Wednesday, March 24, 2010

chicken raising

If you live in the country you just have to raise chickens. There really aren't any ifs ands or butts about it. And even if you don't live in the country you can still raise healthy hens that provide you with healthy eggs. All you need is a coop and some free green grass for them to roam on. Although they aren't the brightest livestock, they're certainly one of the easiest to care for.
A friend of mine called me the other day and gave me a recipe for chick starter- which then lead to my search for a homemade layer food. Here's what I found:

Greener Pastures Farm Chick Starter Recipe:
This recipe is whole grains, except for the corn, and can be fed to newly hatched chicks as is (whole grain) or soaked overnight. I used to grind their feed, but found that they waste most of it, and remembered that Mother Nature does not grind food for baby chicks!
Milk is made available free-choice, as is water with apple cider vinegar and garlic. Worms or scrambled eggs (with some fresh garlic added) are given daily. I am able to find all the following ingredients in certified organic form, except the kelp. My worms and my eggs are "home-grown" and are therefore organic! PLEASE NOTE: Do not feed milk or oyster shell to chicks that receive a premixed feed; these additions are only for chickens fed a home-made feed that does not already contain calcium in the mix. ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar

2 parts whole corn, ground (or purchased organic corn meal)
3 or 4 parts whole wheat
1 part barley
1 part oat groats
1 part shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 part lentils
1/2 part split green peas
1 part millet
1/4 part flax seeds
1/2 part seaweed
garlic (several cloves per gallon of water)
ACV (about 2 Tablespoons per gallon of water)
organic milk to drink (don't worry if they don't drink it all up; if it
solidifies, they will ingest it with glee!)
freshly dug worms
organic scrambled eggs

Layer recipe:
2 parts whole corn (in winter this is increased to 3 or 4 parts)
3 parts soft white wheat
3 parts hard red winter wheat
1 part hulled barley
1 part oat groats
1 part sunflower seeds (in winter this is increased to 2 parts)
1 part millet
1 part kamut
1 part amaranth seeds
1 part split peas
1 part lentils
1 part quinoa
1 part sesame seeds
1/2 part flax seeds
1/2 part kelp granules
free choice of granite grit
free choice of oyster shell
* It's not necessary to follow this recipe exactly... just make sure your birds are getting enough protein, which is predominant in the hard red wheat and the legumes. Free-range birds usually find plenty of protein from bugs, etc.

Both of these recipes come from Greener Pastures Farm in Vancouver, WA

I picked up quite a few of these ingredients from our health food store's bulk section today and plan on soaking mine tonight!

**Oh, and by the way, this is my 400th post!!!!!!! Yahoo!! So the first person to comment here will get something special in the mail to them!**


Leslie said...

congrats on your 400th that is so cool!!! those chickens i wish i could raise some of my own.

Cindy said...

400 posts! Wow, that is wonderful. I love your recipe. I am going to try it.

Thanks for the idea.


Evelyn Fields said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe. I would like to get away from the store bought premixed feed. I will keep this in mind when I have time to gather all the ingredients. Melissa

Lynette said...

I know the kids would love having chickens...but Tom HATES them. I think it comes from growing up with his crazy mom who let them come in the house. :)

Islay said...

I love the idea of keeping chickens - can't wait until we finally move to the country and have enough space to give them a decent life!

For now, I have to stick to growing fruit and veg...

Kim said...

We're going Bob's Redmill again on Friday and I'm taking this list with me! My poor hubby...

Cindy said...

Lynette... this must be said for your own good. CHICKENS DO NOT BELONG IN THE HOUSE! They poop everywhere they go. They stink. Tell Tom to build a coop OUTSIDE and leave them there!

Kim.... Can you please pick some up for me too :)

Mountain Home Quilts said...

No, Tom hates chickens because when he was a kid, growing up his mom thought that chickens were "cute pets" and allowed them in the house. He couldn't stand the smell and the poop so that's why he dislikes them so much that he doesn't even want them if they are outside ones!
On and Kim, get me some too!! ;)

bekah said...

i am totally waiting for my country dreams to come true, cause i have ALWAYS wanted to have chickens... love this post :]

Deb said...

Congrats on post #400!!! Wish I could have been the first commenter, but as of Wed night bedtime Bloglines had not posted an update of your new post....but it was up first thing this morning (Thurs)! Oh well.

I wish we could have chickens where we live, but it's against the rules of our neighborhood. I know I would love the eggs, but not sure I could take care of them--they're scary critters! :)

Anonymous said...

We have chickens here at the Bible School...the fresh eggs are wonderful! We cannot let them lose though, we have foxes and other critters as well and one year they wiped out the 20+ chickens that we had. It was pretty bad. They've built a much nicer coop this time and we're enjoying delicious fresh eggs!

Bobbi Jo said...

Wow, 400 posts!!! That's crazy:) Did I tell you that I am getting chickens? It's our first attempt and I am really excited. Just ordered a chick house from the local ranch store. My brother will be starting the coop for me this next week. Yay:) THanks for the fabrics too!!! Love them all and will post a pic of my creation. Not sure what I am going to make yet. I was thinking a little coin purse first... we'll see!

Unknown said...

I've thought about trying my hand at making my own layer feed, but have not felt real confident about it. Any idea how this compares cost wise to a 50# bag of organic feed? I think I'm paying around $24/50# currently.

CyndeJo said...

I have never thought of making my own layer feed. This is great! Thanks for sharing.
Congrats on the 400th post.
Have a great week. I am so behind on blog reading :(

Teri Gelseth said...

Wow that is amazing! I am blessed to be able to find the wheat this recipe calls for for about $6 dollars a 25 lb bag but not the other ingredients listed. About how much des this cost and do you feed the grains free choice?

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