 to 8 crown cuttings. Even small root segments will root. It doesn't take long to have a sizable plot to work with. These plants yield a tremendous amount of usable fodder even without fertilizer. They shade out competition so there is not much labor involved. They even have flowers which honey bees love! All in all I think comfrey is a very good alternative feed for people with limited space. Check it out!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009

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