Chicken Feed

When we set out to raise chicken for our own eggs, we wanted to make sure that their nourishment was in keeping with our own philosophy of diversity, eating a rainbow. Some village locals told us just to throw them some wheat or corn to supplement the grasses and forage, but I wanted to create a mixture that would keep them healthy and provide a balanced diet without spending a fortune. You can find a variety of options for pre-mixed chicken feed in your local forage shop, which can cost roughly 1lv/kg,  but I wanted to limit the additives and also add more diverse elements.676AF066-91F9-48EE-892F-D4130DBBE6B9

I don’t have a scientific background in chicken nutrition, which is why I have relied on the Storey Guide to Raising Chickens to provide me with guidance for building a complete feed. The problem with the books that I use as references are from the United States, so not all recommendations offered are readily available in Bulgaria, or at least, I haven’t been able to source certain ingredients yet. I have had difficulty finding bone meal (костно брашно) and soybean meal in Kyustendil, so I use sunflower meal (кюспе).

IMG_8515My mix changes with the season, but mostly with what ingredients my local forage supplier has on hand. For a few months, he had dried green peas, and recently he had sorghum.

In the winter I add an extra kilogram of corn to help increase the chicken’s energy, so they can generate more heat.

Casey’s Chicken Feed

24kg coarsely ground grains

  • 9kg corn
  • 5kg wheat
  • 5kg oats
  • 5kg millet

*If peas are available, I will substitute 1kg of peas for 1kg of corn

*If sorghum is available I will reduce the wheat, oats, and millet to 4kg and add 3kg of sorghum.

10kg sunflower meal

8kg wheat bran & rice bran (50/50)

1kg dried milk

200g Himalayan salt

Directions:

Coursely grind will a mill and mix.

*Angel and I use an old cement mixer to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

*The total cost our mixture is about .50-.60 ct./kg, 

 

IMG_9552

Madam Broody!

We get 9 eggs a day from our 9 hens, pretty consistently… one hen is not laying, currently, because she is brooding. She is incubating 5 chicken and 6 duck eggs.

 

IMG_8614It is difficult for us to eat all the eggs ourselves, so I usually give eggs to my inlaws and friends. Their feedback was reassuring. My mother-in-law was amazed at how yellow the eggs were, compared to other free-range chicken eggs and my friends remarked on how strong the shells were compared to eggs they usually get from the market.

 

IMG_8709I have been using this recipe for over two years, my birds are healthy and happy. They live outside in our self-designed chicken house with access to fresh grass and clovers sown specifically for their eating pleasure. Raising chickens is a worthwhile endeavor and I would encourage anyone that loves fresh eggs to consider getting a few.

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Chicken Feed

  1. Soul Tranquility says:

    Chickens are definitely a must have for self sustainability. You can’t go wrong with fresh eggs. It is amazing the difference from eggs from your own chickens and those at a store. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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