• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Jay
  • Anne Miller
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton
gardeners:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Daron Williams

Technologically inclined? Need a way to help Permies with an app/program? Chicken food calculator!  RSS feed

 
master steward
Posts: 3410
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
749
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've seen a number of recipes for making your own chicken food.  They often include ingredients that I can't get locally.  On the other hand, I have ingredients that could be substituted (amaranth, cracked acorns, wild rice, sunflowers, apples).  But I don't know what protein, nutrient, calorie or fat amounts the various ingredients have so I don't trust myself to adjust a recipe.

Maybe an enterprising individual has done this already?  

I have seen the Justin Rhodes recipe and it's pretty simple.  I'd have to source Nutribalancer, fish meal and kelp which may make it prohibitive since I'm sure they aren't local.  Unless a fish I catch from the lake is a direct substitute for fish meal?

If some savvy person wants to create this awesome resource, I'm sure we could help come up with a list of ingredients that are available around the world for potential mixes.
 
Posts: 24
Location: Peacham, VT
3
duck forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's a guy buy the name of John Suscovich who has developed a product that he calls the "Pastured Poultry Packet" and it helps people raising meat birds figure out their total costs. It's slanted more towards producers who are looking to take their chickens to market and have a clear sense of profitabilty, but it might be useful for thinking through what you are proposing.  

https://farmmarketingsolutions.com/poultry-packet/
 
Posts: 54
Location: Southern Michigan
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I cannot take credit for this spreadsheet, I just stumbled across it on the internet and it has been SPECTACULAR! The website is Garden Betty I think this link will take you there. https://www.gardenbetty.com/garden-bettys-chicken-feed-calculator-for-determining-your-protein-content/

As for sourcing non local ingredients (Norwegian kelp is definitely not local here in Michigan) I decided that being able to confidently feed my broilers and layers a homemade concoction of all local grains was worth sourcing a few distant ingredients. I buy Fertrell nutribalancer, kelp, fish meal,  oyster shell and grit that are not local. All together I’m going through about 240 lbs a year of these ingredients. This makes it so I am also able to buy more than 4,800 lbs a year of totally local grain. It feels so good to hand my farmer (who delivers and helps me unload for only $30) cold hard cash.

To be honest I’m working on reducing the non local imputs but I’m not trying too hard. I really enjoy helping to support the lovely Amish family who I buy my “exotic” ingredients from and I love the cause to chat with them while I shop. The ingredient that is most problematic for me is the fish meal, it simply isn’t sustainable or planet friendly but I haven’t figured it a replacement yet.

(We’re only on week 3 of the whole grain broiler experiment but holy crap are they thriving! My layers transitioned to whole grains about 6 weeks ago and my eggs have never been better, a minimum of 10 eggs with the avg of 13 per day for only 16 2 year old layers. I’m loving it. )
 
Mike Jay
master steward
Posts: 3410
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
749
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Grace, that's a great tool!  Plus it already has wild rice in it :)  

So, now for a few questions...  Just looking at the spreadsheet I wouldn't have said "Boy, I better get some kelp or I won't hit my numbers".  Why do you buy kelp?

I found Fertrell nutribalancer about an hour away (on my way to visiting my parents) so I can source that.  How much of that do you (or does she) put in a batch?

Looks like I need to start growing hemp....
 
Posts: 50
Location: Hot, humid, sometimes hurricane drenched west central Florida
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Grace Gierucki wrote:I cannot take credit for this spreadsheet, I just stumbled across it on the internet and it has been SPECTACULAR! The website is Garden Betty I think this link will take you there. https://www.gardenbetty.com/garden-bettys-chicken-feed-calculator-for-determining-your-protein-content/

As for sourcing non local ingredients (Norwegian kelp is definitely not local here in Michigan) I decided that being able to confidently feed my broilers and layers a homemade concoction of all local grains was worth sourcing a few distant ingredients. I buy Fertrell nutribalancer, kelp, fish meal,  oyster shell and grit that are not local. All together I’m going through about 240 lbs a year of these ingredients. This makes it so I am also able to buy more than 4,800 lbs a year of totally local grain. It feels so good to hand my farmer (who delivers and helps me unload for only $30) cold hard cash.

To be honest I’m working on reducing the non local imputs but I’m not trying too hard. I really enjoy helping to support the lovely Amish family who I buy my “exotic” ingredients from and I love the cause to chat with them while I shop. The ingredient that is most problematic for me is the fish meal, it simply isn’t sustainable or planet friendly but I haven’t figured it a replacement yet.

(We’re only on week 3 of the whole grain broiler experiment but holy crap are they thriving! My layers transitioned to whole grains about 6 weeks ago and my eggs have never been better, a minimum of 10 eggs with the avg of 13 per day for only 16 2 year old layers. I’m loving it. )



Hi Grace - I'm so glad you only posted this a week ago! Most articles/forums/posts here and there are older, and I'm thinking lately it might be more in the forefront (or thereabouts) in people's minds to question the pre-made pellet method of feeding dogs, cats, chickens, etc.
So. My little flock was killed last week, and I'm slowly getting over the sadness of my empty yard. I'm getting chicks next week, and I always wanted to check out mixing my own feed so now's a good time.
There's a date stamp on some bags of Manapro organic layer but not all (some mfrs don't even bother with a date stamp). A bag I bought turned to dust in a week, and the Manapro rep told me to check the date - it was 6 months old! Then said because there are no preservatives it degrades quickly.
Which takes me here: There are 3 sources for organic feed in a 15 mile radius and none of them consistently have a date stamp. I find that odd. But when I need feed, I look at the ones with a stamp and see they are 3,4,5,6,7+ months old. Without preservatives. I keep my people-food grains in my fridge in air-tight containers. I wouldn't eat rye grains, for example, that were 6 months old stored in a paper bag. In Florida humidity. Any granny/homesteader/common sense person knows that ain't right. They go rancid and rot.
Which brings me here: I quit feeding my dog kibble. All the same principles apply. Food with no moisture content, compressed and dried to a crisp, not to mention weird (but "nutritionally balanced") ingredients. We're all learning to question what they are, where they come from, and who exactly is coming up with these requirements? And are companies being monitored for accuracy? I'll stop there.
If I have gone as far as the dog, I want to do the same for the chickens. Finding grain, etc. that is organic and relatively fresh might be tough. There's a bulk food store near me but it's all kept in wooden barrels...and that's where I have to let it go. I have to be content with mixing my own, there's a darn good chance it's fresher than pellets, no strange ingredients, so what the hell. They're going to be free range, and most of what they eat they find themselves. My chickens go through very little feed.
I know it's long, and I'm sorry! But I feel like that whole journey is important to share. Maybe not. But there it is.
 
Create symphonies in seed and soil. For this tiny ad:
2019 PDC for Scientists, Engineers, Educators and experienced Permies
https://permies.com/wiki/100059/PDC-Scientists-Engineers-Educators-experienced
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!