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3 Amazing Homemade Chicken Feed Recipes 

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Homemade chicken feed is not only healthier for your flock, it’s more affordable too! Your feathered friends will LOVE our 3 homemade recipes!

Raising backyard chickens has become increasingly popular over the past couple of decades. People are longing to be connected with their food supply once again. Bridging the gap between production and consumption. 

What you feed your chickens is an essential part of keeping them healthy and productive. 

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Why do we raise chickens?  Outside of their cuteness factor, many of us will answer ‘so we can have a fresh and healthy food source that we raise’. 

With all of the hoopla about contaminated chicken feed and chicken feed shortages, it’s best to make your own homemade chicken feed with our 3 simple recipes. 

Whether you buy into the conspiracy theories about contaminated chicken feed or simply can’t find feed available at your stores, homemade chicken feed is just the better way to go. 

Just like humans, what we feed our bodies has a direct relation to our health. What goes into our chickens’ bodies is equally important.

So why choose store-bought when you can make your own homemade chicken feed that is healthier? 

Why Should You Make Your Own Chicken Feed

In the world of self-sufficiency, we reduce a lot of the middle man when we DIY it. Homemade chicken feed is a prime example of that. 

While commercial chicken feed is readily available (to some extent), many people prefer to make their own feed. In order to have control over the quality of the ingredients. 

By making your own feed, you can tailor it to meet your chickens’ specific dietary needs and preferences, and even save money in the process. And who doesn’t like to save money? 

Chickens Require A Well Balanced Diet (With Protein)

Newsflash. Chickens aren’t vegetarian. No matter what you see advertised on the cartons at the grocery store, chickens eat, and require protein. Heck, chickens will eat other chickens given the chance and the right motivation! 

Chickens require a well-balanced diet that provides them with the essential nutrients they need to maintain good health and productivity. 

There are three main nutrients that chickens require: 

  1. Protein
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Fats

Chickens also require vitamins and minerals. Such as vitamin A,B, D, E and K. As well as calcium, phosphorus, and sodium to support their growth and maintain healthy bones, feathers, and eggshells. 

A complete chicken feed should contain a balance of these nutrients and be formulated according to the age and activity level of the chickens. 

Laying hens, for example, require a diet that is higher in calcium to support the production of strong eggshells. 

In addition to a balanced diet, chickens also require access to clean water, forage, and plenty of space to move around. Not to mention they LOVE having a tasty snack of mealworms from time to time. 

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What Is The Homemade Chicken Feed Formula

As I mentioned earlier, the formula for making chicken feed can vary depending on the specific nutritional needs of your chickens, and the ingredients available to you. 

A basic formula for homemade chicken feed may include a combination of:

  • Grains
  • Protein sources. 
  • Supplements. 

For instance, a standard simple recipe for homemade chicken feed should include

  • 50% whole grains (wheat, barley, oats).
  • 25% protein sources (soybean meal, fish meal, dried insects (like mealworms).
  • 10% calcium (eggshells, oyster shells, or limestone).
  • 5% salt.
  • 5 % premix (which includes vitamins and minerals).

Additionally, the exact portions may need to be adjusted depending on the factors I mentioned above like age, egg production, and breed. 

Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Chicken Feed? 

Making your own chicken feed can be cheaper than purchasing commercial chicken feed, especially with the rising costs. 

However, there are some factors that will play a role in this equation, such as the availability of ingredients. You may experience supply chain issues and have a hard time getting the ingredients. If this happens, you can always plant a garden for your chickens as well as grow fodder for them to help supplement their feed. 

Other factors include the size of your flock. Ideally, to save on the costs of ingredients, you should buy in bulk from a local grain store or mill. If you have a small flock and have to purchase the ingredients at full retail, you may not be saving much. 

However, whether you are saving a fortune or not, the main purpose and motivation is to provide quality homemade chicken feed for your flock. The savings are just a beneficial byproduct. 

3 Homemade Chicken Feed Recipes

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Basic Chicken Feed Recipe

  • 4 Cups Whole Wheat
  • 4 Cups Cracked Corn
  • 3 ½  Cups Oats
  • 2 Cups Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 Cups Flax Seeds
  • 1 Cup Fish Meal 
  • 1 Cup Bone Meal
  • ½ Brewer’s Yeast

Mix all ingredients together and store in airtight containers. This recipe is suitable for most breeds of chickens. 

Layer Feed Recipe

  • 6 Cups Whole Wheat
  • 6 Cups Cracked Corn
  • 5 ½ Cups Oats
  • 3 Cups Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • 3 Cups Flax Seeds
  • 2 Cups Fish Meal
  • 1 Cup Brewer’s Yeast
  • ½ Cup Kelp Meal

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. 

This recipe is suitable for laying hens and contains extra calcium for strong eggshells. 

Broiler Feed Recipe

  • 8 Cups Whole Wheat
  • 8 Cups Cornmeal
  • 4 Cups Soybean Meal
  • 4 Cups Fishmeal
  • 2 Cups Bone Meal
  • 1 Cup Brewer’s Yeast
  • ½ Cup Kelp Meal

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. 

This recipe is suitable for broiler chickens and contains extra protein for fast growth. 

Herbs To Add To Your Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe

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Herbs can be a nutritious addition to a chicken’s diet and provide numerous health benefits. 

Some herbs that are safe and beneficial for chickens include

These herbs contain vitamins and minerals that can help improve digestion, boost their immune systems, and support overall health. 

In addition, herbs can help reduce stress in chickens and have antimicrobial properties that help prevent infections

To feed herbs to your chickens, you can mix them in their homemade chicken feed or just scatter them on the ground for them to peck. I like to include herbs in my chicken garden

Raise a Happy, Healthy Flock With Homemade Chicken Feed

Making your own homemade feed can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to keep your flock healthy and productive. 

By using these three recipes or experimenting with your own ingredients, you can customize your chickens’ diet and provide them with the nutrition they need to thrive and live a long, happy life

homemade-chicken-feed-recipes

Sharing is caring!

Kathy

Thursday 16th of May 2024

I don't see the calcium in the Layer Feed Recipe. What would it be? Thank you! Also, where does one find fish meal?

Amber Bradshaw

Monday 27th of May 2024

Fishmeal is a good source of calcium, and the amount of calcium it contains depends on its ash content. High-quality fishmeal typically has an ash content of 17–25%, and more ash indicates a higher mineral content, including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Calcium and phosphorus make up the majority of the ash in fishmeal. You can buy fishmeal online at several different stores, including Walmart, Chewy, and your local feed store. Additionally, you can offer them crushed oyster shells or egg shells as free choice (we do both).

Gale Jenness

Thursday 7th of March 2024

I wish I could make my own chicken feed, but the feed stores in my area ( Fern Prairie, Washington) carry very little if any at all of the grains or other ingredients for making your own chicken feed. It’s like you’re being forced to use the store bought chicken feed whether you want to or not? There’s 3 feed retailers in my area and they all carry about the same products. Only thing I can do is grow my own plants that chicken like to eat. Made a raised bed on a little flatbed trailer that easily moved and it has hardware cloth over the top so the chickens can’t eat the grasses I planted for them to the ground and destroy the roots. So far the grasses keep growing back. Still plan on planting more plants for the chickens this summer.

Amber Bradshaw

Friday 8th of March 2024

Have you looked into an online company like Azure? They sell bulk grains. We also grow/breed mealworms, which they LOVE.

Mel

Sunday 17th of September 2023

I am wanting to own chickens next year for laying eggs. How long does the broiler feed last? And how many hens does this feed?

Amber Bradshaw

Sunday 17th of September 2023

Congrats on your decision to raise chickens! I actually have an article with a free printable on how much to feed your chickens. https://myhomesteadlife.com/feeding-guide-for-chickens-101/

Brian

Monday 1st of May 2023

Where do you buy your grains? Are they certified organic? I would like to find "organic" ingredients but the closest store that sells organic grains is 4 hours away. There nothing local. I have some customers that are emphatic the feed must be certified organic.

Amber Bradshaw

Thursday 4th of May 2023

Azure Standard, they deliver locally and you place an order once a month.