Friday, May 17, 2013

@The Prepper Project: Feeding Chickens Without Buying Feed

Here's my latest post for The Prepper Project... you chicken-lovers should enjoy it:

"There are plenty of theories and grand ideas on feeding chickens self-sufficiently, but many of them are unwieldy… require a significant amount of land… are unrealistic… or, in one notable innovation involving buckets of maggot-riddled carrion… disgusting.

I can’t say that this post is going to have all the answers on feeding your chickens without buying in feed – but I do hope it helps you get further in your quest to nourish your flock without trucking in bags of factory pellets..." (READ THE REST)

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At May 19, 2013 at 7:15 AM , Blogger Knotty Pots said...

so.. have you ever experimented with the cat food and stale bread diet for chickens? just add sanitized egg shell for layers. bread from the day-old bread store.
then there's some people doing great work with fodder systems in order to raise animals in small spaces.

of course, neither option is truly sustainable. but it is better than just straight up buying feed. i second that chickens like to eat bidens alba (my favorite native plant!) and duckweed/azolla should be grown more.

At May 19, 2013 at 4:12 PM , Blogger mrlespaulman said...

Hey Dave, what is your chicken coop set-up like? I've been toying with the idea of keeping rabbits and chickens (probably not roosters--yet...) but haven't decided on how I'm going to build the coop. I've got one of those metal sheds, and I've seen some neat designs based around those. So anyways, how do you do it?

At May 19, 2013 at 8:43 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

I have a dead-simple coop. Like you, I had a shed to work with, though mine was a wooden one with a decayed floor. Chickens are really darned easy. I screwed a couple of 5-gal buckets to the wall about 8" off the ground with their openings pointing out and left about 1/3 of their lids intact as a lip on the bottom. The hens lay in there. You don't need to make boxes for each hen to lay in. They'll happily dump their eggs on top of the previous hen's eggs all day long. If I didn't have the shed, I would have built something simple. Even a little playhouse-sized building would work. As long as you can shut them in at night so predators don't nail them, you'll be fine.

At May 20, 2013 at 8:21 AM , Blogger mrlespaulman said...

That makes good sense. How do you keep the chicken poop and pee off of the plywood floor? And what's the "coop-to-run" ratio for your chickens? I want to make sure they have enough space to do their thing, but don't want to make it ridiculously humongous or something.

I ask way too many questions. Lol.

At May 20, 2013 at 9:26 AM , Blogger David The Good said...

I throw straw on the floor occasionally. They don't "pee," actually, they take care of that in their droppings. If you just freshen up the floor once in a while, you can let the layer get as thick as you like... then have a big chicken coop clean out day once in a while.

Coop-to-run ration? Roughly 1 part coop... 3 parts run. I've got a run that's about 20 x 40' or so... outside a henhouse that's perhaps 10' x 20.'


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