I found this interesting site...does anyone here make homemade feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JessicaGrant, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. JessicaGrant

    JessicaGrant Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2008
    Western Mass

    feed a lot of scraps, and I was wondering if that would mess with the proper protein/carb ratio found in their crumbles, so I looked around on the internet and found this. I love that I have almost no kitchen waste anymore but wonder if I should add other things to the girls' diet to keep the balance appropriate. Any thoughts?
  2. Ellie_NY_chick

    Ellie_NY_chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Wow, that takes dedication. And a lot of money. Her birds eat better than I do.

    I backed way off on the scraps. If I have something that is leftover and raw (like undressed salad), the chickens get it. If I have something that is leftover and cooked (like spaghetti), the dogs get it.

    I think if you made your own feed, you would have to be as dedicated to it as those people are, otherwise you shouldn't do it. I've noticed a positive change in the birds since I cut back on scraps. I think they weren't getting the right balance because they weren't eating their feed at all. I'm getting more eggs too.
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I couldn't argue with the looks of those Brahmas.

    Leaving aside the commercial formulas would probably require this kind of diet for most breeds. What it looks like to me is that they are eating about the same as a well-fed person.

    At nearly a half pound a day for these birds, probably 4 of them could be kept by just "setting another place at the table," if you know what I mean [​IMG].

    Thank you for the link, Jessica!

  4. freemotion

    freemotion Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Western MA
    Actually, making your own feed does not have to be as complicated. I have my chickens in a 2-acre fenced pasture (set up for my horse and goats, originally, fenced to keep coyotes out) so they will balance their own feed with the grains and soymeal I give them....most of the year.

    In the snowy New England winters, I have a two-compartment feeder from TSC meant for feeding free-choice supplements to horses....I put oyster shell in one compartment, and crushed granite in the other.

    In a hanging feeder, I put soymeal for protein.

    Thrown in their deep-litter bedding, I put the "energy" portion of their feed, which is a mixture of the lower protein grains...whole corn, whole oats, and whatever other grains I can get. I fill my trunk when I travel to any farm country for cheaper grains. I will be getting barley, oats, and buckwheat very cheap when I go to Maine in a couple of weeks. This mixture goes into a large hanging feeder as well when I am away and want to simplify the care for my wonderful friends who volunteer.

    If the choices are kept very simple, the chickens will learn to balance their own rations very quickly, so you can then feed any scraps you can get your hands on. Remember, though, that humans in the USA are dying mostly from "lifestyle" diseases, meaning mostly what we eat will kill us more quickly....so only give your girls whole foods from your plates. None or very limited amounts of white pasta, bread, cereal, etc. All they can eat of veggie and fruit scraps, whole grain items (check the labels...anything that is "enriched" or vitamins added should not go to chickens....or your children. It is over-processed and leads to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.)

    So here is the short version:

    1. Grain mixture in one feeder, two or more grains, more variety is better
    2. Protein mixture in another feeder, soymeal is easy
    3. Oyster shell for layers, not for chicks
    4. Rock grit for confined chickens or snow-cover times of year

    When I switched over, there was no change in egg production. I have had almost no loss, and no disease in my flock in the two years I've been feeding this way. I have a very long waiting list for eggs, and the egg sales cover the feed. Along with the deep litter method, chickens are amazingly NO work.

    If you want to switch to whole grains, do so gradually, over a three week period. The crop is a muscle and needs to get "fit" enough to handle a whole-grain diet. To do this, hang the soymeal feeder, and feed scratch in increasing amounts as you switch over. You can even start with scratch to make it simple, just have the protein source to balance it.

    It is SO easy this way! Healthy and much less expensive, too.

    I actually spotted a chicken scratching on a goat this week, picking ticks off her, I am guessing! The goat was reclining in the sun, chewing her cud, and thoroughly enjoying the attentions of the hen. And more protein for the hen, too.....
  5. mlmadura

    mlmadura Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2008
    I use a lot of leftovers - but I do watch the ratio - I'm a nurse so we do protein first with veggies/fruits and grains for my kids - so why not my chicks lol

    I feed a base of layer pellets with mixed grains added in.

    Mine get oatmeal with fruits or veggies cooked in it on cold days. 9 I add crushed egg shells with this)

    Yogurt with cold oatmeal and chopped grapes on warm days( I freeze this in the summer and make "chickicicles [​IMG] watermelon on hot days

    Leftover bread. Veggies - sweet potatoes - broccoli- lettuce tomatoes-
    Leftover or surplus Scrambled Eggs :eek:
    Leftover pasta or rice - stale corn flakes or cheeries - crushed

    Since they don't free range I add green grass/clover daily and seeds of any sort (sunflower, pumpkin etc) ( I occasionally throw in 20 or 30 crickets -lol)

    They seem to be doing pretty good and come running to me to see what tasty treat I have brought themwhen I come to their door.

    I am always thinkin... save this for the chicks... [​IMG]

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