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Home made Poultry feed? Expand / Collapse
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Posted 11/9/2013 1:16:49 AM
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I just recently bought a 2 acre piece of land, excitingly enough it came with a beautiful 1500 sqft house and a 20'x40' barn, 1 acre is completly fenced in. sad part is i deployed within the same month so before i left i was thinking.. what can i raise on this little slice of heaven my wife and i just bought.. hmm, chickens, pigs, and goats came to mind, so in preperation of having chickens i began to think, what do chickens eat in the wild? and it hit me BUGS. so i googled how to raise bugs for pet food, and wouldnt you know it mealworms (darkling beetles) came up. after a bit of reasearch i found that they are stuipd easy to care for and are extreamly cheap so i got a three tier plastic organizer about 3' tall and started my colony, a few weeks ago my wife fb'd me and told me that we finaly had little movement, there were thousands of the little buggers in there, and my colony has been started! all from 150 meal worms bought from petco. and a $2 can of oatmeal from walmart lol..

anyways this is my plan.

mealworm colony: check

Cricket colony: to start once i get home (wife is freaked out by bugs i figure taking care of mealworms is bad enough lol)

Sunflowers: start growing early spring

Corn: again start growing early spring

gride all above up into a paste, add flour for thinkener, and bake until hard, then crumble up and feed high protien mixture to chickens. may even add in some veggies for more vitamins and such to the animals, still working out all the details..

anyways has anyone thought about this before? if so how did it work out for you? it seems very very cheap to do, just a bit of time every few weeks to take care of. the food cost so far is $4 for a can of oatmeal started out with 150 meal worms that cost me about $5 to $10, and the organizer cost my wife about $15 when she bought it as a toy box for our pets.. so total i have around $30ish into my mealworm farm. cricket farm will be even cheaper as all i need is dirt free.99, plastic tote around $5 to $10, and more oats plus some veggies from my garden every now and then..

Grab life by the horns and hold on tight!

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Post #30910
Posted 11/9/2013 8:28:09 AM


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I love this idea and will do some research and try it. We give our chickens and duck laying pellets, all our table and garden scraps and let them free range a couple of hours to eat bugs, but we like the idea of not being tied to buying things. Thanks for sharing and good luck on your adventure.

We bought our own slice of heaven after Mike retired from the USAF so let me say with Veteran`s day fast approacghing that we appreciate your service.

Dee

M. and D.
Post #30914
Posted 11/9/2013 11:29:50 AM
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I heard you can just give them the bugs, corn, and sunflowers straight, but those are the essentials for chickens.
Post #30916
Posted 11/9/2013 4:53:08 PM


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If you plan on laying hens, don't forget the extra calcium. Eggs take a lot out of them so you need to boost their calcium intake. Crushed oyster shells do the trick. I usually have a container full for them to peck as they want. Also, you thought about what they eat in the "wild". The chickens you buy aren't wild and are many, many generations from it.. For the most part they are "man made" through breeding programs. They are grown and maintained on specialized food so I would be leery of feeding them only bugs, corn, and sunflowers at first. I would think a "break in" period would be necessary for their system to adjust to the new diet. Regular chicken feed is a mixture of various seeds, corn, oats, wheat etc. plus added minerals and vitamins. If it were me, I would gradually make the switch instead of a drastic change. Besides, feed isn't that expensive. I have 12 layers and they go through a 50 lb bag of crumbles about every 2 months plus table and dog food scraps. That comes to about $6 a month to feed them.

Ken


Deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry
Post #30918
Posted 11/10/2013 4:43:13 AM
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Thank you, happy veterns day to you and your husband aswell, as far as the ckickens go, im going for freshly hatched chicks so i can start them on chick feed and graduly switch them to the fresh food died so to speak lol, and ya as far as the minerals, vitamins and calcium go, ill have to buy the oyster egg shells ( when i was a kid my dad taught me about that, plus i think it also helps in their gizards?) most of their vitamins/minerals will come from table scraps that im going to grow fresh from my garden/aquaponics systems. thanks the comments.

Grab life by the horns and hold on tight!

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Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him to fish you'll feed him for a life time!

Post #30921
Posted 11/10/2013 6:53:29 AM
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If oyster shell is hard to come by, river sand and exteremly small pea gravel will help out too
Post #30925
Posted 11/10/2013 6:54:48 AM
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Can you grow pumpkins? The seeds will act as a natural dewormer for the chickens
Post #30926
Posted 11/10/2013 9:16:52 AM
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ya i can grow pumpkins and plan on it, didnt know about the seeds being a natural dewormer thats pretty cool.

Grab life by the horns and hold on tight!

Click HERE for my Hobby Farms forum

Click HERE to see my aquaponics forum

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him to fish you'll feed him for a life time!

Post #30927
Posted 11/11/2013 8:57:55 AM
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AprilnJames (11/10/2013)
ya i can grow pumpkins and plan on it, didnt know about the seeds being a natural dewormer thats pretty cool.

I second how cool that is. Now I have an excuse to grow 'em.
Post #30932
Posted 11/11/2013 9:49:05 AM
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Garlic in a pair of woman's old panty hose in their water for a few days will also help deworm them, too.
Post #30934
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