DIY Poultry Feed: Making it at Home
Many people who raise poultry birds have difficulties obtaining proper feed. Stores selling proper feed are far away from some people, others just don’t want to have to pay for it. Many people don’t want to have to buy it just so they can be more self sufficient. Making or growing your own chicken feed is possible and may be an option you want to look into. It can also be much healthier or more specific to your own birds’ needs.
One helpful component is a large pasture. If it is healthy and consistent enough, and the coop can be moved to a new area on a regular basis, birds can often forage enough to stay healthy without you providing feed. Even if not, it will likely be a useful supplement to the feed you provide. This is a very natural and healthy diet for poultry birds.
If you don’t have access to a proper pasture, or in areas with heavy winters that will affect the pasture, you can make or grow feed that can work as well as or even better than store-bought feed.
Many feed recipes are out there, and they can vary wildly. High protein diets are essential to growth; without as much protein, the birds will be smaller. However, it is important to find a balance between various nutrients.
Finding a suitable recipe may require some experimentation. When you do find a proper one, it may require some alteration.
Alfalfa is an essential ingredient in most DIY poultry feed recipes.
Some essential ingredients include alfalfa, wheat, and other grains. Many experienced farmers and ‘do-it-yourself’ poultry raisers advise that you do not include soybeans — try field peas instead. Most recipes should include greens for nutrition and ‘grit’ to aid digestion. Salt and meat scraps are also common ingredients. Often, specific nutritional supliments are included. You may also want to add suppliments to help balance the diet or benefit specific qualities of the birds. Remember to provide good variety and balance. Grains should be bought as whole grain then ground coarsely or ‘cracked’.
After you begin giving your birds the new feed, watch them closely. Keep an eye out for disease or delayed growth and development. These may be signs of improper nutrition or an imbalanced diet.
Remember that creating your own poultry feed is an ongoing process. It make take some time to get it right, and, even once you find a way that works, you might be able to improve it.
This link offers more useful information.