Chicken Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!
Any one on here have any luck making their own chicken feed?So far we have been feeding our small flock of laying hens (and a couple roosters) regular layer feed and cracked corn, but that’s not very cost effective... especially since we farm and we could possibly make our own feed blend. We grow peas, wheat, and soybeans, and could easily purchase barley and corn from neighboring farms. Any thoughts or recipes?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,578 Posts
None on my part. The concern is balanced nutrition and whether they're getting the micro nutrients in their diet.

Do they free range at all? That would be an opportunity to pick up anything they might be lacking in their feed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
None on my part. The concern is balanced nutrition and whether they're getting the micro nutrients in their diet.

Do they free range at all? That would be an opportunity to pick up anything they might be lacking in their feed.
Thanks for the reply! Well, that's why I asked- I don't want to malnourish them. They do have a run that they go out to, but this time of year there really isn't much out there for them to eat. They do get a bit of fruit and veggie scraps on an almost daily basis.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,975 Posts
I supplement with some feed I mix but still use a commercial layer mix as a base. Calculate your protein total percentage carefully when using soybeans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I supplement with some feed I mix but still use a commercial layer mix as a base. Calculate your protein total percentage carefully when using soybeans.
Supplementing might be the way to go then! I don't know that we'll use soybeans... peas might be a better alternative?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I too feed between 16 and 18 % protien. I buy non GMO grains...black oil sunflower seeds, wheat, oats, alfalfa pellets, corn, roasted soybeans, millet, and a high quality cat food for a bit of animal protien. I do NOT grind my feed as grinding looses nutrients. My Leghorns lay everyday but do take an occasional day off. My Black Asias lay about every other day or more. I have 3 Sapphire Plymouth Rocks that just started laying and I'm getting 1 or 2 a day from them. There is also a vitamin and mineral supplement I recently added by Fortrel. I give treats on occasion but not every day.

That's my 2 cents.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,975 Posts
I too feed between 16 and 18 % protien. I buy non GMO grains...black oil sunflower seeds, wheat, oats, alfalfa pellets, corn, roasted soybeans, millet, and a high quality cat food for a bit of animal protien. I do NOT grind my feed as grinding looses nutrients. My Leghorns lay everyday but do take an occasional day off. My Black Asias lay about every other day or more. I have 3 Sapphire Plymouth Rocks that just started laying and I'm getting 1 or 2 a day from them. There is also a vitamin and mineral supplement I recently added by Fortrel. I give treats on occasion but not every day.

That's my 2 cents.
Commercial grinding creates heat which significantly diminishes nutrient levels. You might benefit from an old and slow farm burr mill. Cracking the grains opens them up to providing more surface area for digestion and nutrient extraction from the interiors of grain kernels. But nature provided chickens with a fairly efficient built in crop grinder. I retired this last year and am expecting to mix more feed for Fossil Ledges in 2021. There are tons of recipes and formulas for calculating protein on the interweb. I'm probably not the right one to ask, because my flock is a hobby flock and all my birds eat too much anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Commercial grinding creates heat which significantly diminishes nutrient levels. You might benefit from an old and slow farm burr mill. Cracking the grains opens them up to providing more surface area for digestion and nutrient extraction from the interiors of grain kernels. But nature provided chickens with a fairly efficient built in crop grinder. I retired this last year and am expecting to mix more feed for Fossil Ledges in 2021. There are tons of recipes and formulas for calculating protein on the interweb. I'm probably not the right one to ask, because my flock is a hobby flock and all my birds eat too much anyway.
I too am not a pro, just trying to do my best for the flock I have. I don't know about heat generated from grinding being an issue but the information I've been going off of was that once the grains are cracked they start losing nutrients. (Plus I don't like the dust) So the idea with ground feed is that you have to use it soon. It's not for long term storage. My thought is just like with dog food or anything else on a store shelf you have no idea how long it's been sitting around. Sometimes it's stored in railcars or trailers or other places that get real hot in the sun and the oils in them can turn rancid. So I decided to make my own so I have control of what they're getting. It's also much cheaper to make my own than buy non GMO feed. I get a lot more feed for the money. To me if I'm going to feed cracked grains I would want my own grinder so I could grind daily. But I don't know it's worth the investment with the number I have and not sure if I'll have chickens forever.
You're right that there are a lot of recipes on the internet. Some have quite pricey ingredients. I read a bunch of them then got to figuring protien content with different mixes. I've noticed most commercial feeds only have a few grains in them but in my reading they say the more variety you can offer the better. It's closer to foraging I guess. I'm always afraid to let mine free range because there are a lot of cats and other animals that wonder through our property.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,975 Posts
I'm just lazy right now and it's winter but next year I am planning on grinding feed daily for the birds. I have two small mixers, approximately one and four bushels respectively. The small one is from the 1970's and the larger one is a Sears from about 1930. I paid 25 dollars for it and it is belt power. I have two grinders, one from the late 1800's and a Letz burr mill from about 1910 that is belt power. I also have a smallish fanning mill from the late 1800's and my Gleaner combine from 1937. I got the Gleaner for free but paid 170 dollars to transport it. Next year I will plant Oats and Soybeans, I usually buy my corn from bigger farms around.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top