what do you think?

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what do you think?

Post by tree68 on November 13th 2008, 8:19 pm

11/13/08 03:30 PM XploreOrganics said... in BYC
" Interesting..."

Our local farmer's co-op ran out of chicken feed so we were scrambling to try an make the cheapest organic feed from stuff at our grocery store. The cheapest organic human grain here being oats.

We loaded the feed bucket with oats, black oil sunflower seeds, milet, wheat flakes, spelt flakes, flax seeds, alfalfa, oyster shell and grit along with some puffed organic corn and puffed kamut. Well the puffed corn is like chiken catnip (we call it chicken-crack) they go absoultely nuts for it!!! The feed is about 50% oats.

Anyway, one of my hens who was loosing weight and generally looked ill has perked right up! Her feathers look shinier, she is full of energy and gaining weight again after just two weeks on this new mix. Her runny poops have returned to normal. Everyone else looks fantastic too and they are all laying up a storm. Even Black, who has not layed an egg in months, is laying daily again.

Makes me wonder about the oats vs corn/wheat as the primary feed grain.

Just an observation


what do you all think? tree Very Happy
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Re: what do you think?

Post by noend on November 13th 2008, 9:18 pm

Could be..I give mine a couple of hands full of wild bird feed every day, and they always look good, and lay everyday.
The bird feed has a lot of that stuff in it.

But my girls also free range most of the time too.
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Re: what do you think?

Post by WildCherry on November 14th 2008, 10:02 am

personaly i find the feed store feed to be more of a servivle food. meaning it will keep your birds alive but not healthy.

i always had some on hand in the back ground for my birds but i didnt expect them to eat only that.

i to used to mix my oun foods for them. useing much of the same thing they have in that list up there.

oats, black sunflower. weat, grains of all kinds ( what ever was on sale at the time) i also added in fresh dryed fruits and vegies. and a bag or 2 of parrot food. for vit and minerals. and 1-2 times a week i offerd them yogert. and can of fish or cat food. most the time they eat the cat food as they felt like it. as it was always out for the cats any way.

chickens are meat eaters. they do need that extra protin. they also need fresh fruits and veggies. most the time i offerd them table scraps regardless of what it was. (unless the meat was very fatty) as the fats are not so good for them.

as a treat they got melee worms 1 a week as well.

and for sure 1 a month grated carrots..... this will save you BIG BUCKS on worming your flock... as the carrots will keep worms a way.

as for grit or oster shells i would advise you do NOT mix this in with your birds feed. these should always be in a side dish avalable at the will of the bird.

grit is useless wast of moneys if your birds free range or walk on soil. they will pick the rocks on their own. why buy something they can get off the land free any way?

oster shell is good to have on hand. it helps with the shells of the eggs your bird will lay. BUT to much is not good eather.... as the shells may become to think or bumpy. and if you offer your birds cheap yogert. they are geting calseum any way. they will eat dairy just fine. just give it in moderation. the yogert also will help them digest their feed.

if you see red blood on your eggs then you need to add in more black sunflower seed to the feed. the oils in the seeds lube up the birds trac and make it easyer to lay and less painful. it also helps to heal any small tears or cracks in the birds trac that may already be there.

so IMHO. NO the feed grains are not proper diet for your flock. and for a healty flock you do need to offer in other foods.

and really honestly i didnt find the cost to much if any differant at all in the way of compairing the home made meals to the feed store bags. i never had a huge flock oy 24 birds at my most. the prices of the 50bl bag of feed at that time where just under 19 dollars... and i would have to buy 2 maybe 3 a month depending on the time of year. soooo about 40 60 buckish a month..... where as with the home made. you just keep addin oddball things ot the baral as they come on sale. i found to start our baral (say 30gal trash can full) would cost you about 40 bucks in odd ball grains to fill it up the first time. but as you see sale on things llike oatmeal or cheerios or puffed rice ( 99 cents a bag) or fresh fruits and veggies (food dehidrater comes in very handy for this) you will really only spend about 5-10 buck a week adding in those odd ball ingredeance. you just simply pick up the sale idems as your shopin at the food store for your family... so as they are eating the foods your always refillin the baral... true some weeks they might find more rice or more oats in their feed pan. but others maybe more fruits or veggies. so it works out over time. and as you can see the price realy is not all that differant

maybe cuz they dont need to eat as much of the home made feed. as it fills them up more and gives them better health. where as the feed store corn is more of what we called "chicken candy" full of useless sugars

oo edited to add

CHERRIOS. try tossin a box of them out ther to your birds.. and watch them impove on their heath dam near befor your very eyes. that ceral is fantastic in your birds diets. cheap and healthy. lol

sorry keep thinkin of other stuffs to add in here so its like edited a zillon times.......

any way to many people just think a bag of feed is just fine for their flocks. and so sadly many flocks live off just that a lone.

truth is chickens have a insane servivabilty instint. meanin they have ways to live through many tradgitys. for very long prieids of time.

many have reported a missing hen for 30 and up to 60 full days only to find her stuck under some box or buck in the barn.... very much a live and well.

they are able to go in to a tranc like state and slow their body functions down for months if needed to servive. you see this tipicly on a broody hen. where you have to force the bird off the nest to eat or poo. ot they would never move.

so just cuz your birds are up and walkin around and not showing any signs of bad health DOES NOT MEAN they are "healty" its our responsabitly to offer them good health. one way is to simply offer better feeds.

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Re: what do you think?

Post by noend on November 14th 2008, 11:03 am

Wow mommy, great post...lots of good info...
I guess I'm luckier than some, and so is my girls. I'm able to let them run most of the time, cos I'm usually out and about where I can keep an eye on them. And we have plenty of fruit trees, with fallen fruit. They love the apples and pears, but they don't like the peaches. And I throw out all the veggies that I don't use out of the garden. They love tomatoes. Watermelon is their favorite. They strip them right down to the shell.
I just scatter grit around in their pen, so they can have it if they want it.
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Re: what do you think?

Post by WildCherry on November 14th 2008, 11:28 am

lmao wotermellon OMGOSH i had ducks that woudl go quakers over that stuff. lmao the hole frunt of them coverd in red stains on their feathes. looked like a bloody mess. lmao


i never got grit for my birds EXCEPT my house hens. as they didnt go out side much.

as for the coop floors one thing i found out was....

if yoru like me and you clean out the coop all the way to the dirt atlest onec a month. and then cover it with fresh straw bedding.......

may i sugest spending the extra 5 bucks on a bale of alfalfa hay? lmao.

its healty for the birds and will save you about 30 min of spreding time. they go crazy for it.

i would just scrap out the old hey and toss it to the compost pile. and then CAREFULY (i say carefuly cuz your birds will be all of a suden phoco preditors) place down the alfalfa hay bale and clip the ties off. then back off the suden formation of feathers and dust. lmao . watch to make sure they dont smother or barry one of them selfs in the leafs. but other wise they will do all the spreding work for you in their coop.

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Re: what do you think?

Post by noend on November 14th 2008, 4:19 pm

Great idea with the hay, but I'd have to do some planning..I have a long piece of metal under their roost, and I clean it every day, so they don't have to smell it at night.
Do you put the hay in where they sleep? Or out in the pen where they spend the day?
If I put it in where they sleep all the poop would mix with it, and I wouldn't be able to clean it out all the time. Wouldn't that be a really bad smell pretty quick?

I'll take some pictures so you can see what I'm talking about
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Re: what do you think?

Post by WildCherry on November 15th 2008, 12:02 am

na hun na just toss it all over the place. they know better then to eat their poo poo. and the hey will work like beding you just toss it a round a bit every few days the smell is obsorbed by hey. and it smels sweet if you keep it up. if it starts to smell a little musty.. its time to move it out and toss in fresh stuff.

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Re: what do you think?

Post by tree68 on November 15th 2008, 3:39 am

is it possible to grow alfalfa? is it easy to grow?

my chooks loves silverbeet and puha (native weed Maoris eat to clean out themselves)... makes egg yoke nice and yellow/orange.
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Re: what do you think?

Post by noend on November 15th 2008, 9:45 am

Thanks mommy, I'm going to give it a try. They won't be out much this winter, so it may keep the dust down in their coop.

Tree, you probably could grow it, but I don't think you could raise enough to do much good..It would probably be better to just buy it.
A bale of hay here costs about $5, and it goes a long way.
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