Even before the widespread drought conditions, we've been working on homegrown chicken feed, at minimum something to extend the organic feed we buy (we only have 5 hens so this should be possible). We read Harvey Ussery's book and he has lots of great ideas such as sprouting grains. We've been making chicken "hay" - dried nettles, amaranth greens, clover, etc. Also dehydrating extra summer squash and blackberry seeds/pulp leftover from juicing. Now with the drought I was wondering what people are up to as far as shifting from conventional chicken feed to scrounging up something from local sources. I can only imagine what the price of chicken feed will look like over the winter.
Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Jul 31, 2012 10:53:44 GMT -5
A lady that helps me in the garden takes things home for her chickens: Greens, summer squash, tomatoes, etc... Wishing that she'd take home the grasshoppers. Hmmm. Now that I've expressed the idea, it might be possible.
We also grew a crop of rye for her, and she gets the left over corn from my breeding projects. The rye seems like it has too little return on investment.
Silt/clay, high-altitude, super-arid, sun-drenched, irrigated-desert garden. Cold radiant-cooled nights. ~100 frost free days. Grow most of my own locally adapted landrace seed. GDD10C ~1300. Author of Mother Earth News: Landrace Gardening Blog.
Post by bluelacedredhead on Sept 10, 2012 19:34:51 GMT -5
Grow some worms.
Black oil sunflower seed is expensive as seed goes, but a little goes a long way in conditioning a fowl. I used to add extra BOSS during their moult, on the very cold days in winter, prior to breeding and when conditioning for Shows.
Sometimes you can make deals with bakeries for day old breads and pastries. You might have to get there very early to pick it up, but it's worth the trouble if you need to pinch pennies.
I am working on raising fly larvae, and termites (ants later) for my chickens, to supplement the grains, greens, and purchased food. I did read somewhere that over half of young ones diets is oops, naturally insects, while the adults eat more plants than animals, not sure if it will work here as well as Burma, but am experimenting. Favorites of their omnivore ancestors, jungle fowl, are termites, of which there are lots of, in this area. I always wondered myself, if they naturally ate mostly corn, wheat,oats, barley, etc., and they dont.
If this helps, Just a short, really interesting, pretty informative article, found on the internet.
poultry nutrition: a comparative approach. K.C. Klasing.
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2012 21:01:27 GMT -5 by olddog
Post by 12540dumont on Sept 11, 2012 14:51:18 GMT -5
I have sorghum in this year and amaranth for the chickens. I've been feeding them tomatoes with BER and anything that split or got too soft.
I'm harvesting Millet and Sunflowers later today.
My standard practice is to put them in any field that I'm about to pull. For me that has to be 2 to 3 50 foot rows. I set the electric fence around it and provide a run from the main house, or use the traveling chickens.
I'm hoping that the Fasiolina Tresimeno will be done soon, so I can move them there. I've picked it 3x, but it insists on reblooming and making more! Raymundo, if you are reading this, this is a hella productive cowpea and the one I'd like to send you.
This year I also planted sunflowers, millet and sorghum and of course corn for them. The sorghum takes less water than the corn.
I know you already had some Sorghum, and I sent down two kinds I think. One of which is not appropriate for bird-food, being somewhat toxic. The other one, the dwarf with dark grain, should be better. That one is perennial.
Post by mountaindweller on Sept 11, 2012 21:51:42 GMT -5
Did anyone try to breed maggots or soldierflies? I found that our chicken don't like the commercial feed at the moment, once they started laying like mad (it's spring here). We feed old bread too, we get it from a bakery.
Do you think it is worth it to plant field corn just for the chickens?? I was wondering if I should disc up some unirrigated field to grow some field corn dry farm style. I'm thinking if I held off planting until the rain starts it might make it without irrigation. They must have done that in the past??