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Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Animals > Livestock/Horses

Livestock/Horses Cows, sheep, pigs, goats, llamas, and other four-legged friends.

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  #1  
Old 01-01-2010, 05:55 PM
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Question home grown chicken feed

Happy new year

We are planning our garden for the spring and want to create a new plot for chicken feed.
Our idea is to grow seeds and legumes (lentils, beans...) and dry them to be used in the winter month.

Any of you doing that?

what do you grow for chicken feed?


Thank you
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2010, 06:10 PM
Deberosa Deberosa is offline
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I want to do this this year. I plan on spelt, sorgum and corn to start with. Still looking for other alternatives. I happen to have lots of spelt seed and I want to grow an heirloom dent corn. Wheat would be good to try too so my look into that seed. BUt don't buy it from the feed store it's likely GMO and you can get in trouble for growing it! I also am growing lots of the grey stripe sunflowers for chicken feed because they are high in protein. Hopefully one of those will take off enough to feed the flock in the winter - they do find cleaning up among the trees in the summer.
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2010, 10:33 PM
ms-woman Female ms-woman is offline
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Hi Joe, I was researching this same topic today and came across some information you might find helpful. Its meant for commercial application but has some good base info.

http://www.mofga.org/Portals/2/Repor...20Chickens.pdf

For the past two years I have planted Sunflowers for my flock, but I do not have enough room in the garden (or another place) to raise an adequate supply, so they became somewhat of a treat. Hopefully this year will be different!
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  #4  
Old 01-01-2010, 11:30 PM
AlchemyAcres AlchemyAcres is offline
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I raise almost 100% of my chicken feed.
A diversity of many crops......oats, wheat, rye, barley, corn, amaranth, millet, sorghum etc.....spinach, kale, nettles, purslane (the highest levels of Omega 3 of any known common plant), etc......naked pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, garbanzos, sunflower seeds, etc.....waste milk, table scraps, etc.....I also have grasshopper traps to provide extra protein...... (I don't grow all that stuff every year! )

My chickens are free to range year round (I only contain them when there's deep snow), so they're able to gather most of their needs that way in mild weather....I manage for pasture that's predominately Kentucky Blue Grass/White Clover...chickens love it.....that coupled with the diversity of the other feeds above allows them to easily balance their own diet.


~Martin
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:33 AM
SPIKE Male SPIKE is offline
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What about winter squash, including pumpkins? They store well in a root cellar condition and supply the chickens with something other than grain.

SPIKE
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2010, 12:58 AM
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Thank you for your replied we decided on squash, sunflower seed, corn, oats, amaranth.

AA how do you keep purslane? here it grows like weed

It will be trial and errors for the quantity to grow, right now i go trought 20 lbs of commercial feed for every dozen chickens per week
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2010, 10:34 PM
Ponyman Male Ponyman is offline
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Default Grasshopper Trap...

I'd love to know more about these as well!
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2010, 11:37 PM
GoodDaughter GoodDaughter is offline
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I would also recommend greens of any kind, the easier to grow the better. If you know which greens are quick and easy to grow in your area and your level of gardening experience, grow some. I prefer a couple of kinds of kale. Here where it's very hot most of the year, the Toscana kale does best. I still have several stalks out there from last year, and they are still producing leaves even though we had such a hot, dry summer that the rest of the little garden patch burned up. They kept growing though.
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2010, 01:34 AM
AlchemyAcres AlchemyAcres is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe View Post
AA how do you keep purslane? here it grows like weed
Sorry I missed your question until now.

Purslane is fed as a fresh green.


~Martin
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:16 PM
MooseToo MooseToo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE View Post
What about winter squash, including pumpkins? They store well in a root cellar condition and supply the chickens with something other than grain.

SPIKE
my chickens will eat pumpkin seed well but turn their noses (?) up at the rest of the pumpkin -
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:20 PM
MooseToo MooseToo is offline
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Quote:
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I'd love to know more about these as well!
whenever i do any soil work in the garden i always carry a coffee can for grubs - i also hand pick japanese beetles when they're around -

both are a fast food treat for the chickens -

the beetles need to be emptied into a pan of water so they cannot fly away before the birds get to work -
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:46 PM
Deberosa Deberosa is offline
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What's a grasshopper trap? We have tons of them around here to clear out in the summer time!

How much space is needed to grow 100% of all feed for 24 hens, any rule of thumb?
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2010, 01:23 AM
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Thanks for the tip AA, rigth now we supplement the feed with expensive flax seed for the omega 3 source
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2010, 12:19 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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Since I always free range year round, I just give a little whole corn and keep free choice oyster shell out for them. Sometimes I will buy "chicken scratch". Here, chicken scratch is cracked corn, milo and wheat. Since I free range, they eat very little of the grains.

Debbie, if your chickens are free ranged or in moveable pens, it wouldn't take much to grow all you need for them.

Paul
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:31 PM
AlchemyAcres AlchemyAcres is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deberosa View Post
What's a grasshopper trap? We have tons of them around here to clear out in the summer time!

How much space is needed to grow 100% of all feed for 24 hens, any rule of thumb?

I got the idea for the grasshopper trap from a windowpane trap I saw somewhere years ago.

The windowpane trap is used to collect samples of grasshoppers for whatever reason.
It's basically a vertical window pane that when the grasshoppers hit it they fall directly below into a basin of soapy water.

I made mine with a funneled aluminum flashing chamber that they drop into but can't escape from.

I also try to keep around 24 hens and plan on having to feed them for about 6 months assuming they may not gather much from free ranging due to the unpredictable weather here.

I would guess that the area needed averages about 1/2 to 3/4 of an acre...that's to feed about 24 hens, a couple roosters and replacements.

Of course corn, pumpkins, amaranth and the like naturally take up quite a bit of space.

I do some piggy back plantings to save space...tall telephone peas on painted mountain corn....wando peas on dwarf sunflowers, etc......as well as some succession planting...buckwheat after earlier stuff.



~Martin
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  #16  
Old 01-15-2010, 08:32 PM
Deberosa Deberosa is offline
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Cool - we have the windows we took out of the house here that will make great traps! Sounds like we'll get close to growing all of their food this year - yeah!
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  #17  
Old 05-31-2011, 01:06 PM
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Default Grasshopper trap

AlchemyAcres, I'm keenly interested in your grasshopper trap, because my chickens will be with me in the city, but my grasshopper-infested acreage is far away. I'd like to set up a trap when I visit, and bring back lots of treats for the girls. Perhaps when I bring them back I can toss them in shallow water so the hens can grab them before they buzz off to eat the bean plants.

I think DH might be able to figure out the flashing under the window pane, but what kind of trap underneath keeps them from getting away? I don't want to kill them with soapy water in a trench. I wonder if the trap below should be out of the sun to keep them from frying. Maybe some sort of screen, to allow air to flow, but with angled flashing above so they can't get traction.

Martin, do you have a pic?
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  #18  
Old 05-31-2011, 01:19 PM
AlchemyAcres AlchemyAcres is offline
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...... but what kind of trap underneath keeps them from getting away?
Martin, do you have a pic?
Sorry I don't have a pic.

The flashing is bent in such a way (with a lip) so that the grasshoppers are funneled down inside, but can't jump back out.


~Martin
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  #19  
Old 08-22-2011, 09:55 AM
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Default Very interesting info about growing chicken feed..

Had never thought of this.....not sure what may grow up here! But would love to try some stuff out!
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