Keep your chickens happy and healthy with this homemade whole-grain chicken feed recipe!
If you want to provide the best diet possible for your chickens, you may be interested in making your own homemade chicken feed. This way, you can be sure what is in the food you are feeding your hens, and what ends up in the eggs you enjoy for breakfast! Many homesteaders opt to mix their own whole-grain chicken feed. If you source your ingredients wisely, you can end up with a much higher quality feed for around the same price as commercially prepared chicken feed – at least if you are opting for organic or non-GMO feeds.
Below is the recipe that we use for our chickens. They are healthy, happy, and absolutely LOVE it!
Feel free to tailor this recipe to what you can find in your area. We modified this recipe somewhat so we didn’t have to purchase so many different grains at once. (If you download her spreadsheet here, it will help you create a mix that meets the nutritional needs of your chickens.)
This recipe is both corn-free and soy-free, for those looking to avoid these ingredients. Corn is largely an empty source of calories (like candy!), so it may be useful in cooler climates or during the winter, when the chickens need extra calories to stay warm. If you wish to add corn, you may, but many people choose to avoid it – at least during the summer months.
This is also a great recipe if you want to try fermenting your chicken feed. (In that case, add the powdered ingredients to the feed just before feeding.) This is a 17% protein recipe, appropriate for laying hens. See the full recipe here for some tips for modifying to suit your flock’s needs.
Homemade Soy-Free Corn-Free Whole-Grain Chicken Feed Recipe
Makes 8 1/2 pounds (fills 10-pound feeder)
4 cups oat groats
4 cups black oil sunflower seeds
4 cups hard red wheat berries
2 cups soft white wheat berries
2 cups triticale berries
2 cups rye berries
2 cups millet
2 cups sesame seeds
1 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup brewer’s yeast
1/4 cup kelp granules
Free-choice oyster shells (or crushed eggshells)
- Combine all of the ingredients, except the oyster shells and grit, in a small bucket. Pour the mixture into a feeder. (If fermenting the feed, mix in the brewer’s yeast and kelp just before feeding.)
- Put the oyster shells and grit in separate containers and offer them free-choice to your chickens to eat as they wish.