Organic Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe - Afforable (2024)

Of course most people are interested in feeding their chicken flock a homemade, organic, non-gmo feed– you are what you eat, after all –but if you’re anything like me, the expense is a big factor.

Until now.I’ve cracked the code on creating a homemade organic feed recipe your chicken will love,and your wallet will love it too.I’ve done it by pairing together two time-tested ideas, and the result is a huge amount of nutrients for your chicken with less cost.

Organic Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe - Afforable (1)

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It’s true, I do tell readers to use brand name products. I’m a realistic person who’s here to help people – sometimes homemade products just aren’t for some chicken owners.

Not everyone has the time or energy to research and mix a homemade organicchicken feed recipe, and commercial grainsare formulated to give your flockthe optimum amount of nutrients.

If you can afford to pay for commercial organic grain, there’s nothing wrong with going that direction. Your chickens will get theirbasic nutritional needs met, and live a happy, productive lives.

So I’ve been testing a homemade recipe that still will let you throw organic chicken feed to your henswith less money (but more work).Here’s my homemade recipe and method to creating an organic chicken feed that will help them stay healthy and produce great eggs.

If, for any reason, you don’t want to make your own feed, we love and recommend this non-GMO feed with dried black soldier fly larvae (for extra protein). Our chickens LOVE it! Otherwise, keep reading for a homemade recipe!

1. Ingredients

The first question is to address the ingredients for your homemade chicken feed. You need ingredients that will provide the right protein, vitamin, and mineral content for your flock.

For mybasic homemadechicken feed recipe, I use:

  • Wheat (hard or soft, winter or spring – it doesn’t matter)
  • Peas
  • Mealworms (live or freeze dried)
  • Oats
  • Sesame seeds or sunflower seeds

A note about where to buyyour grains:You may have to purchase grains from Amazon. Sometimes there’s no way around it because there’s no place local to purchase organic grains. Period.In my opinion, you should always check to see if you can purchase them for less near you.

You can do the research about the ingredients, but you’ll find this recipe yieldsbetween 16 – 18% protein – for a growing pullet and a layer, that’s the optimum amount of protein.

Bothwheat and peas are great for protein (wheat has about 17% protein while the peas areabout 24%). The oats are an excellent source of fiber in a homemade recipe, while the sesame and sunflower seeds are great for fat.

There’s some controversy about the amount of mealworms a chicken should eat. Given the ability to forage, hens will consume large quantities of bugs – which are almost pure protein.

However, if achicken eats too much protein, shecan develop kidney and other problems.When it comes to mealworms, add a 1/2 cup to their daily ration to start with, and let your chicken tell you if sheneeds more. If they seem like they need a protein bump, add another 1/2 cup or so of the meal worms.

While I believe it’s best to offerlive mealworms, not everyone has the time or energy to raise them for a homemade recipe (or the desire, they’re bugs after all!). That’s okay – freeze dried ones provide a nice protein bump to your homemade graintoo, and they’re easier to store.

2. Sprout Your Seeds

This is where the real savings comes in. When you sprout your wheat into fodder, you automatically unlock nutrients, and create a homemade chicken feed that’s easier for your flockto digest.In other words, more of the nutrients become bioavailable.

The first time I sprouted seeds, it was revolutionary. Mind. Blown.A tiny berry in the recipe became something much more nutritious and valuable than it was before.

You can read my recipe to sprout fodderhere. For homemade chicken feed, I recommend soaking the grains (also known as berries) for 24 hours, then allowing them 3 days to sprout.

You can sprout them longer than 3 days, but you might run into issues with mold. After 3 days, they’ve started to sprout and unlock the grass, but they haven’t turned into a moldy mess that might make your chickens sick.

Once your grainhas turned into fodder, you can feed the same weight or volume amount – which ends up being less seed overall.

And the berries haveturned into something more nutritious than it could ever be as just a seed.Depending on the type of peas you purchase, you can sprout your peas as well. (Note, if you purchase split peas, you won’t be able to sprout fodder).

I don’t recommend sprouting oats. In my experience, by the time the oats actually sprout (it can take a while), they tend to get moldy. That being said, it’s perfectly fine to soak them overnight.(If you want, you can substitute the wheat for barley in your recipe – barley is hard to come by in my region, which is why I use and recommend wheat.)

Before you feed your henstheir ration, mix your sprouted seeds with the remaining ingredients.

3. Create a daily ration

Because everyone has a different amount of chickens, it’s hard to give you exact recipe. For 5 chickens, however, in my experience, the following recipe works well for each meal:

  • Sprouted seeds(5 cups)
  • Peas (2.5 cups)
  • Oats (2.5 cups)
  • Sesame Seeds (2 tablespoons)
  • Mealworms (1/2 cup)

While this homemade recipe usually works well, you might need to scale up or down a bit depending on your flock’s needs, and whether you allow them to forage.

Organic Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe - Afforable (2)

4. A note about fermenting

If you want to ferment your homemade chicken feed, you can leave the wheat soaking for another day or so. You will get bubbles that let you know the fermenting is taking place, and the berrieswill still sprout while submerged.

As with anything fermented, let your nose be your guide – if it smells funny or rancid, toss it. Wheat that’s properly fermented will smell something like fresh bread or slightly like beer.I don’t recommend letting it soak for longer than an additional 2 days. You will unlock a lot of nutrients as it ferments, but if you wait too long, you can run into other issues.

Make sure you keep your fermenting vesselcovered and completely under water.You can ferment the peas as well, following the same steps.Here is my guide to fermenting chicken feedwhich works for my organic homemade chicken feed recipe or commercial feed.

5. Adding supplementary ingredients

You can add your supplementary ingredients to your homemade chicken feed, such as kelp, garlic, or oregano right before you feed your hens. Just mix them in as you normally would.

I’m a big supporter of giving all three of those supplements to your chickens in a homemade recipe – kelp especially will help ensure your flockgets an iron boost, and the garlic and oregano are great for their antiseptic and immune boosting properties.

This homemade organic chicken feed recipe has been successful for me – I hope it is for you, too!

As I said above, if you don’t want to make your own feed, then we love and recommend this feed (it has black soldier fly larvae for extra protein!)

Organic Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe - Afforable (3)

Maat van Uitert

Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author ofChickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance,Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine,Backyard Poultry, andCountryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat onFacebook hereandInstagram here.

Organic Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe - Afforable (2024)


What is the cheapest way to feed chickens organic food? ›

Sprout Seeds Into Fodder

To sprout your seeds and grains, place them in a shallow container and spread them in a thin, even layer. After your seeds have started sprouting and are about an inch tall, you can give them to your chickens as a treat. Sprouting seeds into fodder is a great way to save money to feed chickens.

Is it cheaper to make my own chicken feed? ›

Homemade chicken feed not only improves the health of your flock, but is usually slightly cheaper than buying pre-made feed. This option is particularly cost-effective if you are able to find grains and seeds in bulk from local grocery and bulk food stores.

What is the formula for making chicken feed? ›

Formula for Making Your Own Chicken Feed

Formula 1: Bran 3.2%, maize 62%, soybean meal 31%, calcium hydrogen phosphate 1.3%, rock flour 1.2%, additives 1%, salt 0.3%.

What is a cheaper alternative to chicken feed? ›

Believe it or not, kitchen scraps such as leftover cooked pasta or rice and vegetable peels can make up a great part of your flock's diet. Just be sure to avoid any scraps that contain dairy products or other ingredients that may not be safe for chickens to consume.

What to feed chickens naturally at home? ›

Good choices include leafy greens, cooked beans, corn, non-sugary cereals and grains, berries, apples and most other fruits and vegetables. Despite often voracious appetites and a willingness to eat just about anything you might give them, there are some foods to be avoided.

What is the healthiest food for chickens? ›

Lettuce, kale, turnip greens and chard are great greens options. Watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries make healthy snacks for chickens when fed in moderation. A few flock favorites include: Vegetables: Lettuce, beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, swiss chard, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers.

How can I feed a lot for cheap? ›

  1. Baked Potato Bar – Potatoes are cheap and filling! ...
  2. DIY Pizza Station – Have pizza crust made and ready to top and let people make their pizzas how they like! ...
  3. Breakfast Buffet – Whip up some of our amazing pancakes and have breakfast for lunch or dinner, too. ...
  4. B.Y.O.M.

What do the Amish feed their chickens? ›

In fact, most of our Amish and Mennonite family farmers grow their own organic grains to feed their hens. Our cage free farmers feed their hens a conventionally grown diet, formulated by local feed mills.

What is the best organic feed for chickens? ›

Organic Poultry Feeds
  • Corn, Whole – 40 lbs. ...
  • Corn , Cracked – 40 lbs. ...
  • Grit, Mineral Grey – 25 lbs. ...
  • Oyster Shell, Lay Blend. $12.25 – $23.50. ...
  • Wheat, Whole – 40 lbs. $22.75.
  • Peas, Whole – 40 lbs. $29.00. ...
  • Flock Developer Pellets Non-Corn/Non-Soy – 40 lbs. $30.75. ...
  • Meatbird Chick Prestarter 24% Non-Corn/Non-Soy – 40 lbs. $37.75.

What is the best food for chickens to grow fast homemade? ›

The best food for chickens to grow fast is nutrient-rich feeds that contain essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals to help chickens accelerate their growth trajectory. A homemade broiler booster can contain garlic. cloves, turmeric, black pepper, bitter kola, ginger, cayenne, and thyme.

How to make organic feeds for chicken? ›

Animal protein can be added into organic chicken feed ingredients including fish meal, meat meal and bone meal. you can add plant-based proteins into organic chicken feed recipe which includes soybean meal, canola meal, and corn gluten meal.

How to make simple chicken feed? ›

You will require 110 kg of cracked corn, 68 kg of ground roasted soya beans, 11 kg of rolled oats, 11 kg of alfalfa meal, 11 kg of fish or bone meal, 4.5 kg of calcium powder and 6.8 kg of poultry Nutri-balancer. This will make about 230 kg of chicken feed.

What is the best mix of grains for chickens? ›

Generally corn and sorghum grain can be interchanged for each other in rations for chickens as they have almost the same nutritive value. More alfalfa meal or some other source of yellow pigment must be added to maintain yolk color if yellow corn is fully or partially replaced by other grains in a laying ration.

What is the healthiest way to feed chickens? ›

Animal or insect proteins are best for chickens because the amino acids are more balanced and easier to absorb. Extra protein is beneficial for most backyard flocks. Free-range chickens and chickens that eat scraps need more protein than chickens that only eat feed.


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