Toying with the idea of mixing my own feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by orumpoultry, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    130
    178
    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    So, as the title says. I'm toying with the idea of mixing my own feeds. Something that will work for ALL of my birds would be easiest, but if I need to mix different things that's fine with me. I have - Turkeys, Guineas, Laying birds, and American Game.

    I'm thinking a 19% protein would do well for all of my birds. They all get the chance to free range in the evenings but are otherwise penned. I do not have the ability to grind my own feed but I do have a feed MILL just a few miles from me. I'm thinking of going by there and talking to them about ordering by the ton if the price is right. I go through about a ton or so a month right now, if not more, and that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. If not more or less, not sure. But, around that amount. Right now I'm buying my local feed stores own brand of lay pellet and I believe it's a 17% for my layers, a 28% ( I believe ) to my turkeys, feeding a 21% to all of my other birds. My American Game get maintenance rations only right now with some lay pellet mixed in. Really it's not a problem buying it this way, I'd just like to buy whole grains.

    Here are some of the grains I know for a fact I can get at the mill, if I decide to mix my own after talking to them.

    Wheat
    Barley
    Oats ( any variety )
    Soy beans ( can have it ground into a meal )
    Corn
    Milo
    Millet
    Safflower
    and... I forget what else. These are just what I remember from talking to one of the guys that works there the other day. Haven't had a chance to go back. But he named off over 20 grains.


    -Side fact, my grandmother STILL raises all her layers ( layers only ) on just free choice Wheat, Soybean meal, Rolled Oats, and corn. Her and her best friend of 60 years do. Not including the added things they give the hens now like calcium carbonates (sp?) omega 3s, fish oils, brewers yeast, and BOSS to name a few. Her pheasants and quail were pretty much the same if I remember correctly from when I was a kid. But I have NO idea what they fed the emu, turkeys, and American Game.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. monkeemakr

    monkeemakr Chillin' With My Peeps

    216
    0
    89
    Jun 28, 2011
    Swansea, SC
    I was about to post something similar and saw your post. I am starting to mix up grains for mine and wanted imput and suggestions too. I simply don't like not seeing exactly what my birds are eating, therefore what we are eating. I used to get a natural grind from a local feed company but had problems with bugs in there, and once lost some chicks because of wood splinters in there. I've been mixing my own whole grain stuff - 1 measure each of wheat, whole corn, oats (I know there is some controversy with the whole oats but mine seem to do fine with it), 1/2 measure each of alfalfa pellets (will probably forget this during summer when natural vegetation is available), BOSS, and milo. I want to add millet as soon as the price goes down. I still keep the commercial feed there all the time, but they have cut their consumption of it by 75%. The also have oyster shell constantly at their disposal. I throw it as scratch. I'm also wondering if anyone has tried feeding their chickens pelleted beet pulp.
     
  3. Silkie Chick

    Silkie Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have been making our own feed for about 4 months now. I know it still needs to be tweaked, but this what a commercial farmer told me to use. 3lbs corn (I have to crack this as I have bantams), 2lbs wheat, 1lb barley, 8oz sunflower seeds, 3.75oz flax, 3.25oz peas, 3.25oz milo, 4.75oz kelp, + minerals, +DE +free choice alfalfa, grit and shells. It is mixed fresh every day, and my birds go through about 9 mixings every week for eighty birds. I can honestly say my chickens are looking so much healthier than they were before. I even have 3 birds molting (about a 50% change in feathers) and still laying eggs. It might be time consuming, but the food going in, has a direct result of the taste of both the meat and eggs they produce. A great side effect of the full grain feeds is that the poo almost disappears in the Kansas heat and I rarely have big slimy things around my yard. [​IMG]
     
  4. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,926
    23
    163
    Apr 11, 2011
    Ohio
    I want to make my own feed, mainly to stretch my budget a bit. I'm toying with the idea of getting scratch/cracked corn/oatmeal/ flock raiser/ sunflower seeds/barley. I want to mix it in a trash can and then offer offer calcium on the side instead of regular layer feed.
     
  5. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    130
    178
    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    Well I know that with all the studying I've been doing, I found that a LARGE portion of the premixed feeds I have been buying are more than half corn. If corn is so 'bad' for them, then why is it so much of their scientifically mixed feeds? I know a couple of farms out here that feed only corn and ( I believe ) soybeans/sorghums to all of their laying flock. I don't see why just because all the new 'science' is out there that we can no longer mix our feeds.

    Silkie Chick - whats the advantage to the alfalfa? Is it something you're feeding because grass is few and far between? It is here as I live IN a forrested area and very few grass patches pop up. Until we get done clearing that's all we will have. Does it have a lot of natural vitamins in it that can be specific to the birds needs?

    I would like to find a good scratch mix. Seven grain or so. Most of what is out here is only a two grain scratch, and that's just not simply enough. I'm going by the feed store on my lunch break today, and I'll let you know what I find out through them. I am also going to be emailing my feed specialist, I know he's going to try to sell me on what feeds he endorses but I'm going to attempt and get him to email me a breakdown of the feeds.
     
  6. WI FarmChick

    WI FarmChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    380
    18
    103
    Feb 22, 2012
    Wisconsin
    Well this is what i do and I hope this will give you some ideas.

    This is my first flock feeding whole grains, I have 40 layers. I have been buying my grains whole from our feed mill. They are looking really good so far.

    When they were little I ground the grain, and now they are almost 8 weeks old. They are out everyday free ranging.

    I have been slowly increasing the size of the ground grains as they grow. They are eating almost all whole grains now, grinding the rest.

    The reason I am feeding whole grains is for the nutrient value. once the grain is cracked/ground it starts to loose it's nutrient value.

    I am also going to have a kelp/vitamin mix out for free choice along with a high protein and a low protein choice (maybe, I haven't decided yet might just keep this as 1 choice). I have read they will self regulate what they need. and of course grit and calcium too.

    I would think you could have your feed mill mix your grains without grinding. My recipe does not contain 20+ grains, but a variety is always good. If you need different protein levels, you could have 1 mixed at a lower protein then have a higher protein grain mix on hand and mix them together to get the protein level you need for the other flocks. just a thought.

    It doesn't sound simple, but I just weigh out my grains into buckets and then i add every thing to my cement mixer and it mixes everything together wonderfully. only takes me 1/2 hour for a weeks worth of feed.

    This is my list: Wheat, Soy beans, corn, oats, boss (w/o hull's until older.), lentils, peas, millet mix (finch seed mix mostly millet), alfalfa, vitamins, sea salt. I also throw them a suet cake 1x week or beef scraps and veggi scraps (in winter only).
    I did sprout oats during the winter months for green feed. (that was real easy too).

    This list will change as the protein needs lower.

    The chickens they had long ago didn't produce 300 eggs a year. they also slowed down to just about nothing in the winter.
    so feeding them just 1 or 2 grains and total free range was all the chickens needed back then. I believe our chickens now days need just a bit more than that to produce the 300 eggs they are breed to do in a year.
     
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,950
    271
    321
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    This won't help the OP one bit, but I started feeding mine some cracked corn and milo with oats and wheat, soaked in a bucket overnight and they won't touch the layer any more. Not. At. All. They do get plenty of grass and some bugs with leftover meat about once a week but I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad that they won't eat the layer food. Sure would be cheaper to just feed them this but I just can't wrap my head around thinking they'll be fine on just this stuff. I'd no idea this experiment would be such a success.
     
  8. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    130
    178
    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    I did not have time to go back by the mill today. Going to shoot for tomorrow. - I notice that wheat, oats and BOSS are high up on everyone's list. Definitely going to be mentioning this. I definitely think that in long term, the whole grains will help the birds. Like WI Farm Chick said, as they grind/compress them they lose their nutrient value by quite a bit. Still waiting from a response from my nutritionist guy, but here's to hoping.

    I already feed free choice oyster shells and other shells full of calcium we pick up on the beach once a year ( until those run out, obviously. ) They get PLENTY of grit, I shovel loads of natural grits / pebbles from the creek when I don't feel like buying the granites. When I get them from the creek, I just wash the pebbles and such and steam them to get rid of any harmful things.

    I get my 'animal protiens' from fly larvae. I have several bins at several stages of development with holes in the bottom. As they hatch/grow they move down the bin and eventually fall out into a pan. Check that every other day and offer the girls / birds the scrumptious treat. I also have decaying logs in the runs, and once every so often I roll them and let the girls feast on the bugs beneath it. As well as an hour in the evening they get to run wild in the woods behind the house. Lord only knows what they find out there.

    I'm thinking I'm going to pick up several bags of whole grains and start mixing different proportions, and setting the mixings out into the runs to find out who likes what mixture, etc.
     
  9. WI FarmChick

    WI FarmChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    380
    18
    103
    Feb 22, 2012
    Wisconsin
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by