Saturday, February 04, 2006

Chicken Feed Recipe

Here is that chicken feed recipe that I mentioned in the previous post. I was going to edit it into the last post but I changed my mind and decided to make a brand new one instead.

It is a two part system.

Part One
Mash, mixed at this ratio;
40# wheat bran
20# middlings (I have no idea what
middlings are)
20# corn meal
40# alfalfa meal
10# fish meal (replaces

soy bean)

Part Two
Grain Mix
60# wheat
30# cracked or rolled corn
(we use rolled corn since
it is cheaper)
15# rolled oats
15# barley(have been noticing
that they leave behind alot
of this)

We feed these mixes separately. The mash can be fed wet or dry. We have tried it both ways. I think they like it better wet, since it is a little on the dry powdery side otherwise.

I really don't know what the long term effects will be on our flock with these mixes. Right now they seem to be doing well. They are laying good and look good. Make note that these rations do not include sufficient mineral matter, such as oyster shell. We supplement with oyster shell to keep the shells solid and thick.

These mixes came from an old 1912 book called THE POULTRYMAN'S HANDBOOK.



Blogger Emily said...

Oh, thanks for posting this, Russ! I looked up middlings on Google and apparently it is what's left over from the wheat after it is milled. So the consumer gets the nice fluffy stick to your insides white flour and the chickens get the nutritious stuff. :) Now, is this recipe for laying hens only or also meat poultry? And what about chicks? Forgive my ignorance but I believe you did invite questions! Have a blessed Lord's Day!

2:27 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Your welcome Emily. I'm glad you looked up middlings, I haven't had a chance to look into it. Thanks!

The mash recipe is for laying hens. The other mix is a good all around feed. This is our first attempt to give our chickens better feed. We do give food scraps but, we don't generate enough for them.

I wouldn't say the mash is for laying hens only. But, it is a ration that the laying hens do well on. Chickens are scavengers and will eat just about anything. In the summer they eat a surprising amount of grass and bugs. When they are able to eat grass again in the spring you can tell an immediate difference in the eggs. The yokes turn a much deeper orangish color. I am told this is from the carotene in the grass.

We have always used medicated chick starter for our chicks and a grower ration for our young meat birds. But, I hope to get off of commercial feed completely before long. Whatever did they do in the 1880's? Must not have been very many chickens back then, uh? I mean without medicated feed and all that. We have been doing what everyone else does, until recently.

Having our feed mixed is an upgrade from the commercial stuff, but it still isn't anywhere near organic. We have no way of knowing what went into the grains we are buying. Probably a lot of pesticides and artificial fertilizer.

I don't consider your question's ignorant in the least bit. :) I'm more than glad to share the things we have learned and are experimenting with. Even after almost 8 years we are still learning all the time and have our own questions about how to do things.

If anyone has any suggestion’s about good feed for chickens I would love to here about it.


8:00 PM  
Blogger HomesteadHerbs said...

OK! I have questions too! ;-)

Where are you purchasing your ingredients?

I was just talking to my neighbor about mixing feed, and they claim that there is absolutely no organic feed, or ingredients to be had around our area! Must have to do with being Texas A&M area! It's not even a matter of price, there just isn't any to purchase!

Sounds like starting an organic feed store would be quite an enterprise!

9:07 AM  
Blogger RL said...

Homestead Herbs,

We purchase our feed at area feed mills. When I say area, I mean the closest one is about 60 miles away.

There are 3 that we alternate between depending if we are going their way with the truck or not. One of them does deliver, for a fee and we usually go with that one.

There used to be a grain mill in Rhinelander once upon a time ago. The building is still there but, it is just a regular feed store now. They sell just commercial animal feed and for an exorbitant amount of money. We can buy rolled corn at the mills for half what it costs to buy cracked corn from them, which is commercially packaged.

I have an idea it would be tough to track down farmers that are growing their grain organically. It would take a lot of leg work. But, you might be on to something.

Hope that answered your question. :)


8:57 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Our local United Cooperative has a feed mill that will custom mix any feed formula you want, either with grain you bring in or grain and legume seeds from their storage facility. When i grow oats, I take in my oat which they grind and add ground soybean to it to bring it to the right nutritional level. They also add salt and minerals. They will leave out any medication if you wish.

I take in my own used feed bags which they fill this saves the value of the bag. They otherwise charge you $0.60 or $1.00 a bag.

Some old time farmers in the area have their own grinding and mixing facilities for feed. This might be another place to get custom feed made.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Although this post is a little old by today's blogging standards it is timeless IMHO. Here is a link to where someone can download the 1912 book you discuss in your post for free (and legally). If you look on the left side of the page you'll see multiple download formats.

Good day.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Ellen said...

Joe-thank you, thank you for the link to the book.

I've been doing research on chicken feed as I am wanting to make my own organic. I have come across some info stating to use whole corn and grains, the nutritional value last longer and there is less waste of feed.

I wonder how much space you would need to grow some of the feed for them?

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks ever so much for taking the time to set up your blog and help the rest of us learn our way! You are a blessing- Linda

11:37 AM  

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