What to put in chicken feed?

Devyn Nagy

Songster
Jun 2, 2020
221
645
151
Ionia, MI
I'm thinking about growing my own chicken feed next year. What do you think I should grow? Seeds, corn ect., or greens? I wouldn't have to totally replace store-bought feed, just trying to cut costs. Tell me what you think.
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
5,131
15,961
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Atlanta GA
If you want the enjoyment of seeing something grow, knowing your chickies are eating healthy stuff etc, I totally support you, but I doubt anyone can feed cheaper than Big Ag can.

That being said, following because I like this idea as well. Haha.
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
5,131
15,961
556
Atlanta GA
If you have the space to grow crops, sow grass.
This was written for dairy farmers, but the nutritional info about it is the same for anything that grazes (different species just have different requirements and ideal daily rations)
https://www.teagasc.ie/media/website/animals/dairy/Whats_in_Grass_Todays_Farm_May2014.pdf
Check into what grass makes sense for your area though. Suburban lawn grass is not regionally appropriate for a ton of places which is why maintaining it is a butt. I'm sure they all have different nutritional content too.

& keep the fluffy butts off the area or theyll kill it before it can grow.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
7,648
15,630
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USA
What do you think I should grow? Seeds, corn ect., or greens?

A compost pile full of worms and bugs! Or even just a mulched area for them to scratch around in. If they have a choice of grassy lawn and compost pile, they will do most of their scratching in the compost pile and more grazing on the lawn instead of killing the grass with their scratching.

In the summer time, there are usually plenty of weeds to pull out of the garden and feed to the chickens, so you probably do not need to plant greens for them (especially if they also have access to a lawn for extra "salad.")

I would mostly focus on growing what you want to eat, and give the extras to the chickens--the lettuce with slug holes in it, the tomatoes that split open, the zucchini that got too big, and so forth. Chickens are not as picky as I am about the quality of vegetables :lol: And what they don't eat can go in the compost pile to feed worms, that the chickens can scratch out and eat later.

For things that can grow in the summer and be stored for later, corn and sunflower seeds are obvious choices if you have a lot of space. Corn is easier than wheat or oats unless you have special machinery.

If you're willing to cook it for them, they also like quite a few root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, and so forth.) I think they like pumpkins and squash better when they are cooked too, and dry beans definitely have to be cooked before you feed them to chickens.
 

Devyn Nagy

Songster
Jun 2, 2020
221
645
151
Ionia, MI
So I'm thinking about corn (and drying it), millet and beans. I'm not sure if millet would grow here, I'll have to research that. Can I give chickens un- dried beans? I will probably do some greens too.
 

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