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questions and concerns about growing my own feed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rhoda_bruce, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I pasture my chickens in 2 separate areas, as well as a run I have for them. The pasture areas I use are 90X100. One is the goat pen and one is my garden. They can go in the garden to clean up for me. I feel that way saves me on the feed, but I am wanting a 3rd pasture area for the winter and when they wipe it all out, plant some grain that I can use as their feed, hopefully for the year. I am thinking I could grow and harvest that, while they are cleaning up for me and in the goat pen and let them back in after I pick up the grain.
    I was figuring on corn and either soy or cowpeas, growing up on the corn. My problem is that my husband doesn't think I will get enough grain for it to be worth my effort. The area will be roughly half the size of my pens, so I am looking at about 45X50 ft. There is one big cypress tree that will block some sun, but for the most part all of this area will get at least a 8 to 10 hours of direct and indirect sunlight.
    Now I have at present 61 chickens, all total, but like I said, I pasture them, and give them table scraps, so I don't rely on grain alone.
    Now for those of you that grow your own grain, do you think I can grow enough corn and peas or beans to make a marked difference in my feed? How many LBs would you feel I can produce with that amount of space. I am very good with growing things and so is my husband, but I only did it for the family and not for the animals.
     
  2. thedeacon

    thedeacon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2008
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    Probable not. Cost prohibitive. You would also have to fertilize heavy to increase yield. Better off rotating it for sweet corn, beans and other garden produce and if any extra store for the chicks. there is always some sweet corn left, I also plant different squash which the chicks also enjoy. this cuts back on feed costs but not much of an investmenbt
     
  3. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    We used to have the chicken houses surrounded by four or five pastures. We would rotate the chickens from one to another. That would let the grass regrow.

    I like the idea of raising a little grain. Rather than buying seed grain that is treated, put the kids to picking though the chicken scratch for the wheat. Plant that. Don't plant any commercially produced seed grain that is dyed. The coloring means that it should not be used in feed or left where animals can get to it.

    If your husband objects, just tell him to shut up and plow.

    Rufus
     
  4. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    Shut up only works for me. For him it has to be more me tricking him. I'll figure something. I mean if its not worth it for me, then why is it worth it for anyone? Somewhere in existance is a farm that produces my cracked corn. Do I have to understand that my chickens need 40 acres of a farm several states away and the same for all of you? I come from farming people and I used to get down on my little hands and knees to help the family dig the potatoes every year and I go on small scale farming. With all the unused yard I have, there has to be a way for me to tap into it so I can have more of my egg and meat money/savings than the feed store. Even if I just let them wipe an area out and then follow it with cowpeas....that would be high in protein and would improve the soil.
     

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