I'm doing a bunch of research about mixing my own feed (I'm doing this to keep it organic and cheap at the same time). I need some advice, though. I found an organic supplier not too far from me that sells organic grains, plus cracks and mixes them if people want chicken feed. Now, I know there are many opinions on what is the "right" feed, but I need to know the facts. The chicken feed that this guy mixes for his customers is: 40% Cracked Corn 25% Whole Soft Red Wheat Berries 15% Cracked Barley 20% Cracked Roasted Soybeans He says that some people buy it with added nutribalancer and aragonite, though not always. I want to buy the whole ingredients separately and mix them myself to increase shelf life and keep it fresh (and cheaper). So here is my 2-part question: 1) Are the four ingredients listed above typically enough for layers, without the added ingredients of nutribalancer and aragonite? My chickens will be free-range, with lots of pasture, bugs, etc. (They will not be confined to any area, in fact, except for night time.) I know that the roasted soybeans should give them all the protein that they need (I think soybeans are something like 40% protein in themselves). Can I get away with not using the nutribalancer and aragonite? Maybe they can get this stuff from their environment? They may be slightly better off with this stuff, I'm sure, but I'd like to know if they are absolutely necessary. 2) Can I give them corn, barley, and soybeans without cracking them at all? I found other recipes that don't even call for cracking the barley, for example. Can I give them the whole corn and soybeans? Can it possibly hurt them? I'm not sure how I would go about cracking the soybeans for them because from what I know, oily products (i.e. soybeans) can't be ground with a regular home grinder, as the oil can mess up the grinder. Thanks a lot for the help! EDIT: http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/issues/1/1-4/Harvey_Ussery.html --> the author of this webpage also seems to notice that aragonite and nutribalancer may not be needed if free-ranged. I'm still not sure about the cracking issue. It seems barley may be ok, but I don't know about soybeans and corn.