Friday, May 17, 2013

Feeding your Chicken- DIY

WHAT CHICKEN NEED (It's simple!)
1. Grains
 (whole, living grains are way better than cracked, and a mixture is way better than pure corn)

2. Greens (grass! weeds! fresh veggie parings from kitchen!)
3. Protein (in summer, they get enough bugs -- but in colder weather they need protein supplementation, including perhaps the following: yellow-jackets from restaurant traps, soybeans -- see below, worms, milk, meat --- but sea fish is the very best)


Chickens won't always search far for food or water. They need water often, especially if they laying. 

If they're Fenceless Free Range, that's about it. But if you keep them penned up most or all of the time, even in a largish yard, you will also need to make sure they get . . . 

4. Hard grit (do not confuse this with oyster shell or calcium --- these dissolve in the chicken's digestive system, grit does not --- grit is used in place of "teeth"); quartz-based sand with angular edges (not rounded, as often is found in riverbeds) can be collected wherever you find it.

5. Calcium (crushed oyster shell, other shells, ground or hammered bone) (There's lots of calcium in greens, if they get to forage all day.) 

6. Vitamins A (and D if the weather is cloudy for long stretches) 

7. Salt (best given separately, free choice; kelp is the very supreme choice for this, if you can get it --- it supplies all the minerals in the world ) 

Examples of What you can feed your Chicken!


Scratch grain mix, from feed store, containing many kinds of grain

Extra yellow corn (cracked) --- it gives them warmth in the winter but try to refrain from summer time or hot weather as the bird gains wait- corn is a filler


Grass forage

Garden clippings
Kitchen trimmings (thrown in the compost pile near their coop)


For a small flock: 

Every morning (quantity for 12 chickens): 3/4ths cup of boiled soybeans ~~ (make a batch every week or so: SOAK 2 cups of dried soybeans in three or four times the volume of water overnight; bring to ROLLING BOIL in the same soaking water for 15 minutes; DRAIN; STORE in fridge) mixed with 1 cup of instant oats, some sunflower seeds, milk to moisten, warmed up. 

Every other afternoon, same thing, with some fish flakes, bits of scrap fish, or some canned cheap fish. 

This can be done for larger flocks too! Look around for inexpensive protein sources, grow your own sources, everything counts! 



This can be mixed in their feed or sprinkled on their ground. One can get a 50 pound bag at tractor supply for $9.99 a bag! This lasts a while!


Dried kelp fronds (the leafy parts, not the stalks, which are too hard to chop up and don't get eaten) can be kept in their coop on a sturdy clip. They can free-choose it, letting them adjust their salt and mineral intake. There are nearly 100 minerals on Earth. Only sea water and sea life has them in the ratios that animals need. All blood of animals contains these minerals, in the same proportions as in sea water!

Scientists have barely scratched the surface of understanding all the things that these minerals do in living bodies. For optimum health, it's best to get all of them.

Just gather a mess of kelp off any beach that is more than 50 miles from a city, sling it into a garbage bag and take it home. At home, set it out in the yard, and in a very short while, it will be dry and crisp. Take the flakey parts, and clip them about a foot off the ground where your chickens frequently go --- those document clips with a black "hinge" and two folding silver "arms" work best. 


Collect angular granite grit from trips to areas that have it. Tiny chicks need tiny grit, so get a variety of sizes. A little lasts a long time. The girls will pick and choose a few choice pieces now and then. Fun to watch them study and try out the different grains of grit. 

Protein is very important- visit our next page for information on Protein in chicken!


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