What to grow for chicken feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NysiaAnera, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. NysiaAnera

    NysiaAnera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a few acres of farm land and our chickens free range it. We grow hay, which is a grass and alfalfa mix. Through the spring and summer and beginning of fall, we do not buy feed for the chickens. However, through fall and winter, we have no choice but to. What I would like to do is start making our own chicken feed by using our land to grow what we need. So, what do we need to grow to eliminate the chicken feed bill?
     
  2. Ameraucanas

    Ameraucanas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2015
  3. Beer can

    Beer can Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2014
    Upstate NY
    Not for a complete feed but a couple good for supplement;
    Winter feed, Mammoth red mangel's. This will be my first yr growing them but have heard they are great for chicken feed/stock feed, they say "Equal in nutrition to grain and produced at half the cost!" I ordered a 1/2 oz package through Jungs (was ordering other stuff anyway) to give them a try before going hog wild on them, make sure the birds utilize them and I can manage to grow them. Otherwise I would have ordered a big package through RH Shumway.
    Kale also keeps great all winter even in snow and ice, swear the stuff still grows.
     
  4. NysiaAnera

    NysiaAnera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2015
    Malad City, ID
  5. NysiaAnera

    NysiaAnera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2015
    Malad City, ID

    I have never heard of the mangels, but I will look into them, thanks! How/where do you grow the Kale? I have an aquarium, but I would think it would be too small. It us 50 gallons.
     
  6. Beer can

    Beer can Overrun With Chickens

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    Upstate NY
    What I meant by kale is it stays good outside, all winter even in hard cold winter. I have a big garden and had a good size space with kale. Snowed on, frozen, thawed out nice day I almost think it grows! Hardy stuff. When it's frozen you have to be careful, crumbles like chips. I was ripping up whole plants and throwing them to the birds all last winter. Bringing some leaves in and ripping the heavy stalk out, chop them up and mixing them in omelets/scrambled eggs, adding to soups for us. Around the end of January last yr though, my whole bed, three foot high three foot wide by close to twenty feet and thick still, one night....went over for some and it was all gone....deer tracks was all that was left.
    Kale is not a complete feed though, just some good greens, vitamins and something green for them to peck at. Cabbage, pumpkins, winter squash,big zucchini and summer squash, all give them something to do and cuts down on feed and keep well, even left where they freeze they are still good to feed the birds. Another couple plants, purlsane super high in omega fatty acids, higher than salmon or tuna, chickweed, many more just don't remember all of them off the top of my head, many grow great in my garden against my best wishes Lol!
    Also, not a complete feed, but they need protien, my kids love to catch fish, small ones, I grind them up and feed the birds, can freeze them also. Same with road kill.
     
  7. NysiaAnera

    NysiaAnera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2015
    Malad City, ID
    Oh my goodness, I don't know where my brain is!! For some reason I was replacing "kale" with "kelp"! LOL!! Okay, I am with you now! I did not have any in our garden last year, but sounds like I need to add it and a few others you mentioned.

    Yes, our chickens love our garden, and they get things from it all summer long! We have it fenced off from planting to harvest. We lost a good 1/2 of it to them last year because the goats would rip down the fence, and they would all go crazy with the "All You Can Eat Buffet". Luckily I was able to salvage enough to keep us fed for the year, but not enough to store for them throughout the winter.
     

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