What Do You Buy Often?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by The Angry Hen, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. The Angry Hen

    The Angry Hen Crossing the Road

    Dec 17, 2016
    My Coop
    I've been doing some thinking recently about homegrown chicken feed for my flock... and, possibly, for future sale. Vegetable gardening for myself and my family has been plenty enough complicated, so this may not be the best option quite yet.
    One year, we'll have a very good crop of potatoes and cucumbers. The next year, both are withered and sparse but tomatoes are wonderful. It's this ever-changing pattern I can never seem to figure out.
    Planning out a new garden spot on the property for next year, after having storm damage create a haven of emptiness, we're contemplating adding something more than herbs for our chickens. Corn hasn't been of luck growing, for us, but maybe barley? Millet? Suggestions?

    I find that here in Maine, millet is rather pricey, as a 5 lb bag of it can vary from $8 to $10. I'd purchase a bag for my Guineas on a rare occasion in the Summertime... but I decided against it for health reasons and price. I'm not sure if I'd be comfortable selling it, considering it is of no real health benefits.
    Corn, on the other hand, is what I'll sometimes feed for the Winter. I doubt this would be a good thing to profit from in the warmer months, but I could be wrong...
    Sunflower seeds and safflower- they love. But I dislike overdoing it, as I find it's not something helpful to their digestive tract.

    The idea that struck me most was some sort of feed blend for the flock's immune system during breeding season. Something natural/organic (if that even exists as a real word anymore). Something of herbs, calcium, and enough protein. I'm still trying to think of ingredients.

    What do you guys find yourself purchasing for your birds? Do you grow/sell your own feed? What affects your flock's health in good and bad? What do they enjoy eating?

    This thread isn't of emergency. Please keep in mind that I'm not wanting to jump the gun on anything... I'm simply gathering info- thinking of different pros and cons of what's best for my birds. Thank you!
    cavemanrich likes this.
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Enabler

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    I only keep a small flock of chickens as pets. URBAN BACKYARD FLOCK. Do eat the eggs, but not the chickens. Most of my chickens live long lives,,,, except when they encounter a predator. I do have that pretty well under control. My longest living chicken was 13 years. A recent one lived 11 years. Many go 8 or 9 years.
    I feed them Alflock 2% calcium, and supplement their calcium needs with Crushed Oyster Shells free-choice. I also do offer them generous portions of wild bird seeds,,,, scratch,,,,, BOSS,,,, and they free-range when possible. They do like to nibble on grass, and insects, and whatever else they find in the backyard.
    I know of the "" keep treats to 10% or less guideline""" I don't follow that one myself. I may not get the most eggs AWARD, but my chickens ARE HAPPY,,, and LIVE LONG.
    I don't have any ideas on what you could grow for chicken feed and sell, and still turn a profit, (Even a small one) To grow, and sell at a profit,,, I think it has to be on a LARGE SCALE FARMING OPERATION.
    I do think you can grow different types of fodder for your own flock. I also see it as a natural organic way to supply your flock with a variety of nutrients. I think that this way of feeding, a variety,,, is very beneficial to their health. :thumbsup
    WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :highfive:
  3. sorce

    sorce Songster

    Aug 26, 2019
    You may have them on the wrong rotation?
    Potatoes and Tomatoes aren't supposed to grow together.
    Cucumbers aren't supposed to be grown with certain things.
    Corn must be grown en masse.
    In Maine I'd guess you need to start em indoors or at least look for quick to harvest varieties.

    I have been learning about backyard edibles, weedy things that grow without much human input.
    Mine love Plantain, wild strawberry, looking to find a few more that'll be easy for them to forage.

    cavemanrich and The Angry Hen like this.
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    My thoughts......

    Growing for profit.....we "small scale" folks will NEVER beat large scale farming. They sell on volume. That means price per each or per pound can be far lower than what we small scale folks can ever get even near.

    As you have seen it is hit and miss on success. A miss is a big loss.

    I personally grow extra for my flock knowing my investment in time and money will be higher than if I simply purchased the same items.
  5. Stockpilejoy

    Stockpilejoy Songster

    Jan 13, 2019
    I buy meal worms often. I've resorted to buying the larger bags since they're pricey and store them in tight plastic containers. My hens love them, it's a healthy treat, and gets them in the coop/run quickly after ranging in their fenced in area.:p I also buy a lot of save-a -chic packets. It's convenient to add to water and I find it helps keep my hens healthy given once a week. I now purchase their feed [Eggland's Best Layer Mini-Pellets] through Chewy and have it on Auto delivery. I also keep separate containers of Crushed Oyster Shells and grit [free-choice].
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    cavemanrich and The Angry Hen like this.
  6. The Angry Hen

    The Angry Hen Crossing the Road

    Dec 17, 2016
    My Coop
    Thank you, everyone, for the much helpful advice and info!

    Thank you, @cavemanrich, I appreciate your input! It sounds that you are very good to your birds- and make the right decisions for them. My biggest theory for raising chickens is; Put yourself in their shoes. They can't automatically eat what foods they wish, go where they want to go, etc... but we can do our best to provide them with healthy feed and snacks that make them happy (and healthy!)

    Thank you for your advice! I actually do not grow the potatoes and tomatoes alongside of each other- I started out with a row of 5 gardens- each split in half with something they can grow safely near.
    Tomatoes where at the top row- three potato crops in the center- and cucumbers/string beans in the bottom. I've had the best of luck like that, but for the past two years, the rotation hasn't properly taken. Whether it's the neighbors/town spraying (need to get signs for that), or the soil poor, a drought, etc... something hasn't been right.

    That is a good selection of snacks for them! I've certainly found that my roosters enjoy walking through the strawberry patch pretending they're doing nothing wrong. The red toes and beaks are quite a giveaway!

    Thank you for your helpful opinions- I certainly understand the point of view. I'm always trying to come of with ideas for sale, but you can never assume that anything will be successful. Profit is one giant puzzle of mystery... and it takes time to piece together.

    Thank you for the reminder- those are indeed some things I forgot! I've considered raising meal worms in the past, as, I do find them selling pretty pricey at the feed store.
    Stockpilejoy, cavemanrich and sorce like this.

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