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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chicken Feed

does anyone have experience with growing their own feed for winter or buying whole grains-something other than the expensive 50# bags from the feed store?

Just so happens, I do. Black Sunflower, cow peas and popcorn make great scratch. Depending on the size of your flock, will dictate how much you need to grow. I also feed my birds leftovers. Just be careful what you give them. They love rotting milk and meat. Watch out for the green peppers and onions, even though they seem to really enjoy eating it, their eggs will taste like an omelet. Dry greens, like clover, for a winter feed as well. Jerusalem Artichokes are a great sustainable plant to grow in your chicken yard. Bugs love this plant, the birds love the bugs, the plants love the poop, and you'll love the tuber.

As for the expensive feed, I go to my local co-op and spend a lot less on my egg layers mash than I do at the chain feed stores. You can also look around for a local mash maker. My b-i-l buys his from a man relatively cheap. Hope this helps you.

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1 comment:

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

I definitely give all leftovers to the chickens. (Today they're getting watermelon rind and dry bread pieces.) I'm growing sunflowers in the garden this year for them and us. I've never grown the cow peas or popcorn. Do you give it to them dried like what you pop in the pan? (Love the omelet comment!:)) I always buy chicken food at the local feed store. I don't even know if there's another place around here! (The one we use is a small, old, run-down, privately-owned place. Great people!) Guess I should look into it, though. I can always stand to save a little more money! We've got 90 meat birds coming in 2 weeks (friends and family wanted some when they found out I was ordering them.) I told everyone they HAVE to give me food scraps to help save money and we're doing a butchering day together. Whew! I've only ever had 30 chickens at a time. 90 has me a bit scared! At least it's only 6 weeks! Take care, Phelan

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