Making homemade laying mash

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MichaelTUP, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. MichaelTUP

    MichaelTUP New Egg

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    Feb 2, 2013
    With laying mash near $20/50 pounds at the local feed store it has become quite expensive to produce eggs. Does anyone have a fairly simple recipe for laying mash? With the current high prices for corn and soybeans it may not be possible to produce mash at a reasonable price. I have a large garden(3acres) and can produce most any crop. Recently purchased black oil sunflower seed for bird feeding that cost $30 for 50 pounds. I'm growing sunflowers next summer but have yet to figure out how to clean a few hundred pounds of seed heads. I have always fed layers scraps from the garden. Any ideas?
     
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    What are you growing in three acres of garden?

    Even a mediocre 1/2 acre stand of corn should give you better than a ton of grain. You can then buy bagged feed concentrate to mix with your corn. The concentrates are usually around 40% protein with the appropriate vitamin and mineral premix (or you may have to add limestone or oyster shell). They are usually mixed at around 1:2 to 1:3 with corn to provide a complete layer ration.

    With most grains you are going to run into the same problem as your sunflowers, figuring out to harvest and thresh them. Hand picking and shelling corn isn't that unreasonable, but small grains become problematic unless you know somebody with a combine.

    I still have a few drums of dry beans still in the pod from last year's garden that I haven't figured out how to thresh. My best effort has been to throw them in gunny sack, stomp on them, and then winnow them with a large fan.
     
  3. MichaelTUP

    MichaelTUP New Egg

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    Thanks Mac in Wisco -
    I'm in the UP of Michigan. I grow asparagus, raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes, garlic, squash and sweet corn for farmer markets. I wasn't aware that you could buy feed concentrate to mix with corn. I assume the feed would have to be mixed and ground at a feed mill ? Is getting the final mix tested needed and is the testing expensive? I asked about sunflowers and they told me they(the feed mill) have a cleaner device that cleans the chaff from sunflowers. The problem I have with growing field corn is I can't grow it anywhere near the sweet corn I grow. The growing season for field corn up here is often too short with frost starting in early September. I will look into trying to grow some in a distant hay field we have. With grain prices so high and the price of laying mash out of sight I am considering giving up on laying hens. Although home produced eggs are so much better tasting the increased cost is making factory produced store bought eggs seem better all the time. I have always let my hens range free and have been losing birds to racoons, bobcats and coyotes.
     
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    It's really not that complicated. The concentrate is sold for on-farm mixing of feed rations where the farm already has a supply of grains, like corn or wheat. The instructions are usually for mixing a ton at a time, but there is no reason that you can't mill small amounts of corn (with a bench top hand-powered or electric mill) and mix up a ration in a pail or drum.

    Sweet corn usually pollinates before field corn. If they are close in pollination times then even a 200 foot distance provides 99% isolation from cross-pollination. If you plant a couple of guard rows that you don't harvest from then you'll have close to 100% isolation.
     
  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Here's a small write-up that talks a bit about on-farm grain mixing:

    http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba01s07.html

    In the absence of any custom poultry concentrates in your area you could just buy the basic components; soybean meal, oyster shell, and a vitamin/mineral premix to mix with your own grains. You'll need a premix with synthetic methionine to make up for the deficiency in plant based proteins or you'll have to use an animal based protein in place of the soy meal.

    This is a premix made by Fertrell:

    http://www.fertrell.com/poutrynurtibalancer.htm
     
  6. MichaelTUP

    MichaelTUP New Egg

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    Thanks Mac -
    These tips and links have been a big help. I have some planning and growing to do this year. It will be nice to grow my own and not be at the mercy of the feed mill prices for laying mash.
     
  7. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
     
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Here are some photos that might interest you. I mess around with three acres of this parcel and do most of the work with a 1948 Allis Chalmers Model G. I plow, disc, drag, plant, and cultivate with it. The single row planter is a Jang with the push handle removed and custom mounted on the toolbar holder of the tractor to plant corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, etc.


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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  9. lisaleedy

    lisaleedy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    someplace i ran accross percentages of protiens and things that could be in place of others to form a well ballanced mash. all accomplished without using animal bye products.. my next cocern GMO foods.. i dont trust them! but now that its not required to state if something uses or is GMOs theres no telling what your getting.
    do you know the percents of the ingrediants of layer mesh so it can be replicated with alternat products that can give more for my money.
     

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