Find out the benefits to making your own chicken feed. Learn how to make chicken feed by sourcing your own grains and ingredients to put together the perfect recipe for your flock!
I am not a veterinarian nor am I an animal nutritionist. What I am sharing is based on my own experience and research, but please do your own research!
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How to Make Chicken Feed
In this video, I talk about why and how to make your own chicken feed. There are some benefits and also some drawbacks to making your own chicken feed. Check out the recipe I use for my laying hens.
Benefits of Making Chicken Feed
Save money by making your chicken feed. Buying large quantities of grains and other ingredients can be more cost effective than buying bags of premade food.
Know exactly what's in your chickens' food. This is a big one for me. I like to know where my ingredients are from and know exactly what I am feeding my chickens.
Less waste. By finding out what your chickens will and will not eat, you can customize your mix to suit their tastes.
Drawbacks of Making Chicken Feed
It can be time consuming to make your own feed. I have to make chicken feed at least once a week, and sometimes more. This can take a pretty large chunk of time.
Sourcing ingredients can be difficult. I was able to find a feed store in my area that will order organic grains for me from New Country Organics. You might have to do some research to see if you can order grains online or from a feed store in your area. If you have a small enough flock, you may even be able to buy from the bulk aisle at the grocery store.
The Right Recipe for Homemade Chicken Feed
I am sharing a recipe that I used based on what my chickens like to eat. I feel like it has a good mixture of vitamins, minerals, protein and nutrients for my flock. When making chicken feed, laying hens will need at least 16% protein. Chickens usually start laying between 16 - 20 weeks. Before they start laying, they need a higher percentage of protein. Broiler chickens and other poultry have different protein requirements as well.
Feed Calculator for Making Chicken Feed
I found a great resource at Garden Betty's website for determining protein percentages. It's an easy to use feed calculator where you can plug in the different types of grains that you want to use to see the amounts you need as well as the cost of the food! You just have to weigh each grain and ingredient and enter it into the spreadsheet. It has been a real life saver for me. No math calculations are required. Here's the link to the post where you can access the calculator.
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup milo
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- 1 cup wheat
- 1 cup barley
- ½ cup fish meal
- 1 cup ground peas
- 1 Tbsp kelp meal
- optional sprinkle of dried oregano and garlic powder
Add all ingredients together.
Feed about ¼ pound of food per chicken per day.
Make sure to provide fresh, clean water.
Also provide free choice grit for digestion and oyster shell for extra calcium.
Switch out 1 cup for 1 part and adjust amounts accordingly. Example: 1 part could equal 1 quart. Then ½ cup would equal ½ quart, etc. Or 1 part could equal 1 pound. Then ½ cup would equal ½ pound, etc.
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If you don't have time or the availability to make your own chicken feed, check out my favorite pre-mixed feeds:
Chicken Waterer Make sure to provide your chickens with plenty of fresh, clean water at all times.
Chicken Grit Chickens need grit to help digest their food since they don't have teeth.
Oyster Shell This provides extra calcium for strong egg shells.
Vitamix Blender Use this to grind up ingredients that your chickens won't eat whole.
Kitchen Scale Weigh ingredients for accuracy in the feed calculator.
Grains and other ingredients: