herein we document our quiet life.
Can I ask how much this costs, how long it lasts you, and how you store it?
this bill is for $130.50. it lasts roughly three to four months. we store it in fifty five gallon steel drums with lids that close tightly back on. 350# fit in each drum.
Hi :) A friend just sent me the link to your blog and I am SO happy she did. Great information. Wow! We're in VT raising hens (60 of them)organically for eggs. Feed costs are so high so the idea of mixing our own is really appealing. I'm calling the mill on Monday to see if they sell bulk.Thanks so much for sharing!
How do you mix/stir up such a large amount?
Are all the ingredients in your mix organic? I would be concerned that the possibility of non-organic soy and corn being GMO would be high. Your thoughts? I have enjoyed reading here for quite a while.
abi, thanks for stopping in and commenting. we like the encouragement.jimmycc, this is the bill from our mill. they do all the mixing there. in fact, we are planning on bringing some sea kelp next time to add to the mix for our broilers. this is one of those old time grain elevators that our grandfather might have used. mother of blessings, thanks for commenting again, no this is not an organic mix. it starts as whole ingredients and is milled right there. we feel lucky to have found this grain mill that will mix smaller batches. we can get our batch size to 400# on this mix. organic really isn't available here. if were so inclined, we can barely buy shriveled up organic lettuce in our local grocery store. we get our lettuce a little more local than that;) we do keep asking about the possibility of organic ingredients we just aren't there yet.
Thanks Karl!! :)It makes me wonder if we have some type of mill like that around here.
It is a shame that there are still so many places where organic is hard to come by. We are blessed to have a group stop on the truck route for Azure Standard. I do not organize this so I do not know for sure but I believe our group minimum is $600 and the personal minimum is $60. I can get all kinds of organic grains from them but the price will be higher. Thank for posting you mix! I will be making a few chicken tractors adapted from your design soon. :)
Karl, this might sound like a silly question, but as you've raised and eaten your own chickens, do you notice that different breeds have a different flavor to their meat...and if so, which one or more are your favorites for taste? You can tell I've never have chickens yet :)
Jennifer,if there is a farming community near you, that is where i'd start to look.motherofblessings, we used to belong to azure when we lived in CA. from here the fact that it is organic doesn't out weigh it's carbon-footprint. that is especially true since the corruption of organic standards as the gap between closes every day. all this, coupled with the fact that we then couldn't afford to feed three chickens for the price we pay for a flock of sixty makes the decision for us. at the end of the day we have a family of six to feed. although, we are researching growing a forage crop like comfrey to displace more of our corn use. Robbyn, we like cornish cross (broilers) as the chicken we raise for butcher. most other culled chickens only make their way into broth or soup. every person has differing opinions on this topic. all i can say this is our choice. we have many reasons for this and might make an excellent post someday.
Good point about the cost and footprint. I just received a piece of comfrey root from a friend. It is already growing in a pot in my kitchen. If my chickens like it as much as I am told I will be planting more. I will also be planting a full bed of Kale this year for my goats. My test plants last year grew very well and the goats seemed to really like it.
Karl, I am so jealous of your grain price, ours is easily double that for our broiler feed, with close to the same mix, + kelp and Fertrell minerals.Just a note, Azure is expanding, and may be delivering to your area. I think they go as far east as Arkansas now. They just bought our egg washing machine last week, they are adding eggs to their mix on their farm.I'm putting my vote in too for the Cornish X, I think they make a smaller footprint on our farm too, because they are more efficient than a heritage breed or laying breed cockerel.
This is Tabitha, here.We feed a different ration to our broilers, and it includes kelp meal too. Our broiler ration is straight pulverized corn and soybean meal (in our locale, we have a choice for upping protein between soy and cottonseed meal. the better choice is obvious, if you know anything about cottonseed meal), and we blend in our own kelp meal. But this year we are going to do the fertrell poultry mineral too. Our feed guy will mix in for us what we please. I went back to the Azure site and there's no mention of when they're coming near here. It's too bad. We do have UNFI, but I am pretty much against buying certified organic human-grade ingredients for my livestock, because of the treacle and the fact that feed grade is handled differently (less, really) all this adds up to footprint. Organic is not the answer, beyond organic is. And yes, hopefully someday everything will be different.
Tabitha, I find Azure's website harder to use than their hard copy catalog and delivery schedule. The route that goes to Missouri is M-1. It looks like they deliver monthly, but I don't know if they actually come close enough to you to make it worth it if you have another option for good bulk goods. We're kinda spoiled since we have a choice of driving there or Bob's Red Mill. Last year I cheaped out and didn't add the fertrell, although I still used it for the cows - well, it wasn't worth it, my chickens averaged about a pound less than previous years. Same amount of work, less meat = sad chicken wranglers and eaters. I knew better too...
Another ingredient which we free feed when it is available through the winters is meat. This makes up for the lack of bugs, fat and protein, that the chickens scratch up in the warmer months. To that we added crushed oyster shells. I've had the crazy idea of grinding up bones but never tried it.
tapper creek, maybe we'll try thatwalter, yeah our hens have a little hopper/bin of free choice oyster shells. i like the idea of meat scraps. they already get lots of table scraps that contain wasteful carnivore fare.
Did you ever think about red worms for added protein? You feed teh worms some compost and table scraps, you get castings for the garden and protein for the chickens. On your scale it might take some time to grow enough worm stock to divide out to the chickens, though.
I am interested in your chicken feed recipe. Can you please explain what kind of magnesium you are using?Thanks!Marissa in MI
the two types of mag available here have their number listed next to them. that is all i can say. i am sure it is some industrial grade stuff. we are now in the process of vetting a new mill. we'll see how it turns out.
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