When you buy organic feed make sure it's really organic. If your making your own feed take all the chickens nutritional needs under consideration. This is an interesting topic. I do wonder how many feed organic feed? I myself feed a already mixed name brand feed. I feel it addresses most of their nutritional needs. However, it's a personal choice. If you want to mix your own feed with consideration for nutritional need then that's wonderful! I'm sure it would be wonderful for your chickens! It's all up to you, your choice. I've read several books that address this issue. What I've read is that a good balanced feed contains most everything the chickens need, they caution that if you are making your own to make sure and address all the nutritional needs of the chicken. So it really comes down to personal choice. For me, I feed commercial feed. Soon they will also free range so they will have access to other types of food also. But if it's something your passionate about, I think it's wonderful! I'm sure the chickens would love it! Have you decided weather or not you will be making your own feed? I think with the correct nutritional value it's probably actually better than commercial feed. My fear would be if I'm getting the correct nutrient Balance. But I do think it's a great thing to do and I'm sure the chickens would thrive on organic feed!
If I could be assured than the feed was balanced (like realsis mentioned) then I would source a different feed. However in my area I haven't been able to find anything, so I feed the best a vegetable based feed I can. There are three places locally to buy and two sell feed with pig parts and one is an all vegetable feed. I buy the all vegetable, the only way my girls are getting pork is if I have scraps from dinner, I have no idea what that "pork by products" really is, but it's the second ingredient on the label and when you walk past those bags of feed they s*t*i*n*k!!!
Although Ive never mentioned it I dont believe. The reason to grow my own is for a more healthy chicken and egg. While money is restrictive I think if i can sell eggs I may lower or even break even on cost. My labor is important since I'm disabled and it takes me twice as long to do something. My time is my own. And I am cutting preservatives and all chemicals as much as possible every where i can.
I have seen a lot of do it your self feed recipes. Some sound good for my limited knowledge. But some scare me. As the one the other day that sounded like a college profess er spitting out requirements and additives. All to finish up by saying they never had or even fed chickens and its what they read! LOL! I can do that! Even seen one nut say throw in scraps from table and feed cracked corn and thats all dumb chickens need. Well animals aren't dumb from what i see. And table scraps and corn wouldn't be a decent diet either from what I know.
My concern for mine and my family's health is second only to my animals. I have no problem killing and eating animals. But would never not take care of one or would never put up with abuse!
Kind of hoping some of the old timers may make their own. Hoping to pick up a good one to use.
If the chickens are free range, they are eating bugs and such, how do I know they are getting enough of what they need? When winter approaches, do you put them on full feed then?
To offer an example: I don't feed my goats anything at all from spring through fall. When the things they eat drop off in nutritional value, I start them on a grain mix and hay. Usually it's somewhere around Nov. This year we had great weather and I didn't start them on feed until Dec. They don't really need the grain but I use it to cover the nutrition the hay may be lacking and it does help them with warmth during the coldest times.
Experience tells me when to start feeding my goats. I'm clueless when it comes to chickens. Those of you who free range, do you keep supplements available? (i. e.Salt and mineral blocks are available to the goats year-round). Do you feed anyway but maybe not as much as penned birds?
No free range here. The whole flock would be gone in the first day. Coup and a large run. Here is a couple recipes I found. Say there time tested. But don't know how true that is. I see they call whole corn. I would think chickens would do better with cracked corn for digesting. So if any one knows any thing about these please comment.
7 to 8 parts organic whole corn
3 parts organic soft white wheat
3 parts organic hard red winter wheat
2 parts organic oat groats
1 to 2 parts organic dried milk
1 to 2 parts fish or organic soybean meal
1/2 part ground oyster shell
1/10 part salt
3 to 4 parts organic whole corn
2 to 3 parts whole organic wheat
1 part dried organic milk
1 part fish meal
1 part oyster shell
1 part grit
1/2 part salt
1/2 part cod liver oil
In the summer mine free range my side and back yard. I always have layer pellets, oyster shell and grit out for them. They don't eat much of it, but it is always there. Too much snow now so they stay in the covered run. They eat quite a bit more, and they get some scratch with black oil sunflower seed mixed in twice a day.