My son's first pet was a chicken. :)
[url=http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/Grow-Poultry-Feed-What-Chickens-Eat.aspx]Grow Your Own Poultry Feed[/url]
Here is an article on feeding chickens without using commercial feeds..... I got through the first 2 pages and stopped, because I do not have the time to work a full time job and do all of the things listed in the article for feeding a small flock of birds. So I use commercial feeds for my flock of @ 40 layers. They have the run of a 5 acre electric fenced pasture, and lay gorgeous brown eggs that have a golden thick yoke.
Bagged feeds use corn and soy because they are cheap and plentiful.
I live in the mid-Atlantic. My chickens free range and go wherever they please, including my neighbor's flower garden (likely sprayed with chemicals) and the neighboring soy bean field (definitely sprayed). I haven't been able to locate an affordable feed that doesn't contain corn.
That said, they don't touch the feed in the spring/summer, instead subsisting on grass, vegetation, bugs, and our table scraps. In the fall/winter, they do eat more feed, but they still hit the yard/field whenever we don't have snow, so their yolks stay beautifully golden.
You do the best you can do... with eggs and everything. If only real wild eggs will do, climb a tree and snag some from a robin. Otherwise, go for whatever is the best option available to you, whether it's a local free range farmed chicken or a "free range" supermarket dozen. Trust me: if the yolk is a lovely, rich golden color, than it's likely healthier than a conventional in-a-cage-chicken egg. No guarantees, but greater probability.
I don't have chickens so correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be simpler to feed the corn to meal worms, and then feed the worms to the chickens? I imagine that a couple of buckets of kitchen scraps (which chicken will also feed on, they'll eat anything) will keep a nice mealworm population going through the winter. Perhaps it's not realistic for everyday feed, but it could be a good wintertime alternative.
[QUOTE=Apex Predator;856833]I don't remember the exact amount, but I went on a tour of Polyface with Joel Salatin, and he said if they didn't use feed, eggs would be something like $20++/doz, so basically no farm that's a business would do that. Remember that birds are supposed to eat grains.[/QUOTE]
The farm where I get my eggs from the chickens are completely free range, and are able to eat bugs etc, and are not fed grains at all.
[QUOTE=galemack;1094992]As juicing becomes more popular, many are unsure as to whether an expensive juicer can do more than a blender. While vegetable smoothies are a great addition to any healthy diet, vegetable juicing offers different advantages.[/QUOTE]
My girls are largely free range, but with heavy snow fall, I need to supplement with some grain. That said, they get all of my kitchen scraps, thus don't eat much of the commercial chow.
That said, I'm experimenting with this:
[url=http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/713334/growing-fodder-for-chickens]Growing fodder for chickens[/url]
Very, very cool and the birds love it.
After 10 months of search I finally found a local farm that does not supplement their pastured chickens with any grain only fruit and vegetables. I'm going to pickup 12 dozen on Sunday :D at 8$ I hope they're good ha
I live in Northern CA as well and have been searching high and low for corn free eggs, as I have a newly developed corn allergy. What's the name of the farm you found that doesn't use grain?
Do a search on Craigslist. I insisted on checking the farm out. It took me 3 farms to let me see the chickens. :)
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