Animals

6 Best Homemade Chicken Feeds

Many homesteaders and chicken farmers are by nature do-it-yourselfers. They want to complete as much work by hand as they can since it gives them more control over the outcome. Making your own chicken feed is one way to unleash your inner do-it-yourselfer.

This is, after all, just what people were doing long before commercial feeds were available. But how do you even start? We have compiled the most crucial data to assist you in creating your own blends. Finding a blend that your flock like will need some trial and error, but that is all part of the fun. Now, take a seat and learn about the top 6 homemade chicken feeds as well as how to attain the ideal ratio of nutrients.

Advantages of Making Your Own Chicken Feed

There are benefits to buying poultry feed that has already been blended. It can be more economical and is quicker and more convenient. What makes making homemade chicken feeds desirable, then?

You are in total control when creating the feed. You are aware of the origins of every ingredient that your flock consumes. The ability to change ingredients as needed while making homemade chicken feeds is another benefit, especially in cases when the supply chain is unstable. Using this method also enables you to create a blend with the best nutritional profile that is most similar to a chicken’s natural diet.

Requirements for Chicken Meals

For optimum growth, hens require the correct amount of feed at the appropriate time. When chickens get older and begin to lay eggs, it’s especially important for them to achieve the right nutritional balance. You want to make sure they produce the greatest number of eggs with the best nutritional profile, after all. Owners don’t even need to consider it because commercial blends are created to satisfy such requirements. That being said, you will need to give the blend some thought and work if you are preparing feed from scratch.

The components of a well-balanced chicken feed are proteins, carbs, minerals, fats, and vitamins. Any mixture should contain the most carbs. A meal heavy in carbohydrates is necessary for chickens because it gives them the energy they need for foraging and laying eggs. Another essential component, particularly in the early stages, is protein. This vitamin aids in the chicken’s body’s development of muscle mass.

Any combination you create must contain fat-soluble vitamins. Nonetheless, in colder climates, this is essential. The body uses fatty acids to store fat, which helps shield the body from the cold. In homemade chicken feeds, most of the ingredients come naturally high in vitamins and minerals. Regretfully, compared to earlier times, the nutritional profiles of our food sources are now poorer. This indicates that the elements in your chicken feed are possibly missing. Thus, supplement your hens’ diet with essential vitamins and minerals to make sure they get everything they require.

Building a Balanced Blend

Your blends will need to be modified to meet the different nutritional requirements of meat birds and laying hens. All bird starter meals need between 22 and 24 percent protein. However, they require different grower feeds. While meat birds require up to 20% of their protein, hens only need about 18%. You may create a strong feed blend by doing research to find out how much protein is in each ingredient.

Try to have 80% grain-based ingredients in your blend. Corn, wheat, peas, barley, alfalfa, millet, and other options are available. Another common grain added to homemade chicken diets is oats. However, they ought to make up no more than 10% to 15% of the mixture overall. The various ingredients and add-ons can be changed to suit the particular requirements of your flock and will help balance the overall blend. Salt, grit, oyster shell, fish meal, kelp, sunflower seeds, mineral supplements, buttermilk, and flaxseed are a few items to take into account.

Aim to limit the amount of extra components and supplements to no more than 10% of the meal blend overall. Recall that the only purpose of these is to increase nutrients in the feeds. The high levels of protein, carbohydrates, and lipids that your flock requires are not provided by any of the extra substances. Thus, before choosing your supplements, your first goal should be to create a strong foundation.

These are six homemade chicken feeds that you could want to make while keeping those specifics in mind. To get the desired batch size, adjust the proportions. You’ll save time and money by preparing a bigger quantity all at once.

1. Corn Based

Because corn-based chicken feeds are so handy and more affordable, a lot of people choose to utilize them. But remember that in order to make sure your flock has a well-balanced diet, you will need to add other components. Wheat, barley, corn, and peas make a nice combination. Adding oyster shells, fish meal, kelp, or Epsom salt will depend on the stage of growth your chickens are in.

2. Corn Free

You might want to feed your flock without grain for a number of reasons. The good news is that you can achieve that by mixing your homemade chicken feeds. Combine barley, split peas, oats, wheat, and millet. Add some flaxseed, kelp, oyster shells, or a mineral combination to finish this mixture.

3. Wheat Based

Making a homemade chicken feed made of wheat is simple if you have easy access to bulk wheat suppliers. After choosing your favorite wheat kind, include maize, oats, barley, and peas for a more well-rounded mixture. You can also choose to add optional Epsom salt, buttermilk powder, oyster shells, or a probiotic for an even greater nutritional boost.

4. Layer Feed

Throughout their lives, your hens perform a lot of hard lifting (figuratively speaking). They frequently lay your favorite eggs at a very high pace. It implies that they have substantial dietary requirements. Creating the right combination for them is essential to having a steady supply of nutritious eggs. Think about combining oats, wheat, corn, and peas. Next, incorporate crushed oyster shells, kelp, salt, or sunflower seeds.

5. Starter Feed

Because they are so adorable, a lot of people find themselves returning home from a hardware store with many chicks. They do, however, need certain medical attention. A crucial element in rearing healthful chicks is guaranteeing that their starter feed is abundant in protein. Thus, you might need to include peas, wheat, and oats to your homemade chicken feed. To complete the blend and add fatty acids and a mineral supplement, think about using flaxseed or sunflower seeds. To make it easier for the chicks to eat, you will want to pulverize this blend because they are still developing.

6. Whole Grain Feed

If resources allow, think about providing a hearty whole-grain feed combination to your flock. It is probably not going to be as economical as other DIY feeds for chickens. A whole-grain blend, on the other hand, is substantial and nutrient-rich. In order to make sure your flock has everything it needs when winter arrives, this feed is also perfect for colder climates. Peas, wheat, barley, millet, and oats make up a sturdy blend. Include some flaxseeds or sunflower seeds to add some extra fat.

Overview of the Six Best Homemade Chicken Feeds

Chicken Feed Blend
Corn Based
Corn Free
Wheat Based
Layer Feed
Starter Feed
Whole Grain Feed