If you have chickens at some point your thoughts should turn to homemade chicken feed. Chickens are healthiest and happiest when allowed to free-range and forage for worms, bugs and greens. You will have to supplement their foraging however, especially in the winter months. You do not have to resort to a bought feed, however. These ‘junk food’ pellets can be substituted with whole grain, organic, non-GMO feeds. Here are 12 homemade chicken feed recipes to give your birds an organic diet that will benefit them and you:
1- Whole Grain 17% Protein Chicken Feed Formula
This chicken feed will fill a ten pound feeder. In addition, chickens are provided with free choice oyster shells and grit. These are essential to chickens, who need not only the protein but also calcium from the oyster shells and grit to aid digestion. Another healthy recipe for feeding chickens can be found at:
2- Organic Chicken Feed To Source From Health Food Shops Or Order Online
In a feed recipe that uses a combination of hard grains and seeds, the aim is to choose so that the overall balance of proteins is correct for your chickens. You can source grains from health food shops or buy them online. Growing chicken feed may be out of your reach but it is often possible to source grains easily.
3- Bulk Bought Organic Grain Mix For Chickens
If you bulk buy grains then you can make a cheap chicken food which really can rival store bought feed on cost and keep your chickens healthy. You will find another recipe here:
4- Chick Starter Feed Recipe
Chicks need plenty of protein to grow. Fish meal in this recipe boosts the protein intake for baby chicks. Chicks will also need grains to be ground at first and will need a balance of nutrients tailored to them. Find one chick starter feed recipe at Whole Fed Homestead.
5- A General Guideline For A Custom Chicken Feed Mix
When creating your own custom chicken feed mix, you should first work out a formula or general guideline that covers the basic necessities of a poultry diet and then add in a number of other items to make sure that all the nutritional bases are covered.
6- A Flexible Formula For Chicken Feed
Some grain mix formulas require you to mill your own grains but not all grain mix formulae have to be milled. The mix at the website below is an example of a flexible formula that does not require home milling equipment. If you want an organic, non-GMO mix then you will have to try to source organic corn and wheat in your local area.
7- A Soy and Corn-Free Chicken Feed Formula
Many chicken owners are realizing the importance of moving to a soy and corn free chicken food. Soy contains potent phytoestrogens that are passed to eggs, most soy is also GM, contains damaging chemicals and may cause long term health problems. Corn is like chicken chocolate, with low nutritional benefit and also, much of it is not organic and chemicals can pass into the food chain. To get some of the ingredients cheaper, you could ask around for leftover grains from local mills.
8- Homemade Chicken Feed For Layers
The recipe on the following site is for laying hens and is provided in addition to kitchen scraps and oyster shells. Chicken owners will need to consider whether hens are kept as layers or for meat when choosing a feed recipe. Making your own chicken feed allows you to control the process.
9- Another Soy and Corn Free Feed For Healthier Chickens
There are a number of different recipes that conscientious and ethical chicken keepers can use for their homemade feed. Here is another alternative to commercial chicken food, with all its unhealthy and potentially damaging ingredients:
10- Summer and Winter Feed Recipes
One of the great things about concocting your own feed mix is that you can alter it depending on the season. Some owners choose to alter the chicken feed throughout the year, changing the balance of ingredients to help chickens cope with warm weather in the summer and cold weather in the winter.
11- Another Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe
The key to creating a successful mix is to educate yourself about the nutritional requirements of your birds and how they can be met. A number of different recipes can be found on forums like backyardchickens.com.
12- Twenty Five Pound Organic and Non-GMO Chicken Feed
It is a good idea to try to bulk buy ingredients and make up a larger mix in one go as this will usually work out cheaper than trying to make up small batches more frequently. You can find one homemade feed mix for a 25 pound amount here.
Develop your own, organic, non-GMO chicken feed and you will have healthier chickens and healthier eggs to eat. By taking control of what goes into chicken feed, you will also be making sure that you do not contribute to global environmental problems and will be taking one more step towards a sustainable and ethical future.