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Does anyone grow their own chicken feed?

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

If so, what do you grow? I'm investigating the possibility of growing my own feed.
I went to the feed store today, bought 5 bags of natural chicken feed, and it cost me $90.00. .....Yikes!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Find a feed mill to buy from. The one I get mine from has their own mix & is priced by the going price of corn & soybeans. What I bought Wednesday was .21455 per pound or $10.72 per bag. That is a 17% protein egg mash.
Only feed our chickens get & they do very good on it. No medication either.
Bernie

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the tip, Bernie!! :)

(Zone 6b)

Has anyone else had this happen to them?

By my chicken pen at the horse lot, where I throw out the chicken's dirty water, some plants began to grow. They were nice plants so I didn't bother them. Still don't know what it was but it was about three feet tall with seed on the top. I was thinking, gee, I should just throw chicken scratch out here all over and grow my own chicken feed.

I guess I could go look up the different seeds that make up chicken scratch, but I'm tired. Whatever plant it was, was in the scratch. It wasn't corn.

$11 for a 50 lb bag of seed probably isn't bad. The corn won't grow because it is broken into pieces, but the other might.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I've been growing a 5 ft x 50 ft bed of purple to turnips for my hens. I started out broadcasting purple top turnips in the goat pastures for winter forage for the goats. I have a buckling and a wether in one pen/pasture and they will eat what they want and then pull up a few turnips and fling them at one another. So I was picking up the "flung" turnips and throwing them to the hens and peacocks. Then it dawned on me that someone else on this forum was talking about growing the turnips just for the hens. So I planted out one of my dormant beds w/turnips. I grew cushaw pumpkins this past summer for the hens and goats and that turned out well. The purple top tunip seed was less than $20 for a fifty pound bag of seed. The hens like the greens and the roots. Whatever I throw them. Really helping to cut back on the chicken feed and I think the greens are better for them. Just a thought....

(Zone 6b)

How awesome is that? I will try not to feel envious.

Richmond, TX

I'm sure the turnips are a welcome treat, but that family of vegetables contains a compound with anti-thyroid activity. A large amount of turnips could have a negative effect on their health long term.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Oooo, thanks for the information, porkpal. I did not know that....The purple top turnips were recomended by the co-operative extension agent and have been a big hit with the goats and chickens.

They should use up the turnips soon and I have collards coming on. As well as the lettuce we can't eat, carrots, cabbage (they love the cabbage). And if this is a good spring for English peas they get all the vines. I still give them the constant supply of Layella (sp?), but it goes much slower when they have the extras from the garden. Basically I have planned to plant an extra row or various items for the hens. They really liked the zucchini last year. I had a massive surplus of zucchine ☺ And I'm a fool for growing eggplant, so they got what we couldn't eat. I try not to give them too much of the same. And, of course, the vetch and rye are starting to show up for the goats.

Are there any other veg I should be careful of ( will throw the hens the spent corn stalks but I don't give them the corn)? By the way, does that include the greens?

Richmond, TX

I think all members of the turnip family (Brassicas - including cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, etc) contain some amount of progoitrin, but turnips and rutabagas have the most. However these have been used for livestock feed for centuries. It would take a lot of raw turnips to give your animals goiters.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL! Thanks porkpal.

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Thanks Porkpal! I'm put them on the "NO" list!!

Joplin, MO

That plant that grew from the scratch could have been Milo. Normally that's what comes up when i feed scratch because my chickens refuse to eat it.

Richmond, TX

Hi Greykyttyn! Welcome back! Where have you been ?

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

No kidding....I think even deer won't eat Milo! Too bad it isn't a showy flower☺

Richmond, TX

Then the grain in my gopher bait must be Milo; they certainly don't seem to want it. Anyone have any luck getting rid of Gophers? They are ruining our riding arena.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We have a retired gentleman here that traps them. We let him know & he right there. The townships here give bounties on gophers, $2 each.
He seldom has to set a second trap & levels off the mounds also.

Richmond, TX

I have never heard of such a service here - no bounties, for sure. Too bad, we have LOTS of gophers.

(Zone 6b)

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060704054447AAh6pQ2

Garden Doc seems to be the expert on gophers and says "Best traps are the Black Hole traps" from Home Depot.

I didn't understand it all, but maybe you will.

(Zone 6b)

Yes, I'm pretty sure it is Milo. Fall, year before last, I drove north west around Dalhart, Texas, and on the backroads saw the most beautiful fields I've ever seen. They were packed full of what I now believe to be "milo". It was seriously an awesome sight to see!

I went to google images and yes, I'm fairly positive it is milo.

You are also right that some of my roosters don't want to eat it. They'll pick everything else out and leave the milo. Not all of them are that way, but a few are. I'd say three or four of my fourteen roosters refuse it.

I also noticed that these recent bags of scratch I bought have much more milo in it than it used to have. Much more. Wonder what's up with that. Probably cheaper for them to bag and sell.

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