Ever wanted to give your flock a boost of something nutritious and healthy without spoiling them till their fat? Well, this homemade chicken feed supplement recipe is for you! I posted a similar recipe awhile back (click here), but now I have changed a few ingredients and gone up in scale as I have more chickens to feed! I feed this to my flock of 21 birds every other week and they love it!
3 c. of layer feed
1 1/2 c. sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1/3 c. whole oats
1/4 c. steel cut oats
1 tbsp. ground flax meal
1 tsp. dried kelp
1/2 tsp. dried lavender (or fresh)
1 tsp. dried sage (or fresh)
1/4 tsp. dried oregano (or fresh)
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a bucket. I then pour it in with the rest of the food in their feeder. I am using this as a feed supplement, not their daily ration, that’s why I have to add it back to their feeder. If you have more birds to feed, feel free to up the quantities.
Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds have vitamins B1 and E in them along with folate, iron, magnesium, niacin, and selenium. They also provide a good source of protein which is good during the fall molt and winter time. Sometimes the shells of the seeds can cause impacted crop, so be careful. Though I have not had a problem with that in my flock.
Garlic: Garlic is a nutrient power house! It helps the immune system, respiratory system, repels mites and lice, and is even thought to be a de-wormer. Keep in mind, that garlic (as well as onions and others in the allium family) contains a small amount of toxin called thiosulfate, which can cause anemia. I stick to feeding it once a week to my flock and have not had any problems.
Oats: My chickens love oats! Whether cooked up into oatmeal or just whole and plain, they gobble them down! Add some to their feed to help keep them laying during the hot summer days, or make some warm (not hot) oatmeal for them on cold winter days. Adding chopped oats to chick’s feed can help prevent pasty butt.
Steel cut oats: Although some argue that cut or chopped grains are not as nutritious as whole grains, I add steal cut oats to this feed because of their high protein content. I add more when my flock is molting to give them a boost in protein.
Cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper aids in digestion, respiratory health, is an anti-septic, and improves the heart rate. It also helps with circulation, which in turn, helps prevent frostbite and helps the hens stay warm in the winter. Chickens do not have heat sensors on their tongue, so no worry’s about them being ‘spiced out’!
Sage: Sage improves the immune system, repels insects, is calming, and is also thought to help reduce salmonella in the chicken’s digestive track. It is also an antioxidant and laying stimulator.
Flax seeds: It has been found that chickens that are fed flax seeds have higher omega-3s in their eggs. Flax seeds can also improve the size and quality of a hen’s egg.
Kelp: I just recently got access to dried kelp via a sample my Aunt sent me from Massachusetts. Kelp is another nutrient power house containing, calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, copper, iron, and selenium! It also contains vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, D, E, and K, along with 21 amino acids! Kelp improves feather quality, hatchability in eggs, reduces blood spots in eggs, and helps with good bone development.
Lavender: Lavender is a well known stress relieving herb. It is especially helpful when placed in the nesting boxes as it provides a relaxing aroma for a hen while she is laying her egg.
Oregano: Oregano is the only herb that has been researched on to help poultry. It is an anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, immune booster, and anti-biotic. It is also that to help combat E. coli, avian flu, coccidiosis and infectious bronchitis.
A powerful blend for my flock! Other herbs you may try adding to your blend include: basil, parsley, dandelion, dill, mint, thyme, and rosemary.
Sure, I’ll trade a bucket of food for a few eggs!
Have a great week!