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tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 10:10 am    Post subject: Chicken feed  Reply with quote    

Is it possible to grow your own chicken feed? I'm thinking sunflowers, amaranth, flax etc

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This goes back to the question of can you make your own layers food.

If you know the composition of the stuff you grow there are details for fat, protein, fibre etc for different types of chicken so it would be possible.

You may have trouble getting the hens to eat a balanced diet unless you mill the ingredients and make your own mash. Through a handful of sunflower seeds and ours go mad for them and would leave most other stuff.

I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who does do this.

organic john



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 95
Location: Raunds, Northants
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 05 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I grow all my own wheat and barly for chicken feed

the rest they find from scratching aroud in the feilds

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 05 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

So it's just wheat, barley and whatever else they find?

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 05 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think they can certainly live very merrily on grains, greens, and bugs, plus grit to grind the lot up (including calcium to replace that lost through laying). But...

The question is how productive they are and whether it has any effect on their overall health? We've followed all the advice we can find...so it's a base of layers' pellets with grain, and supplemented by veg and foraging.

But ours spend a lot of time in a relatively enclosed space, as Organic John's seem to be much more free range, I imagine they can find a more varied diet. But I'd be really interested to hear a bit more about them - what breeds do you keep, how long do you keep them for, and how productive are they (or are they meat birds?).

Hope that's not too nosey!

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What's in layers pellets?

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
What's in layers pellets?


The Allen&Page organic pellets contain: wheat, soya, calcium carbonate, alfalfa, peas, wheat feed(whatever that is), linseed, natural vitamins, something I can't read, calcium phosphate, sea salt and marigold leaves.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Looks like fat and protein, with a bit of sodium and calcium thrown in. So I reckon a grains + oily seed (sunflower, flax) diet would be near enough complete and home growable..

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

When I have a batch of cockerels to fatten up, I use my own patent mix. This is based on red lentils, supplemented with veg peelings, bread and other scraps, any surpluses from the garden, gone-off milk or yoghurt. I boil it all up in my jam pan, making enough for several days at a time. It smells vile, but the chaps love it!

It is very cheap, and combined with grass, dandelion leaves and wild sorrel (which they LOVE and we have lots of), it all makes for very tasty, slow-grown birds.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Very interesting, thanks guys.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How long do you keep them until they er, fulfil their destiny, Judith?

I don't know how true it is that layer's pellets are required for laying birds to be properly productive. It's certainly convenient, but it's not cheap.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
Looks like fat and protein, with a bit of sodium and calcium thrown in. So I reckon a grains + oily seed (sunflower, flax) diet would be near enough complete and home growable..


Do you have plans, Tahir?

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
Looks like fat and protein, with a bit of sodium and calcium thrown in. So I reckon a grains + oily seed (sunflower, flax) diet would be near enough complete and home growable..


I am sure you are right, Tahir. I don't believe everything the supermarkets tell me I should be eating, so why believe exactly what the feed merchants tell us? In a couple of hours in the veg garden with me yesterday, the chooks probably took in twice as much protein (in the form of worms and other bugs) than they get from their layers' pellets!

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs wrote:
Do you have plans, Tahir?


I'll put a post up "What did you do at the weekend?"

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs wrote:
How long do you keep them until they er, fulfil their destiny, Judith?


They hang around to about 20 weeks or so (or until they start to fight each other, crow or get out and hassle the ladies!)

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