So...we are brand new to chickens, and have kind of jumped in with both feet. We have 16 chicks all 1-2 weeks old. We had planned to feed organic chick starter until they were much bigger, and then transition to a homemade grain feed. My son has a serious gluten sensitivity (celiacs disease), and so for long-term purposes, we need them on a gluten free food, of which I have not been able to find *anything* available commercially. So...we've got a 50 lb bag of organic chick starter...and I thought we could just double wash hands for the 6-8 weeks they were on that, and deal with it until they were bigger...but my son has rashed up all over his hands and face, even with scrupulous hand washing. He's never had a contact reaction before, but it's got to be the chick feed - nothing else has changed. So...we've got to get them on our own feed much sooner than I had planned. I worked out the nutrition of the various gluten free grains that I am able to get at our not-so-local feed store - they actually have an awesome selection, and worked out a recipe that gets them *really* close to conventional chick starter in protein/carb/fat ratios. Probably even closer once I am able to get back up there and get a bag of sunflower seeds. It's higher fiber, obviously. It's still a teeny bit low on protein, but I think I can supplement that with raw milk, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, and eventually when they are old enough, bugs and forage - we have 5 acres, with an empty 15 surrounding us, so there is plenty of free-ranging space. We are also already providing tons of fresh greens, basically all they can eat a couple times a day, adding about 2% dried kelp meal, and offering free choice salt + minerals and chick grit. The amino acids should be fairly well balanced with such a good variety of grains. I've got them on maybe 15% of the new feed, and the rest is still the toxic (to us) chick starter right now. They like it, and don't seem to have any issues eating the bigger chunks of things like the buckwheat, peas and whole oats. They certainly aren't leaving any of it lying around - even the food that is shoveled out of their feeder is getting picked through and every bit of "real" grain is beign gobbled up (and they won't eat the chick starter once it's touched the shavings). I'll be transitioning slowly and watching them really carefully, if they start to look like they aren't doing well on it, obviously we'll have to do something else - it would probably meen finding a new home for our already beloved chicks. Grain Serving Size Cups Calories Fat Protein Carb Dietary Fiber parts Sunflower 140 1 cup 818 72.1 29.1 28 12 0Millet 200 1 cup 756 8.4 22 146 17 1Peas 197 1 cup 672 2.3 48.4 119 50.2 2Cracked Corn 154 1 cup 132 1.8 5 29.3 4.2 2Buckwheat 192 1 cup 583 5.8 22.5 122 17 1Milo 192 1 cup 651 6.3 21.7 143 12.1 0.5Flax 144 1 cup 774 61.13 26.52 41.88 39.6 0.25Oats 68 1cup 320 6 14 56 8 1 4.26% 16.63% 63.93% 15.17% For reference, I collected a few different chick starter guaranteed nutritional analyses. The one with 18% protein is what they are currently on, and apparently it is one of the lowest protein ones out there. Of course, I didn't note the names (sorry!!). The carb contents are approximations, and don't include the half percentages of stuff like ash, etc, that are in commercial preparations. Chick Starter %s 2.50% 18% 69.45% 6% 5.5 22 68.1 4.4 4.5 20 67 8.5 9 23 65 3 We don't have a choice on this one, it's either not have chicens at all, or feed them a gluten-grain free diet. So...if you've had experience feeding a home mixed feed, or replacing a large portion of your commercial feed - am I forgetting anything?