What to grow to get off of storebought feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jasmer, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2012
    Hey ladies and gents, we currently feed our flock of layers Nutrena flock raiser but we want to switch to entirely home-grown food sources. So far we're planning on wheat and barley fodder trays and mangels, as well as an earthworm and mealworm farm. We would ideally love to feed our chickens and rabbits entirely home-grown foods year round.

    Any suggestions what else we should grow? What can we grow in a green house through the winter? How much should we grow? We currently have a flock of 17 layers, we plan on replacing them soon with marans and amerecaunas, and we're looking at raising some dorkings, buckeyes, and jersey giants to try out a self sustaining meat bird population.

    What other things should we look into growing for a well rounded, self sustainable chicken feed? What are some good sources of calcium? I've heard if I wash and crush up egg shells real well it's a good calcium source for the chickens and they won't associate them with their own eggs if they are crushed up small enough, is this true? What about protein? Would earthworms and mealworms be sufficient?

    Our chickens free range all day during the nicer months, but it's snowy in winter and they won't/can't leave the coop and covered portion of the chicken run. Even while free ranging they are fed, but once we fence in the property perhaps we can scale back on the feed some more and encourage them to range over all 5 acres? What do you think?

    I know there are topics about fodder feeding and fermenting food, and I intend to read them until my eyes bleed. But what I'm looking for is more a list of specifics--what should I grow and how much per chicken do you recommend? I have no problem supplementing store bought feed if I have to until I get the numbers right, but those of you who don't buy feed, what do you grow and how much?

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