year, we've decided to start growing some of the grain for our
chickens' feed. We'll be starting small to figure out what works
well on the backyard scale, first trying hulless oats, buckwheat,
amaranth, and quinoa, and then probably expanding out in later years to
include wheat, field corn, rye, barley, and millet. In the long
run, we'd like to grow all of our own chicken feed, which is estimated
to be about a bushel of grain per chicken per year.
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Grain Raising, Gene Logsdon explains that you can plan your
that your animals (and you) eat nearly fresh grains throughout the
year. Rye and barley are the first grains to ripen in early
summer, then wheat, oats, buckwheat, and sorghum are ripe in the
fall. In the winter and spring, you can feed the easily stored
corn and soybeans. Check out our homesteading blog for more tips
to grow and process grain. We'll be updating
over there on how our first season goes as the weather warms up.
Meanwhile, if you're
going to keep your chickens healthy by formulating your own chicken
feed, why not go the extra mile and keep them happy with a poop-free chicken waterer?