• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • thomas rubino
  • Bill Crim
  • Kim Goodwin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Amit Enventres
  • Mike Jay
  • Dan Boone

planting enough food for 20 chickens  RSS feed

 
Posts: 120
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i would like to know if i could plant enoff food for 20 meat chickens and when i have the food for them i can go get them and harvest them at the proper time. i would like to do this 1 once or maybe 2 a year. to have fresh farm chicken i would also like to know if it would cost less than store bought chickens and it would be better for my family.

the cheap guy
 
pollinator
Posts: 400
Location: South West France
49
chicken food preservation forest garden fungi hunting solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's a difficult question to answer because we don't know your circumstances.

If you've raised the chickens yourself and you have enough land then it will cost no more than the price of the seeds, some bins with lids to stock the grain, some fuel to heat the water when you pluck them and some energy to store the chicken meat either in a freezer or sterilised in pots. The birds will be better than you can buy because you gave them a good life and you fed them well and you let them run around to get a bit of muscle.

We do about 50 birds a year and it costs us nothing except the work. We grow about 5 acres of cereal but that also feeds about 120 sheep and goats and two pigs.

But, if you have to rent the land, fence it, buy the chicks and the feeding and water equipment then you might break even. Maybe.

Do you already have chickens ?
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
free range chickens if started when they are tiny in the spring should eat pretty  much everything they find outside, but will probably need some starter mix to get them going..and you should be able to eat them in the fall when the weather turns cold and gets nasty for them..if you have some that start to lay and get broody, keep them to get some babies for next year..and for eggs..but put the rest in your freezer or can them.
 
Posts: 1113
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
57
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We don't feed our ~100 to 200 chickens from spring through late fall. They forage for their food on the pastures - real free ranging. Part of their job is to organically control pests.

In the fall after the insects die off they switch to eating more vegetation but need meat. I provide slaughter wastes from our weekly butchering of pigs. They pick little bits of meat off the bones and unsold items, getting last pick after the dogs. Compost pile gets what is left and the bones dissolve to soil. They also get pumpkins, beets, turnips, kale, potatoes, etc.

Some winters I have fed pelleted layer. I prefer not to due to cost and what might be in it. I get better laying with feeding it. If I do my own feeding meat in enough quantity plus oyster shell and egg shells then they seem to lay okay through the winter. When spring rolls around their rate of laying shoots up to almost an egg a day per bird.

These are heritage birds: RIR, NHR, Aracauna/Americauna, Speckled Sussex, Oprington, etc. They start laying at about 4 to 5 months and last about 3 to 4 years.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
 
marty reed
Posts: 120
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
no i do not have chickens but i have started to plant a garden every year and want to get some chickens to raise for meat and rabbits that i also want would like it also trying to get away from buying food for them and be as self reliable as i can with out hurting the animals

thanks for all the information 
 
marty reed
Posts: 120
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
to Brenda Groth
thanks for the post i read the blog and it gave me alot of info and i like the padlock approch to rasining chickens but anther cool thing is i can have a dog to protect them but then i need to know how to make dog food well it ever end
 
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
  In Africa they a have a tree called the mopane tree that feeds a sort of caterpillar called the mopane worm that is eaten in Africa. It could also be useful for chickens, it can be dried so it would give you food for chickens all the year round. The mopane season is short so the trees survive bieng ravaged by the caterpillars, they have time left in the growing season to put out new leaves and build up stocks. Maybe this tree would grow in the more tropical areas of North America like Louisiana. An exotic way of feeding you chickens.
    Maybe there are other types of caterpillar chickens could eat that woudl be easy to grow.
  I looked up the mopane tree because Bill mollison mentions it in his dryland strategies video growing in dry bits of land were there are termites nests he was talking about how termites cause islands of green in the desert a reason to be a bit worried about paul stamets termite  killing mushrooms.  agri rose macaskie.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1113
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
57
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

thecheapguy wrote:i can have a dog to protect them but then i need to know how to make dog food well it ever end



No problem. Chickens make great dog food. Both as eggs and as old hens. We keep hundreds of chickens, not because want to raise chickens per say but because the chickens are organic pest control. This produces a lot of extra eggs and old hens to be culled each fall. The hens go to us and the dogs who have been guarding the livestock all year. The eggs are a great addition to our diet, the dog diets and for our pigs.

Additionally, the pigs get slaughtered each week so we can deliver pork to our customers. The remnants feed the chickens and the dogs. This gives the chickens meat in the winter to replace the insects they are no longer getting when our world is frozen like right now.

It's a system with interlocking pieces that make it all work.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
    I have heard that geese are good protectors and you would not have to feed them chicken. I dont know if geese work against foxes or just against theives. They make a lot of noise if any one aproaches and  they can do a lot of damage with their beaks.
  I had forgotten, i thought that olives might be great chicken feed, the black birds eat mine in winter when they have gone black. Olives should make for tasty chickens.
  You can boil up all vegetable peelings, potatoe and cabbage etc and mash it and give the mush to the hens my grandmother used to. Maybe you can get the peeling from some restaurant too or  school kitchens and such.T5hat is called getting a hen to help with the composting of your kitchen waste.
  maybe the rubbuish of schools and restaurants would be a good plentiful source of mulch or compostable material as well as feed. What about collecting the stuff green groceres throw away.  agri rose macaskie 
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1113
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
57
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

rose macaskie wrote:I have heard that geese are good protectors and you would not have to feed them chicken. I dont know if geese work against foxes or just against theives. They make a lot of noise if any one aproaches and  they can do a lot of damage with their beaks.



Our experience is that our geese raise the alarm and then our livestock dogs kill the predator. The geese are noisy and intimidating but not killers. Foxes, coyotes, fisher cats, cougar, bear and such will just eat them. LGDs eat and keep at bay all of those predators.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
 
                                                                    
Posts: 114
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I save the heads off of my huge sunflower plants and store them in laundry baskets.
Today I threw them out there for the hens.
They all gathered around and had a nice chow down.

that was easy.
 
                            
Posts: 158
Location: Abilene, KS
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul W has a video about an unusal chicken feeder using even road kill:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXWbBC1kQ24&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Wheat and milo, wild sunflowers, bugs, weeds and seeds most months...maybe a worm bin for protein in the winter?  The hens will also go after little snakes and mice.  eeeeek!
Hanging a cabbage in the coop entertains and feeds them some needed greens in the winter.  I grew winter squash and pumpkins to suppliment.  I don't buy layer feed anymore, my hens are getting older, so they get scratch grains.  I also crush up egg shell for them.  And my girls love scratching in the straw that I put down on the coop floor.  They didn't care about the dried leaves, dang it.
I wonder if drying wild grasses with seed heads, and then saving that for winter use would also help?  Hmmmm
 
Let's go to the waterfront with this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!