Farming forum: Poultry feed survey

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Name: Catherine
NW Illinois (Zone 5a)
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jerseyridgearts
May 25, 2016 9:26 PM CST
I recently started keeping chickens again and want to find a better layer feed. Currently giving a farm and fleet 17% crumble supplemented with foraging and oyster shell. And food grade DE

What are you using for basic feed? Supplements? Home grown?

I'm planning on switching out my galvanized waterer for plastic so I can use organic vinegar this summer.

Other options? Thank You!
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
May 25, 2016 10:02 PM CST
How many chickens do you have? I have a small flock of 8, so it does not make much economic sense to try to mix my own feed (as enticing as that is to me). I fear I would lose to the mice... I have found that the cheaper packaged feed tends to get moldy and/or the birds don't seem to like it as well, so I just go with Purina. I give them oyster shell, and my hens free range regularly, which cuts back on purchased feed. Toss out a cup or so of scratch every morning. Also throw my weedings into the yard which keeps them busy.

I have a 5 gallon galvanized waterer in the main coop, but also supplement with a 2 gallon plastic waterer in the yard. I add a capful of apple cider vinegar and a clove of garlic in the plastic waterer, and that one seems to be the one that is always empty. Not sure if it is more convenient for the hens, or if they like the supplements (?)

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Catherine
NW Illinois (Zone 5a)
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jerseyridgearts
May 25, 2016 11:35 PM CST
I've kept chickens previously but it's been several years. My new flock is 5 red stars soon to be joined by 6 barred rocks. I also talked with someone who raises Icelandic and am intrigued.
I will try to stay under 20 birds... *Blush*
I've been told that chickens prefer the ACV water so I'm going to try it. Still debating feed. Once they're acclimated they will free range plus get kitchen scraps. I did see a permaculture video about a chicken composted feed , now can't find it. Supposedly works with small flocks too.

By the way - great 'chicken love' avatar!
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
May 25, 2016 11:59 PM CST
Thanks, JerseyRidge! This is one of 4 hatchlings, all grown and laying now.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
May 26, 2016 6:53 AM CST
What is "chicken composted feed"? It sounds like something made from your flock casualties!

I have a large flock; I try to stay under 100. I don't have time to make their feed and find they do well on name brand layer feeds. However, they also are on pasture all day and forage for a large percentage of their meals - at least in good weather.
Porkpal
Name: Catherine
NW Illinois (Zone 5a)
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jerseyridgearts
May 26, 2016 1:36 PM CST
that's a lot of birds, Porkpal!

The permaculture chicken keeping doesn't compost birds but does use nearly everything else. Justin Rhodes has developed/built on a permaculture method that he says reduces feed costs to zero and produces 80 yds of compost each week....I'm going to see if I can try it as I rebuild my flock.

here's a link to his website: http://abundantpermaculture.com/
Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
The House on the Hill Gardens
Roses Butterflies Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Peonies
Sedums Hostas Cottage Gardener Echinacea Clematis Irises
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Shannon
May 26, 2016 1:47 PM CST
Very interesting reading everyone Thank you. I am planing on getting Dorklings next year so I am trying to learn now

Question Whistling Why do y'all give them ACV in their water ? The garlic we did give to our pigeons once a week . But,
how often do chickens need it ? I was told the Purina is one of the better chicken feeds . Is that what you are using ?
The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
May 26, 2016 2:59 PM CST
I've read that both vinegar and garlic will help boost their immune system, and the garlic may help with internal parasites. I haven't noticed any particular difference, but I've also never had any disease or bug problems with my hens, so nothing really to compare it to. Just makes sense to me and an inexpensive preventative measure. I put one capful of vinegar and a clove of garlic in 2 gallons of water.

I feed with Purina. The other choices my feed store offers are a less expensive brand and then several high end brands. I find it laughable to give chickens a 'vegetarian' feed (I'm fairly certain they would eat worms and bugs over plants if given the choice), and found the cheaper brand to be inferior. So...middle of the road for me. Plus plenty of time free ranging. Dandelions seem to be a favorite, and while they do kick dirt around and nibble on my plants, I haven't had any major damage. But, I only have 8 hens, a large yard, and surrounding fields - so they have plenty to choose from.

Good luck in your future endeavor. I sure love fresh eggs, and also enjoy giving them away.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
The House on the Hill Gardens
Roses Butterflies Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Peonies
Sedums Hostas Cottage Gardener Echinacea Clematis Irises
Image
Shannon
May 26, 2016 3:59 PM CST
Thank you .. That is one of the same reasons we gave our pigeons garlic. After they came home from a race
we would give them some honey & lemon in their water as a treat Smiling Wonder if chickens would like it also Whistling
The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
May 26, 2016 4:52 PM CST
Shannon said:Thank you .. That is one of the same reasons we gave our pigeons garlic. After they came home from a race
we would give them some honey & lemon in their water as a treat Smiling Wonder if chickens would like it also Whistling


nodding I bet they would!

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