Will this formula of feed work?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by zbraswell92, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. zbraswell92

    zbraswell92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2011
    Roswell, Ga
    My home made diet includes- Producers Pride 'All Grain', & whole corn, whole oats, soybean meal, some Manna Pro rabbit pellets, and Manna Pro Oyster Shell. Dose this mix contain enough nutrition for my 7 hens? I also give them a vit./min. & electrolyte supplement in their waterer every Friday and Saturday. They LOVE this mix. The P.P. 'All Grain' contains- Whole grains (Barley, Corn, & Oats) and a lil molasses and salt too.
    I calculated out its protein to about 13.5%.
    Is this diet okay? My 7 girls wont eat ANY brand of chicken pellets [​IMG] but are doing just fine on this diet so far. The winter is coming to Atl., Ga, so I'd like to know if they'll fair okay with the cold weather. [​IMG]
     
  2. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    I'm going to go against the crowd and say it sounds good to me. (I don't like commercial pelleted/crumble feeds. They're just grain products (mostly corn and soy) ground up and extruded and mixed with some cheap vitamins/minerals that are notorious for being the least digestible forms in most cases) I much prefer a good mix of whole grains where you actually know what's in your feed. Besides, what did chickens eat before the pellets were invented? Whatever grain the farmer had on hand. When I was a kid, I raised a whole flock of Barred Rocks on nothing but scratch; when you went to the feed store then and asked to buy chicken feed, they'd sell you a bag of scratch, that was just what chickens ate. And that wasn't all that long ago. And my chickens laid very well and were healthy.

    If that protein percentage is for the whole diet, I would increase it to at least 16%. They will grow and lay better on a higher protein diet; I usually feed about 20%.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Sounds great but I would tweak it just a little as follows:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=428536
    see post #5 for salt information regarding rabbit pellets

    You can view my BYC page if you wish to see what I feed (I am currently on a three month hiatus without chickens though). I LOVE to feed seeds and grains as the feed.

    Whole corn is fine but not for bantams IMO. I don't know if you have any bantams. I noticed that my bantams had a hard time eating pumpkin seeds when I had them in there.

    Make sure grit is available for digesting whole grains. This can be important especially if you have snow cover, or if your soil doesn't contain the small sharp pebbles they need. They sell it at the feed store if you need it. Size #3 cherrystone grit for adult hens. Size #2 for up to 7 weeks old (and I used this for my bantams). Size #1 for chicks up to 4 weeks old.

    You would want to up your protein to 16% at least for adequate protein. You should easily be able to do it with the soybean meal, or by adding some seeds in there.

    I fed some COB (goat feed) to my chickens for awhile (just mixed into the main feed in smallish quantities) since I thought I was going to buy a goat for a while then changed my mind, and I noticed that their poos were a little runnier. Molasses is a laxative for chickens but I don't think there would be too much in there for chickens...just mentioning this in passing. I assume yours are tolerating the molasses just fine. Any change in feed can potentially cause a reaction. But I won't be feeding COB to my chickens any more, lol. I assume that your COB (corn oats barley with molasses) is just fine and you are not having any troubles.

    Oh and
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  4. zbraswell92

    zbraswell92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2011
    Roswell, Ga
    Okay, Thanx,

    I forgot all a/b sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds too. Do u need to shell the SF seeds first, or just drop the whole seed and shell in there while still together? [​IMG]
    I can get SF hearts if need be. BTW my chicken almost never have 'runny-tummies.' Although, every once in a while I'll find a nice little * SPLAT present. Ha.

    My 6 (hopefully soon to be 7 [just don't tell mom/dad yet, LOL!]) chicks= 1 B.C. Maran (Pekky), 1 Serama mix (Emmber), 1 REALLY dumb Plymouth Barred Rock (Checkkers) [​IMG], 1 White Leg Horn (Thorrn), and 2 black totally unknowns (Loocy and Paintt). My smallest girl is Loosy, she only stands around 5"-7" tall. She's just too cute!!
    I'll have to post some pics of my hens up here soon.
    Believe it or not, Pekky has NEVER gone a day w/o producing me an egg! Thorrn and Emmber are pretty close behind her, though. I get at least 2 eggs per day. One day I got all 6! My average yield is about 4 eggs/day. [​IMG]

    I am gonna get some SF seed hearts tomorrow and I'll throw them in w/ my current grain mix.

    Thanks again y'all,
    ZBraswell92
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:I do not feed the large sunflower seeds that they sell for people. I feed the black oil sunflower seeds (birdseed), which are much smaller, and even sometimes buy them mixed with millet (birdseed). Millet is only around 11% protein and the black oil sun seeds are around 16% protein, to give you some info.

    I don't do anything special to the black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) before I serve them. They swallow them whole. Even bantams. The grit in their gizzards is their "teeth." The grit will be passed when it gets round and not sharp enough to grind the grains anymore, I have read.

    Pumpkin seeds I think were 31% protein if memory serves. I used to buy the ones meant for squirrels. But they don't go for them except in very small quantities, and they wouldn't be good for bantams. I used to go through and try to crack the pumpkin seeds in half with my hands. No more of that for me, lol!

    Since you do have some bantams I would encourage you to mix in cracked corn instead of whole, as the little bantams have a hard time with larger seeds and can even choke on things. For chicks less than 2 months old I like to feed organic starter crumbles since they have a hard time with the larger grains/seeds. Since you have a serama mix I highly recommend offering choices that are small enough for her and Loosy- in other words, calculate your protein without the larger seeds like pumpkin seeds and see if you still have a good mix.

    http://www.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/Feed_ingredients/Grains.html
    http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba01s20.html
    I would encourage you to read especially the second link regarding barley and oats.

    (You might consider adding some wheat for balance.) Then you would end up with the same sort of mix as the commercial mixes...wheat, corn, roasted soybean meal (MUST be roasted). But you would also have all this other variety, which I think is great.

    Enjoy your birds!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  6. zbraswell92

    zbraswell92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2011
    Roswell, Ga
    I already have some (BOSS) for my bird feeder that I had totally forgotten a/b right until I was refilling it a second ago. Ha, Ha. [​IMG]
     

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