DIY Chicken Feed

There are many out there that insist that a person cannot create a diy balanced chicken feed. I believe they are incorrect. You don't need a degree in poultry health to know what to use. You don't need to be paid by a manufacturer to know what's best.

Chickens have been around for eons. Many breeds & hybrids are more recent and may have been developed to do best (fast growing, industrial use) on prepared feed.

This is one reason I like to promote heritage breeds. Most have been around for so many generations that they precede commercial chicken feed formulations. The jersey giant is one known to have been developed to thrive on grains that the farmers could grow themselves. It is one breed that I doubt I will part with. I put a lot into the development of my jg birds to keep them pure & true to purpose/breed.

Here are two links to SOY (which is not a natural feed for chickens) & CORN FREE feed mixes. You can't avoid all gmo, but you can at least try to reduce it.

Here is a newer version of her feed, which looks like something we can more easily do. If you can source einkorn (an ancient wheat), be aware that it is extremely high in protein. This would help increase that content & be helpful if feeding game birds (quail, pheasants, peafowl, etc.). I would also encourage the use of comfrey if you have it. I still need to research it further for nutritional content, but it is "greens" and livestock love eating it! My understanding is as well that once you have comfrey, you will never have a lack of it. That is perfect for poultry!

She makes a note in one article or another about a feed calculator. I am not sure of its accuracy as I have seen controversy over what feed calculators are good & not. Use at your discretion.

She also talks about substitutes if you can't source certain things. I have not yet looked at that list, but it is a good thing to be aware of.

The measure of a good feed is as she describes...healthy, perky, shiny and well kept feathers, the amount of feed intake & poop output, rate of lay, meat on the bones. You can know what works by observation.

IF you do your research into who may grow what around you, often you can source grains directly from the farmer much, much cheaper than you can otherwise. With the quickly growing high price of feed, you could be financially better off making your own.


  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for this. I've just begun to think seriously about making my own chicken feed, and these articles make a good place to start. I'm down to four girls and one obnoxious rooster at the moment--though planning on getting more layers this spring--and it's getting to be a chore to find feed with any claim to quality at all around here, even for so small a flock. And the prices, even for the junk stuff are going sky-high.

    I tried growing a square foot of triticale last season, just as an experiment to see if it would grow--for me the chickens, and as bulk for the compost pile, and it grew well, even in a spot that only gets 4 hours or so of sun. I think any of the grains would probably grow in most of our zones, and for a small flock it would probably be manageable to grow your own. And raising meal worms or black soldier fly larva is doable too. The way things are going, it may come to that for all of us if we want to feed our chickens!