Recipe for making your own feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AnnieE, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. AnnieE

    AnnieE Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2014
    Southeast Michigan
    Hello,

    I've done some research online and in books from the library. I'm interested in making my own feed, but every recipe seems to have a dozen or more ingredients, and i would like something simple. I only have so much space for 50lb bags! The biggest thing i've picked up is that protein is important.

    My chickens are 8 months old, they've been laying for a couple of months (stopped due to the winter, though i got 1 egg yesterday!). Anyone see any major flaws with the recipe below? They seem to be the recurring ingredients in most of the recipes i've found.

    1 part wheat
    1 part barley
    1 part oats
    1 part rye
    1/2 part sunflower seeds
    1/2 flax seeds

    The above is free choice. I also have oyster shell in a separate container for free choice.

    Then they roam the backyard, attack my compost pile, get brewed grains i get from a friend as an occasional treat, apples, raisins, etc.

    Thanks.
     
  2. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2014
    East Central MN
    Hi there -

    I've been experimenting with a home mix, too. I will share what I've learned.

    Firstly, find a copy of Harvey Ussery's book and make up the spreadsheet he has in the back, one of the appendices, for mixing your own feed. It makes it very easy to mix and match locally available grains to get the right protein %. I even extended it out a little so it calculates my cost per batch by weight.

    I found a mix that works for me using this spreadsheet. I do not grind anything but instead hand mix a whole grain/seed ration. I sprinkle a poultry premix over the feed when I serve it, or stir it in with the water if I'm serving it wet or fermented. I also add cayenne or crushed red pepper in the winter.

    Wheat & oats should not be more than 15% of the total ration by weight, flax no more than 10%. I did not do the math on your mixture.

    I also do no-corn, no-soy, no-wheat conventional (not organic), for my customers as well as myself.

    My mix is millet, barley, oats, black oil sunflower seed, and flax, plus the mineral premix, extra grit, and brewer's yeast. I have been getting steady eggs as my pullets are coming into lay.
     
  4. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    East Central MN
    I would add make sure your parts are by weight, not volume, and check those percentages. I think once you work that out, your grain mixture is diverse enough. Add a mineral mix and something more for protein, especially in the winter or during molt. All the best! :)
     
  5. AnnieE

    AnnieE Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2014
    Southeast Michigan
    I currently do it by scoop not weight. Theyre all 50lb bags and the bags are all the same size, so i didnt thinkbabout weight, but putting a scale down there wont be a problem. :) Thanks!
     
  6. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What do you use for a mineral mix? Azure Standard has several from Redmond's and I'm not sure which would be best for chickens. Thanks.
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a quart yogurt tub as a scoop. I measured a scoop full of each of my ingredients to figure out how much a scoop of X weighs. Then I could figure how many scoops of each I needed.
     
  8. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My local feed mill carries a poultry premix, for adult birds of laying age. They sell another one for chicks.

    Fertrell has a mineral mix that Joel Salatin recommends. I haven't done Azure yet, so don't know the difference between the Redmond mineral mixes. It should say what species it is made for, like sheep, cattle, goats, poultry, etc., and say what age it is appropriate for as well as how much to use per hundred pounds or ton. There is some math involved there if you are only mixing 25# batches, but all of that info should be clearly stated on the label.

    I have to buy my premix in 50# bags. I wish I could get it in smaller increments, like 5-10#. How big are those azure bags?
     
  9. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can get the Fertrell Nutribalancer from Azure in a 10lbs bag for about $25.

    I did some more research after asking you. Either Azomite or Redmond Conditioner would be sufficient for a mineral additive for poultry. Redmonds list adding at 1.5% for poultry. Azomite is very similar but has no salt and a slightly different mineral balance. Redmonds is 3.5% salt. The Nutribalancer has trace minerals from the kelp, so if you used both a mineral conditioner and Nutribalancer, I'd guess you could use less of the former. Azure also has the Redmond Conditioner, it's $15 for a 50lbs bag.

    We pay about $7-9 per order to the Azure delivery guy, but other than that, no shipping fees.
     
  10. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a few friends who order from Azure, but I have not gotten on the bandwagon yet... Those smaller bags of Fertrell may be the tipping point! >sigh< I will have to use up what I have first, though. We would have to drive 60 miles one way to get large 50# bags of Fertrell; it would be pretty expensive if you add the fuel cost so we haven't used it yet but have always wanted to try it. Thanks for the tip!

    Great idea about the measured scoops - that will make my mixing easier as well.
     

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