The fastest way to a healthy and productive flock of chickens is to feed them properly. A balanced diet specifically formulated for the type of chickens you are raising -- whether young pullets, layers or meat chickens -- improves their health. This improves their productivity. It takes a full acre of land to support two birds without supplementation, so the chances are good your free range chickens are lacking in some dietary areas. Cut instances of disease and malnutrition -- and keep close tabs on everything that goes into your flock -- by producing your own feed.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Corn, 2 parts
- Soft white-wheat, 3 parts
- Hard-red winter-wheat, 3 parts
- Diatomaceous Earth, 1/2 part
- Hulled barley, 1 part
- Oat groats, 1 part
- Sunflower seeds, 2 parts
- Peanuts, 1/2 part
- Millet, 3 parts
- Wheat bran, 1 part
- Split peas, 1 part
- Lentils, 1 part
- Quinoa, 1 part
- Sesame seeds, 1 part
- Kelp, 1/2 part
- 5 gallon buckets with lids
Set aside an area for the production of your poultry feed. If you have a flock of more than a dozen birds you will be required to mix a great deal of feed; a clean utility area equipped with a sink and counterspace is helpful. Store your ingredients in locales safe from bugs or rodents. An old freezer or refrigerator works well.
Purchase organic ingredients whenever possible. This protects your poultry from pesticides. Kelp is difficult to find in organic form, but is not necessary if everything else is organic.
Place all the ingredients -- in the correct parts -- into a container large enough to allow mixing. Clean, dry and sterile 5-gallon buckets with secure lids are preferred.
Mix the ingredients with your hands. Mix again before feeding, as some of the ingredients may settle to the bottom.
Tips and warnings
- Adjust the ingredients to suit your individual flock. Add more protein for young flocks, or more starches for meat chickens.
- Make only the amount of feed you would use in a few days to ensure freshness. Many nutrients are lost as ingredients age.
- Never use feed if mould is present.
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