My Feeding System

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by triplepurpose, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    I have a small diversified organic farm in the tropics, and wanted to share how I currently feed my flock.

    I buy organic feed, sometimes layer pellets, sometimes chick starter. I prefer the chick starter for the slightly higher protein but they are both similar anyway.

    I mix the commercial feed, in a five gallon bucket with a lid, with various other things in a ratio of about 1 to 1 volume-wise, sometimes a little heavier on the commercial feed depending on the diversity or quality of other things I add. These "other things" may include cooked cassava (the un-processed starchy root of the tapioca plant), taro, sweetpotatoes (usually tiny or damaged cull potatoes or leftovers), breadfruit, as well as grains such as rice cooked or uncooked (such as old leftovers or burnt stuff or old stale or musty stuff, or anything else I would not eat, not good people food). I also sometimes include stale or moldy bread or other bread products. I also might use overripe or cull fruits such as papaya or banana, diced up. I try to include as wide a variety as possible under the theory that a varied diet is always preferable for an omnivorous animal since it provides the widest potential range of nutrients. I mix up enough for a couple of days at a time and add a little EM for good measure and leave it out next to the pen for feedings.

    When I feed morning and evening, I also include a handful (or two) of azolla from the nearby bins I grow it in, or some soldier grubs from my biopod when available.

    They also get the scrap bucket from the kitchen whenever it's full.

    They also get a few handfuls to an armload of greens from the garden with each feeding, including kale, chard, bok choy, tatsoi, and lettuce. These will typically be the tattered outer leaves of the greens that aren't harvested for people food, older lettuce that has begun to bolt, or anything too holey or otherwise unmarketable but still of fodder value.

    I build compost piles from leftovers after harvest and other detritus inside the chicken run in circles of chicken wire, and remove the wire once the pile is semi composted to allow the chickens to forage for grubs and insects.

    I also provide crushed oyster shell free-choice.

    I have a pretty steady supply of eggs with smooth, hard shells and rich, flavorful golden yolks. And I spend about half the amount, or likely somewhat less, than I would if feeding the commercial feed as "sole ration."

    When I hear someone complain about the cost of feed, I'm inclined to encourage them to find a way to use less feed, rather than buying inferior quality feed because organic feed is "too expensive." If you have chickens, you should at the very least have a vegetable garden and a compost pile to go with them. You thereby increase your biological efficiency at producing food, because your chickens and your garden can feed each other symbiotically.

    Don't panic, its organic.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

  2. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg Premium Member Project Manager

    Mar 31, 2011
    Wodland, CA
    My Coop
    Thank You for the tip!

    I do something similar by mixing in organic Wheat.

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