My husband and I are part of a co-op... we ordered 380# of grains/seeds/nuts to make our chicken feed. We researched several types of feed... varying from fermented, mash, sprouted, cracked, wet, dry, organic, pellets... etc.
It was cheaper to make our own.... by a long shot. While a large investment upfront, we're going to save in the long run. There is also, of course, the added bonus of knowing exactly what is going in your chicken's feed. Now, most people I've spoken to, do not recommend buying and making the feed in such large quantities - since different grains require different kinds of storage and also have different shelf lives... however, this feed mixture is not only for our chickens, it is also to sell. With that in mind, we decided to go ahead and order such large amounts...
Below is the recipe we used, along with the nutritional contents of each
grain/seed/nut. We put the amount of pounds we bought, as well as
"parts" so if you decide to make it, you do not have to buy 50# of this
and 50# of that... Just as long as the ratios are the same, you should
And yes... that is a shovel, mixing the feed, inside a giant
wheelbarrow. A lady uses only the best possible tools to accomplish her
task! If you look closely, you will also see a 55 gallon drum with an
air tight seal where we will be storing the bulk of the feed.
Okie Campbell Clan: Chicken Feed
- 2 part golden wheat berries (50#) $40.50
- 2 part white wheat berries (50#) $40.50
Carbohydrates 32g 11% - 44%
Dietary Fiber 24% - 96%
Protein 11% - 44%
Calcium 2% - 8%
Iron 8% - 32%
- 2 part sunflower seeds (50#) $62.16
Fat 110% - 220%
Potassium 25% - 50%
Carbs 9% - 18%
Fiber 48% - 96%
Protein 58% - 116%
Vitamin 1% - 2%
Calcium 10% - 20%
Vitamin C 3% - 6%
Iron 41% - 82%
Vitamin B-6 95% - 190%
- 2 part oat groats (50#) $19.38
Vitamin B-6 5%
-3 part yellow split peas (75#) $50.37
Fat 2.3% - 4.6%
Potassium 55% - 110%
Carbs 39% - 78%
Fiber 200% - 400%
Protein 96% - 192%
Vitamin A 5% - 10%
Calcium 10% - 20%
Vitamin C 5% - 10%
Iron 48% - 96%
Vitamin B-6 15% - 30%
Magnesium 56% - 112%
- 2 part whole corn (50#) $31.08
Fat 12% - 24%
Sodium 2% - 4%
Potassium 13% - 26%
Carbs 41% - 82%
Protein 32% - 64%
Calcium 1% - 2%
Iron 25% - 50%
Vitamin B-6 50% - 100%
Magnesium 52% - 104%
- 1 part hulled barley (25#) $15.20
Vitamin B-6 30%
- 1 part raw peanuts (30#) $39.64
Vitamin B-6 25%
- 0.2 parts food grade diatomaceous earth (5#) $10
silicon, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and other trace minerals (this supports healthy heart, liver, bone function, as well as a natural pesticide/cleanse)
Total Cost: $308.83
Price Per Pound: $0.80
Our hens will eat, on average, 4oz a day.... that averages out to $0.20 per day to feed them.
I should also point out, that we will be offering free-choice oyster shell and free-choice grit weekly, and at the hens discretion... I will be more familiar with the amount they will need/want once they start a regular routine and diet.
Chickens need calcium galore in order to produce eggs! Why? Because it takes calcium to make egg shells! In fact, picture this... for every egg shell created, the chicken would have to have consumed the calcium equivalent of 2 1/2 egg shells; just to produce the one! So if you do end up making your own homemade feed (like mine, or one similar) make sure you substitute or add oyster shell in a bowl or a pile on the ground... something/somehow they're able to access it easily and eat it at will! Some people even crush the left-over egg shells that most would throw away, and feed their chickens the left-over egg shells, instead of oyster shell. I know several people who do this, and it works for them! Just make sure you crush it in small enough pieces the chickens won't recognize it's an egg shell, but large enough pieces they can peck and eat it... about the size of a pea or corn kernel should do it.
Did you also know that chickens don't have teeth? They need a type a special type of gravel-ish looking thing, tiny stones that they eat; called "Grit". (Grit and Sand are not the same thing!!!! Gravel and Grit are NOT the same thing!!) This is especially important if you are feeding them whole grains and seeds. The 'grit' grinds their food down into small enough pieces for them to digest. If your chickens forage and roam your farm or backyard freely, they usually don't need grit as often as some others might. Take mine for example... since they are new to us, and we to them, I want them to associate their run & coop with safety - so that by time we do let them out to forage and roam our yard, they will be accustomed to going back in at night time.... but until this time happens, and until they are free to roam for natural grit themselves - they will need me to supply the grit for them. So please keep this in mind, as you assess whether homemade feed is right for you, and right for your chickens.
Well, that's all for now! I am hoping to spend a good amount of time with our hens tomorrow (today I spent most of the morning and afternoon running errands and completing different tasks). I am tired, sore... and excited for what tomorrow may bring... Shalom, from The Okie Campbell Clan!