By Vicki -
For young chicks you can make your own organic starter feed. Here’s the recipe I use:
Organic Chick Feed
- 3 parts soft white wheat
- 3 parts hard red winter wheat
- 1 part hulled barley
- 1 part oat groats
- 2 part sunflower seeds
- ½ part peanuts
- 1 part wheat bran
- 1 part split peas
- 1 part lentils
- 1 part quinoa
- 1 part sesame seeds
- 1/2 part kelp and oregano (fresh)
-1/2 part bird seed
- 1 oz of meat per 12 chicks
I have access to organic grains and seeds at my feed store. They have them in bins for planting so I am pretty fortunate. During the winter I only have access to summer leftovers and they are not as fresh. I then use bagged organic chick starter and buy fresh kelp/oregano at the grocery store and fine grind it.
I try to feed young chicks at least one boiled or raw egg every few days. Eggs have all the vitamins a chick needs and I like the selenium levels you get out of an egg for young birds.
I made pork roast last night and I fine ground about an ounce for 8 chicks and put it on their Fermented Feed (FF) this morning. I feed the older chicks chicken livers about once a week so a pound of liver lasts a long time. I probably feed an ounce of raw meats per week for 8-10 chicks. I give them all my leftover meats and fats. After cooking a roast, I keep all of the juices and save it to add to my FF to create a nice layer of fat on it.
I give all my birds leftovers, but I do not give my older, free range flock meat – these chickens find their own (mice, bugs, slugs – all kinds of goodies to be found about the farm). During this time of year I buy Spinach, peas, carrots, and kale. Once in a while I will buy a head of cabbage. I buy one pound of each per month.
When the weather is warm enough I plant for my older, free-ranging flock… wheat, oats, barley, clovers, kale, spinach, melons, cucumbers… all kinds of things. They have apples and pears and I am adding blueberries this year. They eat what they need and I do not give extra chicken feed to my free range flock.
I do feed all my chicks, my broody hens, and my breeders if they are not out free ranging. When the hens take the young out to free range I feed them at night. I should mention that the rest of my free range birds do have access to food at night if the mother hens with broods of chicks let the mature chickens have access to feed dishes.
Happy feeding –