chicken feed

A few weeks ago I started thinking about what we feed our chickens. They are free-roaming in our (fenced) yard during the day, and we give them a good amount of kitchen scraps and leftovers, but they also love to eat their feed that we get from the hardware store. We really haven't found a good, organic brand of chicken feed locally. For a while we were buying organic feed from a farm that was ordering it from Virginia, but they stopped ordering it after a few months of using it, because of the cost of shipping it down here. So we've been using Layena, which they like just fine, but I'm pretty sure is full of factory-farmed animal parts and GMO corn and soy. Not exactly what I want to be supporting, or putting into my eggs. So. Enter my awesome friend Monica, who kindly showed me how much fun it is to make your own chicken feed! And that's just what I did.

Here's the recipe she gave me. It's modified from here based on the grains we can find easily in our area.
2 or 3-4 cups corn (grind or use grits) (use the larger quantity in the winter)
4 cups winter wheat (grind)
3 cups spring wheat (grind)
1 cup barley (grind)
1 cup oats (grind if whole)
1-2 cups sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups millet
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup lentils (grind)
1 cup split peas (grind)
1/2 cup flax
1/2 cup Fertrell Nutribalancer (per 10 lbs feed, depending on quantities you use)
1 1/2 cup fish meal (per 10 lbs feed)

You can substitute amaranth for the quinoa or millet sometimes, or give other grains like kamut, if you can find it in your area.

Here's a post on Wild Roots Homestead with the chicken feed recipe that they use for their large flock. They also have some great ideas on foods to supplement your chickens' diets (sprouts and kombucha!). I could use some more of those in my diet, too....


  1. I just wondered over to your blog this morning from small measure and the first post i see is this one about making chicken feed. perfect timing! My wife and I are raising our first chicks and I have not been able to find a food I'm crazy about. Thanks for sharing this!

    Where did you find the large mouth grinder...is it a meat grinder or a special grain grinder?

  2. I also would love to know more about where you found your grinder.
    With 35 chickens I have also wanted to learn more about making our own food for them. This year we plan to plant lots of sunflowers and to give them a couple of flower heads each week through the winter to help supplement.
    Thank you so much for sharing. Tonya

  3. Tony- I got the grinder on ebay. I don't know much about grinders, but I believe it is for grains only. I like it, but will probably be saving up for the kitchen aid grinder attachment at some point!

    Naturalearthfarm-- I love the idea of giving them sunflower heads! So far we only have 5 sunflowers coming up in the garden, so I think I need to find spots for some more.