Making Your Own Feed!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cluckcluckluke, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    Lately I have been having a lot of time on my hands on the weekend and thought, "Hey, why not make my own chicken feed?"
    So I have come here to ask that just that question to the BYC members.
    The feed will be for a laying flock ( I sell my eggs ). Winter is moving in so eggs are not going to be selling well so wanted to save my self some cash so that i can keep going on with my Chickening ( if that's a word ). So help me to keep my flock happy and healthy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Winter is moving in? Where are you located? Winter is moving on out (hooray!) here...

    I make my own feed, and I'll be honest: it's not cheaper. I use organic non-GMO grains and seeds, organic sustainably-harvested fish meal, organic kelp meal, organic alfalfa meal, organic non-GMO cultured yeast (not bread yeast or brewers yeast), an organic vitamin/mineral supplement, calcium carbonate, and Redmond salt. I do NOT use soy.

    Despite the cost, I feel it is the best thing I can do for my flock--particularly my Silver Gray Dorking breeding flock--and for my family. We eat the eggs as well as the meat. My birds are healthy, hearty, and happy. They got through a winter during which we had a stretch of temps between -11 and 4 F and they are in a non-insulated hoop coop with plastic walls in the winter (open during the summer). The only 10 day stretch with no eggs was that cold snap. I guess they held onto all the protein they could to get through it. =)
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
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  3. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    Wow sounds good, but very expensive and I'm not to sure i could get half that stuff.
    I'm in the land of Oz and it is early Autumn here so was going to plan ahead quite a bit so that I can get all the ingredients.
    Does all the stuff you buy last long?
     
  4. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Most everything comes in 50# bags, but the grains and seeds that I buy are from a local farm so I order exactly what I need for a certain amount of time (I usually get 3 months at a time). The ingredients that go the farthest are the "premix" ingredients: fish meal, kelp, yeast, alfalfa, vitamin supplement, salt, etc. Each of my birds eats about .35 pounds per day in the winter and about .25-.3# during the foraging months. I go through about 137# of mixed feed per month, of which about 1/4 is premix and 3/4 is grains and seeds.

    It took me months of research online to find sources for some of the stuff I get. Some of the other ingredients come from my local feed stores, and one ingredient (sesame seeds) comes from my local health food store. It's a lot of work, but now that I've gotten good at it, it doesn't seem like such a pain. =)

    Oh, and I leave out plenty of grit, too, since their gizzards need to break down whole grains.
     
  5. johnmclaren

    johnmclaren Out Of The Brooder

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    You can get that easily done and they would be loved by your birds a lot.
     
  6. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    It seems really hard, I'm not physically strong and don't have much cash to sink into this idea.
    Is there anything I can add to the grains I buy them now, to make it last longer?
    I buy layer Mash, it has EVERYTHING in it and every so often I get a bag of layer pellets, coz the ducks like em.
     
  7. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, you can supplement your birds' feed with things that will help them utilize their food better, thus making them less hungry. You can add raw apple cider vinegar to their water (~1Tblsp/gallon--don't use in galvanized waterers, just plastic and glass). There's this other stuff you add to water and I've been using it this winter. It's called B.O.B. (aka, Big Ole Bird and Biologically Optimized for Birds) by Southland Organics ( https://www.southlandorganics.com/big-ole-bird ). I also have supplemented my flock's feed with UltraKibble from time to time. I just bought a new bag because I'm about to get my spring matings going and I want to boost their protein and overall nutrition while they're producing sperm and fertile eggs. (http://www.wildbirdsuets.com/foragecakes/kibble.htm )
     
  8. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    Thanks, I will have a look at them, I do sometimes add ACV to their water. I don't see any change in them ( am I supposed to? ) when Iuse the ACV.
     
  9. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, I don't think you'll see hugely noticeable differences with any of them. But I've noticed a difference over the course of the entire winter (since November). What I noticed was that at the end of fall, when they stopped being able to forage, I was feeding more each day, naturally. It got up to 5#/day that I was feeding them (I have 13 big chickens and 3 banties) but in I started noticing leftover food when I would take out their day's rations so I backed it down to 4.5#/day and it has been like that for a couple of months. I started using the BOB in early January, I think. And I always use ACV in their water, too (the BOB is something you use every few weeks). Now, keep in mind that their intake came down even through New England winter temps down as low as -11F. I owe it to the BOB, ACV, and the buttermilk and yogurt I was also mixing into their feed.
     
  10. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

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