It may be of concern to many chicken keepers to note that producing your very own non-GMO or organic chicken feed is a natural alternative to commercial layer feed. In addition to the fact that with its vivid grains and veggies it is appealing to the eye (versus small pellets), it is still quite easy to blend together can last longer (since you can use whole grains instead of crushed), and vitamins and minerals as you see fit are very easy to increase and decrease.
When preparing your own meal, there are a lot of things to remember, such as what vitamins, minerals, and protein you can use.
What is the need for my chicken?
In a chicken diet, the following vitamins, minerals, and protein are very important when feeding them exclusively with no free-ranging or raw feed. The pasture-ranging chicken keeper and the backyard confined-flock chicken keeper similarly enjoy homemade feed.
There are natural blends, vitamins, and other options to get all of the nutritional advantages of a commercial layer feed, but this list may look lengthy. You would also be able to outsource foods from non-GMO or herbal suppliers, most often than not. Bear in mind that all of the vitamins and minerals, not just the supplements, will also be found in the main base of your feed.
There are a few main ingredients that can come with your homemade chicken feed. Most recipes for chicken feed begin with the same base ingredients, and then incorporate supplements and other products from there. You should add whatever you see fit for the needs of your flock until you get your base ingredient list down.
You can buy premixed vitamins for animals, or you can add natural raw food sources to the feed of your chickens, such as colorful vegetables and their daily nutritious ingredients (wheat, peas, flax, etc.). In this portion, you will see that most of the ingredients I give you are already full of most of the vitamins and minerals that chickens need. But incorporating raw vegetables such as sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, and other colorful veggies would significantly improve certain vitamins. If you choose, you can also use the premixed options. Also, adding cultured dried yeast will improve the vitamins in the diet of chickens.
Salt is a fantastic supply of sodium chloride and minerals, and chickens do require salt in their diet. It can never exceed 0.5 per cent of their diet, though.
If you are really concerned with mineral intake, I suggest buying a mineral premix for your homemade feed (organic Nutri-Balancer is a fantastic option). Again the addition of cultured dried yeast (or brewer’s yeast) would also give the chickens’ diet an extraordinary raise in minerals. More than anything, however if you’re not buying a premix, adding sea kelp to your homemade feed would be your top source of minerals.
Calcium and Protein
Feeding your chickens crushed eggshells (1 to 4 mm in diameter, not powdered) and oyster shells can assist with their consumption of protein and calcium. The most common approach to improve these dietary requirements is this. You can give or blend them into your feed with these free choices, but I prefer to offer free choices. When it comes to protein and calcium, chickens take only what they require, and normally eat it at night so that their bodies slowly digest it as they roost. Fish meal is also a perfect choice to improve the consumption of both protein and calcium. Only aim not to reach 5% of the fish meal diet for poultry, or your eggs will taste fishy! Not only is it excellent for protein and calcium, but it also improves the omega-3 fatty acids in egg yolks effectively. Two other excellent solutions are aragonite and limestone to improve calcium intake as well.
We know that when it comes to bringing in good bacteria, allowing chickens to combine our compost piles is helpful, but if that’s not a choice for you, you might try adding good bacteria to your homemade feed. By introducing probiotics or direct-fed microbials, which can be purchased prepackaged, you can do this. These products help your chickens retain a balanced digestive tract. I also strongly recommend adding cultured dried yeast (or brewer’s yeast) to your homemade feed, in case you haven’t caught on yet. This not only provides live-cell yeast cultures that increase digestion, but also provides a great raise of vitamins and minerals for your poultry.