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 Post subject: Growing Feed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:35 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 187
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
I was wondering if anyone has had any success growing feed for their chickens?
Commercial feed is neither cheap nor environmentally sustainable, especially if you look at organic feed costs.
We feed our chickens a lot of left overs that my wife beings home from work as she works with children. We have over 40 birds and go through a 20kg commercial feed every few days in the summer.
I've looked at buying 500-1000kg at a time but there is not much to be saved, especially if you factor in delivery.

I'm just now beginning to ponder the option of growing some of feed to reduce the reliance on commercial food.
I have just purchased a small tractor and have spare land available but many crop options are available as well as the option of harvesting or letting the chickens graze in the crops.

My chickens are about the be fenced off down to around 500 square meters and I suppose improving the land that they will have access to is also a great option so that they have plenty of bugs/worms/greens to eat in there rather than having a baren area that I need to keep pouring feed into.

It's so simple to just purchase feed but I hope it's not the long term solution for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Feed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:03 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:01 am
Posts: 87
You could grow lucerne and they'll thrive on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Feed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:46 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 187
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
I have some seeds for lucerne and also for clover. Not many but it's a start.

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Feed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:33 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
Wise Wyandotte

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:10 pm
Posts: 4512
Location: SE Qld
Depending on where you are and how much water you have, probably you are better off growing forage crops rather than trying to produce grain. So lucerne is a good idea, it has high protein and lots of leaf that should translate to good egg production and nice orange yolk.

The reason I say forage crop rather than grain is that grain is actually pretty cheap compared with what it might cost you to produce it in a small scale.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Feed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:15 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 187
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Yes for sure. Thanks for the advice, Andrew. It looks as though there is a wealth of info on forage crops around on the net. I know they aren't picky when it comes to the seedlings for my vegetable garden as soon as I turn my back!

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Feed
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:11 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:55 am
Posts: 33
I don't know where exactly you could go to do this, but maybe it's possible to buy grain directly from a producer or silo? Farmers get around $160-$250/tonne for wheat, which is way cheaper than the $20 for a 20kg bag that I find at animal supply shops.

My parents are wheat farmers so they give me the leftovers from the seeder bins or anything that doesn't make it to the silos for my chooks. We always had lots of left over grain to spare, i'm sure many other farmers would too. Just finding them may be tricky, it would depend on the region you are in.


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