There comes a time in a chicken owners life, as they scatter pellets or feed round the coop, when they begin thinking to themselves-‘what’s actually within this chicken feed?’ The science of producing chicken feed is actually quite a sophisticated procedure and it is not as straightforward as adding a few different kinds of grains into an oversized laundry basket and giving it a shake. If you are the type of person who desires their hens to be happy, healthy and productive layers, it is crucial that their feed is top notch. However, in the event that you bravely wish to research, experiment and expand your understanding of poultry feed by making your own, it is important that you take notice of a few crucial things .
Which are the cornerstones of a hens diet?
Like people, chickens require a balanced, nutritional diet. The five cornerstones of a Wholesome chickens’ diet are:
- Water: chickens drink nearly double the amount of feed they consume – so be sure they have access to fresh water at all times.
- Protein: to help them develop, grow, produce feathers and lay eggs- protein is essentially the building blocks for everything we love about chickens.
- Carbohydrates: great for energy, keeps their bodies active.
- Fat: provides chickens the required energy increase, helps spread micronutrients throughout the entire body – also it makes the food taste good.
- Minerals and vitamins: these are like the small things you don’t think that makes life run easily – you may just realise they’re lacking when something goes really wrong.
Essentially, with the exclusion of water, your own chicken can get most of their vital nourishment from a well-balanced chicken feed. Keep these five points in mind if you’re planning on creating your own chicken feed, as every element of a hens diet is equally as essential as another.
Why create your own chicken feed?
Many chicken lovers are caring environmentalists at heart- so it only seems natural that they wish to understand what their beloved chickens are eating. Making your own poultry feed is a great way to make sure that what your lovely chickens are pecking at is natural, healthy and prepared with love. Additionally, some poultry enthusiasts are committed to’living green’, and preparing their own quality poultry feed is an excellent approach to produce their lifestyle a little bit more sustainable!
These products are often created to ensure that the chickens continue to stay healthy and happy lives, which often results in more delicious eggs to the owners. So, rest assured as long as you’re buying quality poultry feed, it’s likely that your chickens will be consuming the very important nutrients that their bodies require. To put it differently, store bought chicken feed is not the equivalent of eating fast food for every meal- many are exceptionally great for your flock.
How do I switch from store bought to organic homemade chicken feed?
It is important that you don’t spring your brand new poultry feed in your flock without giving them time to adjust. A fantastic idea would be to gradually integrate the brand new chicken feed you have developed into the chickens’ diet over a few weeks and track how they respond to it.
What You’re Going to have to watch over this time is:
Changes for their own eggs: has egg production increased or diminished? Has the quality of the eggs changed?
Changes in their droppings: are the hens’ droppings regular? Do they have diarrhea? Could they be constipated?
How do they respond to this food: Why are they more excited at feeding time? Are they unwilling to eat the new feed? Are there components of the chicken feed, like certain grains, that they’re leaving to one side?
It’s imperative that you spend extra time with your flock over the span of altering their chicken feed, simply to be sure that your chickens are responding positively to their new menu. Over the course of these few weeks you should make alterations to a fresh poultry feed to ensure that their diet is not out of proportion. For example, if their eggs are malformed, it’s probably a good idea to make sure that you include more calcium in their feed. Another issue might be that their feather development slows or they may start moulting suddenly. This might be a sign that your home made chicken feed does not have the right blend of proteins. In a nutshell, make tweaks, and make certain to do your own research.
So long as you gradually incorporate your chicken feed into your flocks diet, it is not likely you can inadvertently cause any injury to your beloved hens.
Where Do I Start?
Broadly speaking the practice of producing your own chicken feed is comparatively simple. Provided that you have some airtight containers for storage and a bigger container to mix the feed , it’s not likely that you’ll encounter much trouble. Just ensure that the components are fresh and edible and that you have mixed all of the components through thoroughly. Other than that, the way of combining your chicken feed is relatively straight forward.
The tricky part however is deciding about the ingredients- the combinations are endless! Below are two recipe guides from other poultry aficionados to give you a good idea of how to produce your own chicken feed.
4 parts oat groats
4 components black oil sunflower seeds
2 parts soft white wheat berries
2 components kamut
2 parts millet
2 components whole corn
1 part lentils
1 piece sesame seeds
1 part flax seeds
1/2 part brewer’s yeast
1/4 part kelp granules
Free-choice oyster shells
2 parts entire corn
3 parts soft white wheat
1/2 part Diatomaceous Earth (not the type you put in your pool)
1 piece oat groats
2 component sunflower seeds
1/2 part peanuts
1 part wheat bran
1 part split peas
1 part lentils
1 part quinoa
1 piece sesame seeds
1/2 part kelp
Producing your own chicken feed can be an enjoyable and satisfying experiment for you and your chickens. It is important however that you’re ready to spend the time and energy necessary to ensure your marvelous mixture is received well by your own flock. In the end, as long as you are committed to knowing the dietary needs of your chickens, as well as having the ability to dedicate sufficient time into monitoring your chickens’ reaction to the new feed, then you should be able to create your very own unique, lovely and organic chicken feed shortly enough.