What do YOU use for chicken feed? We started investigating thing a little more thoroughly, we were concerned about the GMO corn everywhere and not sure about soy and decided to do some homework on the nutritional needs of our birds. We intend to increase our flock, brood and rotate our laying hens as meat birds, keeping fresh birds on the table and maximum egg production going, at a minimal cost for renewing the flock. We eat organically as a family and use natural means for our health care. We intend to farm and raise our animals in this same way, as our budding farm growns. Chickens are our only farms stock so far...so we figured we ought to start with them! We have kept chickens for a couple years at now including our previous residence, which was only one acre. We have never had to treat our chickens for any thing. We hope to keep it that way! Back to the topic of feed.....
I found this great site which gave me exactly what I was looking for. The nutritional needs of my chickens and the nutritional value of things to feed it. (YES!) While I would love to give my chicken organic feed like my family (and they have actually gotten some form my own pantry from time to time!) it is not reasonable for our tight budget to do this. So...it is our ultimate goal to grow our own for them. I am not sure if that will be realistic this year but if we can we will. If not - we hope to make a priority for next year. In the mean time we seem to have found a wonderful corn free/soy free inexpensive solution. Millet based wild bird seed! A friend referred us to the local feed store where we can get it for 11.50 for a 50# bag! (We thought we were doing prety good at 20 for a 40# bag...so imagine our delight to find that we could do it for half that!!)In addition to this, we feed them organic scraps from our kitchen; they free range, getting lots of good scratching; They have oyster shells nip at and when Spring, Summer and Fall come into their own, round we will throw them our garden scraps and maybe some grass clippings (They LOVE grass clippings!).
In addition to increasing our flock of Road Island Reds to account for meat birds and have enough eggs for sale, we plan to add Guinea and Turkeys to our list of fowls (hopefully this year).
So the last piece to our bird feed puzzle is worms! We had a year experience in worm farming (on a HUGE scale) and that's something we know how to do. They are an amazing creature that is so beneficial to the farm eco system, that we decided our farm can not be without them. (That is another post) They too, will be part of our bird feed in the future.
I would love to hear how others feed their birds!
This post was shared at Simple Lives Thursdays