Need Help Formulating Feed

Jared D

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2019
6
15
26
Hi Everyone!

We have 15 laying hens in a fenced in backyard in town. They free range all day and go in their coop at night.

We ended up with a bunch of extra ground feed for another animal project and would like to use it for our chickens to use it up. We have about 80 bu of ground corn and oats - 65% oat and 35% corn (all organic). The chickens will eat it but seem to not like the ground oats as much. With winter coming I'd like to use this as a base and add whatever it needs for our hens....since we have a big supply. I realize that I need more protein, calcium, and vitamin/minerals. I can get a calcium and vitamin mix from a local natural feed store. As for protein - we are trying to avoid soy or other proteins that are highly estorgenic. I also have some organic corn screenings with a little weed seed mixed in from a local farmer that I could get cheep.

So, any thoughs on what I can add to the corn and oats to make it good for our hens?

Thanks!
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,451
18,021
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
Not proper formulation approach, but I would mix it with a high protein grower feed where the grower initially represents at least 75% of the mix. Then you slowly decrease the amount of the grower stopping when you see birds not doing well and then increasing the grower back up a little. It they billing out the oats, then consider presenting it as a wetted or fermented feed to increase palatability.

I have used similar approach with smaller amounts of corn gluten and soybean meals.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,527
39,473
1,106
southern Michigan
If you do that, do have oyster shell available free choice in a separate container, at least.
You can estimate the nutritional value of this grain mix, or better, have it analyzed, and then know how to proceed with additions and corrections.
Mary
 

Jared D

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2019
6
15
26
Not proper formulation approach, but I would mix it with a high protein grower feed where the grower initially represents at least 75% of the mix. Then you slowly decrease the amount of the grower stopping when you see birds not doing well and then increasing the grower back up a little. It they billing out the oats, then consider presenting it as a wetted or fermented feed to increase palatability.

I have used similar approach with smaller amounts of corn gluten and soybean meals.

Thank you for the response. I am mixing it with a organic laying feed right now to help balance it out. I also have one more option that I would like to try. I have some left over Lashahol from our pig project - it is fermented molassas with trace minerals. Manufacturer claims it is good for chickens as well. Do chickens benefit from or like molasses? I might try a small batch. It seems like our hens are doing well - with what we have feed them so far - but they also get a lot of time in the yard and table scraps. Just wanting to get things set for winter. Thanks
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,451
18,021
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
If black strap molasses, then you will get very limited mineral content added and some carbohydrates. The chickens will eat the stuff as typically mixed into feeds to control dust, or with horses to also enhance flavor. I have fed sweet feed like used for horses that contains molasses to chickens. It was part of a mix or served as scratch grains for free-range birds, usually in winter.

Concerns I have with mixing own feeds usually take a couple weeks to show signs things are not going well. I use the grower feed rather than layer because the former has more protein and vitamins needed to compliment where the corn and oats will come up short. The layer feeds are not as protein or vitamin rich.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
33,235
270,382
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
Hi Everyone!

We have 15 laying hens in a fenced in backyard in town. They free range all day and go in their coop at night.

We ended up with a bunch of extra ground feed for another animal project and would like to use it for our chickens to use it up. We have about 80 bu of ground corn and oats - 65% oat and 35% corn (all organic). The chickens will eat it but seem to not like the ground oats as much. With winter coming I'd like to use this as a base and add whatever it needs for our hens....since we have a big supply. I realize that I need more protein, calcium, and vitamin/minerals. I can get a calcium and vitamin mix from a local natural feed store. As for protein - we are trying to avoid soy or other proteins that are highly estorgenic. I also have some organic corn screenings with a little weed seed mixed in from a local farmer that I could get cheep.

So, any thoughs on what I can add to the corn and oats to make it good for our hens?

Thanks!
I mix my own feed and add as much Flock Raiser as I need to make sure they have enough to eat.
I use whole triticale, field peas, thistle and black oil sunflower seeds, whole flax seed, Fertrell Poultry Nutri-balancer and fishmeal for the protein. It is fermented, drained then enough Flock Raiser crumble is added to give it a good consistency. The mix ends up with about 1% calcium and 19-20% protein.
I feed OS on the side.
If you can get a food grade source of fish meal, that will help with the protein content.
 

Jared D

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2019
6
15
26
I mix my own feed and add as much Flock Raiser as I need to make sure they have enough to eat.
I use whole triticale, field peas, thistle and black oil sunflower seeds, whole flax seed, Fertrell Poultry Nutri-balancer and fishmeal for the protein. It is fermented, drained then enough Flock Raiser crumble is added to give it a good consistency. The mix ends up with about 1% calcium and 19-20% protein.
I feed OS on the side.
If you can get a food grade source of fish meal, that will help with the protein content.
Thank you - it looks like Fertrell has a protein,vitamin,mineral mix for layers to add to grains. This looks like a good thing to complete our feed!
 

Jared D

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2019
6
15
26
If black strap molasses, then you will get very limited mineral content added and some carbohydrates. The chickens will eat the stuff as typically mixed into feeds to control dust, or with horses to also enhance flavor. I have fed sweet feed like used for horses that contains molasses to chickens. It was part of a mix or served as scratch grains for free-range birds, usually in winter.

Concerns I have with mixing own feeds usually take a couple weeks to show signs things are not going well. I use the grower feed rather than layer because the former has more protein and vitamins needed to compliment where the corn and oats will come up short. The layer feeds are not as protein or vitamin rich.

Thank you for the info and experience with the molasses. I agree - I would prefer to not to mix my own. However, they are doing well right now with the ground oats and corn and free range. Hopefully, I can get things dialed in before winter when free range doesn't add as much. Thanks again!
 

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