Money's tight need answers for homemade food help me ASAP!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mattsiewrt94, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Mattsiewrt94

    Mattsiewrt94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    223
    6
    71
    Nov 5, 2013
    Money's been tight lately and I havnt had the time to get pellets or anything and so they been eating dog food for about a week and a half now but I wanted to know what can I feed them that I can make in my house
     
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Feed them any leftovers you have.

    Go to any place that sells produce, and ask for 'past their prime' produce. No raw potatoes, onion or citrus, but almost everything else. Wilted lettuce is great. Often you can get that for free or almost free.

    Other free feed: stale popcorn (unseasoned) at the movie theater, the spent brewing grains from a brewery, any not eaten food from a restaurant. A place like subway or a salad place would be a good place to ask.

    And actually, I am sure that dog food is more expensive than chicken pellets, it isn't very good for them either.
     
  3. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

    3,675
    474
    283
    Jul 30, 2012
    Sherwood, OR
    My Coop
    This book, available free at this link, has a lot of information about the "old school" ways of feeding poultry.

    http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924003011545;view=1up;seq=11

    Maybe if you were able to work with some local restaurants/grocery stores, you could get some expired milk for them to drink, and some veggies. Then if you can afford to, offer the calcium on the side so the laying hens can be sure to get enough of that to preserve their health.

    Composting veggies or manure in the chicken area can provide a lot of nutrients for the birds, including protein from insect activity. A really good investment is to cultivate the best foraging opportunities for the birds.

    In my area dog food is more expensive than chicken feed, and not the right balance of nutrients. They will eat it, and the protein boost can be nice at certain times, but it isn't ideal for long term.
     
  4. Mattsiewrt94

    Mattsiewrt94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    223
    6
    71
    Nov 5, 2013
    Well they free range and it's not like I give them bowls of dog food but I'll just throw a handful a day. I thought if I let them free range all day they would find food but isk
     
  5. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

    3,675
    474
    283
    Jul 30, 2012
    Sherwood, OR
    My Coop
    Also, butchers or abattoirs will often have meat scraps they are not allowed to sell but will sometimes give to people who will take it away. This often includes organ meats, like liver, which are extremely nutritious for both humans and poultry but are not popular "cuts" of meat.
     
  6. Mattsiewrt94

    Mattsiewrt94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    223
    6
    71
    Nov 5, 2013
    Yeah I'm gonna ask around but when they free range do they find food ??
     
  7. Mattsiewrt94

    Mattsiewrt94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    223
    6
    71
    Nov 5, 2013
    And also you don't think anything could go wrong or I made them unhealthy from them eating dog food for 2 weeks right I should be able to get a pellet bag this Friday when I get paid
     
  8. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

    3,675
    474
    283
    Jul 30, 2012
    Sherwood, OR
    My Coop
    It really depends on the quality of the forage they have access too. Some people are able to not feed their birds at all during good foraging seasons, and still have healthy flocks.

    Here is a video of chickens thriving on a diet of nothing but forage ... in conjunction with a composting operation in Vermont.

    And here is a link to a thread about developing the grass in your yard to increase the nutrition they chickens can get from that. It is a relatively new thread, but has a lot of cool information ...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ur-yard-for-increasing-free-ranging-nutrition

    And ... in order to get the most healthy nutrition out of the chicken feed you do buy ... a lot of people have been fermenting their feed. Here is a link about that ...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/645057/fermented-feeds-anyone-using-them

    There is also the nutrition flocks can get from using the Deep Litter Method in their coops. This works best if done right on bare earth ... so no need to "build" a floor in your coop. If done properly, this essentially creates a compost pile right in the coop, with lots of insect activity and plenty of other nutrients that add to the "foraging" options for the birds. There are plenty of threads here about using the Deep Litter Method. But essentially you just create a Litter Lasagna in your coop ... adding fresh bedding when the stuff in there breaks down or starts to smell like ammonia/poo. Toss scratch into it to encourage the birds to scratch the top layers enough to mix it. Litter can be free stuff (dried leaves, pine needles, etc.), or store-bought shavings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  9. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

    3,675
    474
    283
    Jul 30, 2012
    Sherwood, OR
    My Coop
    Of course they do. But because we have such a tight grip on nature these days, there may or may not be a lot of "good stuff" for them to eat in your specific situation.

    I don't think two weeks of "the wrong" diet is going to mess up your birds. It might make your eggs taste funny ... or it might not.

    It used to be that people didn't even know to feed chickens anything, or anything but corn ... the birds were responsible for finding the rest of their food. That is, in fact, what chickens do ... they scavenge around people's yards/farms and clean things up while feeding themselves. They were great sanitation service back when garbage service wasn't quite so modernized. Some towns are now encouraging people to get chickens to help with reducing "compostables" that the sanitation department would otherwise have to collect and deal with.
     
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,316
    442
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    You can also clean out your cupboards and freezer for any old food. Frozen veggies, freezer burnt meat, buggy pasta, stale crackers and cereal are all treats.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by