Ameraucana Breeder's Club Ameraucana Breeders Club FaceBook Page Ameraucana Breeders Club

Author Topic: Feed options  (Read 526 times)

Mitchell Taylor

  • ABC Members
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Feed options
« on: October 03, 2017, 12:52:28 PM »
Just wondering what everyone does/uses for their flocks feed. My wife and I are just getting started raising and breeding Ameraucanas and we've been buying a few different brands of organic/Non GMO feeds and have found that we like the Highland Naturals chicken feed line. Our chickens clean it up well and don't seem to waste much feed either. The feed is on the high side, but we want to stay NON GMO organic. We are talking to a local feed mill to see what other options are available for custom milling but it seems that finding NON GMO ingredients in our area (southeastern Indiana) is going to be the struggle.

Thanks for any input or ideas.

Mitch and Tiffany

Birdcrazy

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 902
    • View Profile
Re: Feed options
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 04:10:20 PM »
Mitchell, I switched to a DuMor 16% Layer feed in pellet form this last spring. I don't know the status of GMO grain in the feed as it is not stated on the sack. I know since I switched to the pellets from crumbles I feed considerably less feed. The waste has cut down greatly with birds not flicking the feed out of the containers near as much, and they usually pick up feed on the floor. I get this at TSC for $11.99 a 40 lb. sack. For starting my chicks and growing them out I use Purina Flock Raiser. It is a 20% non medicated feed.  I have used it for several years with great results. It has far surpassed any other feed that I have tried for my grow out pens. Here again I do not know the status of GMO grains as nothing is listed on the sack or label concerning this. One advantage of the non medicated feed is that birds not making the cut on culling do not have a wait time for processing. I get mine from TSC as they are usually within 50 cents a bag from the grain elevator. So I only have 1 stop to make. Cost $15.99 for a 50 lb. bag.
Gordon Gilliam

Don

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
    • View Profile
Re: Feed options
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 09:08:12 AM »
Poultry feeds vary a lot in different parts of the country and the prices are all over the board too. I've read where some of the breeders are able to find $7/50# feeds, but that is not the case in our area.  You can find the national brands but sometimes can find a cheaper ration from a local mill.  The trend toward the "Natural" feeds has brought a lot of diverse products on the market and most of these will cost a lot more than the regular feed mill rations. Finding sources that are Non GMO and organic are often hard to locate and will certainly cost much more. You can more likely be able to find an independent grower that can supply grain directly at a more reasonable price, but you will be limited as most growers don't plant many types of grains in a single year.  Sarah Meaders uses a ration of grains that she can adjust depending on what grains are available at that time.  The other option is to use a base commercial ration and supplement this with special minerals and vitamins to enrich the diet and bring the protein up higher a bit.  Poultry are omnivores and like a variety of grubs/bugs.  This type of protein is not available in a lot of the "Natural" feeds as they base their protein on mostly soy products, no animal protein.  A higher protein especially animal proteins are helpful to provide a wider range of nutrients for breeding/hatching.  Some will use scrape meats from hunting/processing, meal worms or even fish or cat foods to better these diets.   

There is a lot to discuss on the subject and there are Many different opinions as well.  Feel free to ask specific questions as you go thru your search and learning curve.  Hopefully you can help the rest of us along the way.  You can search the forum for feeds and rations to find some other discussions thru the years too. 
Good Luck and Enjoy! 
Don Cash
" No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause."  Mark Twain

Mitchell Taylor

  • ABC Members
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: Feed options
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 07:13:27 AM »
Thanks for the info it's much appreciated.

Don

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
    • View Profile
Re: Feed options
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 09:01:19 AM »
I forgot to mention some of the other sources of protein that I've seen folks use over time.  Nutritional or Brewers Yeast adds a lot of nutrients as well as some protein content.  And some folks have used to some of the  seaweed powders as well as a number of oils, such as cod liver, wheat germ oils and "Red Cell" supplement.  Also, I still think it is helpful to give them sprouted grains during times of stress and especially in the winter months.  They also enjoy grass cuttings when they are available in the growing season.  Then in the winter or early spring they love the honey suckle vines and flowers too.  We used to be able to buy some horse vitamin supplements, but the prices on these have gone way outside my budget.   
Don Cash
" No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause."  Mark Twain