DIY Nutritional & Affordable Chicken Feed Recipe! (2024)

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Depending on your flocks needs, whether you are raising chickens for eggs or for meat, I want to teach you how to make your own nutritional and affordable chicken feed.

DIY Nutritional & Affordable Chicken Feed Recipe! (1)

Keeping chickens can be a fulfilling and sustainable endeavor, whether you are raising them for fresh eggs or meat. However, the cost of commercial chicken feed can add up over time, especially if you have a large flock. Fortunately, making your own chicken feed is not only cheaper, but also allows you to tailor the ingredients to meet the specific needs of your chickens. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to make your own chicken feed recipe that promotes optimal health and productivity for your feathered friends.

Step 1: What Do Your Chickens Need

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Understand Your Chickens’ Nutritional Needs

Before diving into the recipe, it’s important to understand the nutritional requirements of your chickens. Egg-laying hens, for example, require a diet rich in protein, calcium, and essential vitamins and minerals to support egg production. Meat chickens, on the other hand benefit from a high-protein diet to promote rapid growth and muscle development.

Step 2: Buying The Grains

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Now, let’s explore the ingredients for our chicken feed recipe and their respective benefits:

  • Soybean Meal (30%): Soybean meal is a rich source of protein, making it an essential component of chicken feed, especially for egg-laying hens. This is added because protein is crucial for egg production and overall muscle development in chickens.
  • Whole corn (25%): Whole corn provides carbohydrates and energy to chickens, helping to sustain their activity levels and promote healthy growth. This is added because corn is a cost-effective grain.
  • Whole Wheat (20%): Whole wheat adds additional carbohydrates and fiber to the feed, supporting digestion and overall gut health in chickens. This is added to include a variety of different grains in the feed to ensure a balanced diet and prevents nutritional deficiencies.
  • Barley (15%): Barley is another nutritious grain that offers carbohydrates, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals to chickens. This grain is added to help diversify the feed and provides valuable nutrient for optimal chicken health.
  • Milo (10%): Milo, also known as sorghum, is a drought-tolerant grain that provides energy and nutrients to chickens. Adding Milo to the feed mix enhances its nutritional profile and ensures a well-rounded diet for your flock.
  • Cow Peas (5%): Cow peas are a valuable source of protein and amino acids, supporting muscle development and overall health in chickens. Incorporating Legumes like cow peas into the feed boosts its protein content and promotes optimal growth and productivity.
  • Cinnamon and Red Pepper Flakes (1% each): Cinnamon and red pepper flakes provide natural flavor and potential health benefits for chickens. Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties that may help prevent infections in chickens, while red pepper flakes can stimulate circulation and improve digestion.

Step 3: Make the Feed

Mixing, Preparation, and Storing

Once you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to mix them together to create your homemade chicken feed. Use a large container or bucket to combine the grains and additives thoroughly. Store the feed in a cool, dry place to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage.

Tips and Tricks for Feeding Your Chickens

In Addition to the chicken feed recipe, here are a few tips and tricks to enhance the health and productivity of your flock:

  • Fermentation Method: Soaking the feed in water for a few days through a fermentation process can increase its nutritional value and digestibility for chickens. Fermented feed is easier for chickens to digest and may improve their overall health and egg production.
  • Incorporate Microgreens: Adding leftover microgreens from your garden or kitchen to your chickens’ diet provides additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Microgreens are nutrient-dense and can supplement the nutritional content of homemade chicken feed, promoting optimal health and vitality.
  • Rotate Pasture Access: Allowing your chickens to free-range in a pasture or garden area not only provides them with fresh greens and insects but also helps to naturally fertilize the soil. Rotating pasture access prevents overgrazing and ensures a diverse diet for your chickens, resulting in healthier eggs and meat.
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Making your own chicken feed is a cost-effective and rewarding way to ensure the health and well-being of your flock. By following this recipe and incorporating tips and tricks for feeding your chickens, you can provide nutritious and delicious meals that support optimal egg production, growth, and overall vitality. So roll up your sleeves, mix up a batch of homemade feed, and watch your chickens thrive!

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DIY Nutritional & Affordable Chicken Feed Recipe! (2024)


Is it cheaper to make your own chicken feed? ›

Homemade chicken feed not only improves the health of your flock, but is usually slightly cheaper than buying pre-made feed. This option is particularly cost-effective if you are able to find grains and seeds in bulk from local grocery and bulk food stores.

What is the best and cheapest way to feed chickens? ›

How to Save Money on Chicken Feed
  1. Have a Free Range Area. In the wild, chickens can fulfill all their dietary needs by grazing. ...
  2. Experiment With Fermented Feed. ...
  3. Supplement Feed With Kitchen Scraps and Compost. ...
  4. Sprout Seeds Into Fodder. ...
  5. Start With Nature's Best Organic Feeds.
Jan 15, 2024

What are the most nutritious things for chickens feed? ›

Good choices include leafy greens, cooked beans, corn, non-sugary cereals and grains, berries, apples and most other fruits and vegetables. Despite often voracious appetites and a willingness to eat just about anything you might give them, there are some foods to be avoided.

What do the Amish feed their chickens? ›

In fact, most of our Amish and Mennonite family farmers grow their own organic grains to feed their hens. Our cage free farmers feed their hens a conventionally grown diet, formulated by local feed mills.

How long does a 50 lb bag of chicken feed last? ›

If you're buying a 50-pound bag of feed, it would feed your chicken for about 33 weeks. If you have four hens in your flock, eating about 6 pounds of feed a week, you'll go through a 50-pound bag of feed about every 8 weeks. For long-term success, feed a complete Purina® chicken feed.

What is the formula for making chicken feed? ›

Formula for Making Your Own Chicken Feed

Formula 1: Bran 3.2%, maize 62%, soybean meal 31%, calcium hydrogen phosphate 1.3%, rock flour 1.2%, additives 1%, salt 0.3%.

What can I feed my chickens if I run out of feed? ›

Alternative feed for chickens, if you're out of feed, are whole grains like wheat, corn, flax, cooked rice (NOT UNCOOKED!), and raw or cooked oatmeal. Protein-rich foods like cheese, plain greek yogurt, and sunflower seeds are also good choices.

What did chickens eat before commercial feed? ›

In addition to green food, turn-of-the-century chickens ate rations comprising grains, protein from milk or meat, and scraps from the family's table. “Bits of bread, cheese, meat, cake, pie, doughnuts, all kinds of vegetables are served up to the hens,” Field wrote. “Nothing in the way of food comes amiss.

Can I give eggshells to my chickens? ›

Chickens need plenty of calcium to produce eggs. And egg shells are rich in calcium. So it makes sense that people would feed egg shells back to their chickens. Feeding egg shells to chickens prevents the shells from going to waste and provides a source of calcium for your chooks.

What is a superfood for chickens? ›

Eggs truly are a superfood. They are a great source of nutrients for chickens that need a boost.

How to feed chickens for free? ›

Because chickens are omnivores, they will eat a wide variety of foods.
  1. Lawn clippings/Grass.
  2. Snakes, frogs and lizards.
  3. Eggs (hopefully not their own)
  4. Bugs.
  5. Kitchen scraps (greens, sprouts, etc.)
  6. Hay.
  7. Animals (mice, snakes, frogs, lizards)
  8. Crops (leftover broccoli leaves and stems, squash, and other garden scraps)
Jul 22, 2023

What is the best complete food for chickens? ›

Feeding hens

Both Smallholder Range Layers Crumble and Pellets can be fed to all poultry and provides all the nutrients your hens need. All commercial hens will have been fed a dry mash throughout their lives, so the Crumble is the perfect feed as they start their free range future.

Can you save money having your own chickens? ›

The answer is… it depends. If you're looking to become more self-sufficient and enjoy the process of raising chickens, then it may be worth the investment for you. Additionally, if you have a large family or use a lot of eggs in your cooking, then the cost savings may be more significant.

What is the cheapest way to feed laying hens? ›

10 Cheap Chicken Feed Ideas For Feeding Your Flock On A Budget
  1. Let Your Chickens Free Range. This is my favorite cheap chicken feed option. ...
  2. Sprouted Seeds Or Fodder. ...
  3. Fermented Seeds. ...
  4. Deer Corn When It's In Season. ...
  5. Kitchen Scraps. ...
  6. Leftover Eggs. ...
  7. Sunflower Seeds. ...
  8. Bugs And Grubs.
May 21, 2020

Is it cheaper to buy whole chicken than breasts? ›

Lower Price per Pound: Whole chickens are priced lower per pound than pre-cut premium chicken pieces like chicken breasts, which means you get more meat for your money.

How much does it cost to feed 1 chicken per year? ›

On average, a single backyard pet chicken will eat 91 pounds of feed per year. A flock of 6 chickens will eat almost 550 pounds of feed annually. A 50-pound bag of chicken feed costs $20 on average. Feeding 6 chickens annually will cost about $220.

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