Yes, you can easily raise your chickens on your own homemade gluten-free chicken feed, have healthy hens, and get very good eggs. I am so happy to write that. Especially that easily part.
Those of you who joined me at the start of this adventure back in February may remember my fears the chickens would all die under my inexperienced hand and choice to make homemade gluten-free feed. But here we are, I’m still healthy, and the girls are not only still alive, but thriving in a beautiful manner! They have at last begun laying fine-formed eggs with good hard shells. We believe we may have even gotten an egg from our little Princess Puny.
Thank you to all who wrote to encourage me, to all the people online who shared their knowledge– you can see the links in the previous posts on our chicken adventure.
Now, there might be some question as to whether or not gluten goes through the feed to the egg, but, astonishingly, (my people might say, “Well, shut my mouth!”) it has been shown that soy is present in sizable amount in the yolk of eggs from hens fed heavily on soy. I saw the research paper online, but have lost the link — Google it for yourself, I don’t have time right now. Suffice to say, there are now producers of organic soy-free eggs, and I did save that url– Soy-free eggs here. As I find I’m sensitive to soy, I’m grateful I decided not to bother with adding soy to my recipes.
Here are my current recipes:
Basic Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Grain and Seed Mix
16 cups cracked corn
16 cups milo
6 cups rolled oats
13 cups hulled sunflower seeds
The above recipe makes approximately 30 pounds. I put a few cups in their feeders about twice a day, and they throw it all around (I think they holler whoopee!) in order to peck it off the ground.
8 cups of the Basic Mix
1 heaping cup white rice, cooked (makes about 2-3 cups)
1 cup green split peas, thrown on top of the rice to soften while it steams.
1/2 cup brewer’s yeast
1/2 cup powdered milk
3 Tablespoons unsulphured molasses stirred into a cup of warm water, then added to the mix.
I make this in a Kitchenaid mixer about every 5 days. The stainless mixing bowl holds the amount comfortably. I make it up, put it in a large plastic zippy bag and store it in the refrigerator. I then feed approximately 3 cups each day to 8 chickens.
I theorize the Morning Mash provides extra protein and nutrients. I cook the rice because, well, the chickens seem to like it, and I’ve read some stuff that indicates maybe cooking makes the nutrients more available in digesting. I use white rice bought in a 50 pound bag from Sam’s. I’ve been using hormone-free, fat-free, powdered milk but want to find whole- fat powdered milk. Molasses is listed in a number of commercial starter feeds. I discovered it excellent to bind the milk powder and the yeast to the grains, and it contains good amounts of iron and calcium and other nutrients. I long for feed peas for my basic mix like another woman might long for diamonds. Peas are far superior to soybeans, but not easily available in my area. I make due with the green split peas, bought from Walmart, and put it only in their Morning Mash. Peas with the other grains make a whole protein. The girls like the green, I think.
If you can get organic in all of these ingredients, do so! I cannot, and we see that we’re all still here.
In addition to this feed, the hens receive vegetable and fruit kitchen scraps. For a time, I had raw fish for them. Me and Sweetie-Pie love watermelon, and so do our girls. Often I have raw goat milk, or goat yogurt– they love it! The girls also free range each evening for a couple of hours. Once they form the firm habit of laying eggs in the hen house, I’ll be letting them free range often throughout the day. They adore the compost pile–worms and bugs, yumm!
Today we have retrieved three eggs from the hen house. The excitement remains. It is like getting little jewels. The incredible, edible egg…out of a chicken’s butt. Amazing.
15 thoughts on “Gluten Free Chicken Feed II”
Love the idea of creating my own feed. What do you do for chicks and growers not laying yet? I’m new to all this and allergic to wheat and soy so trying to prepare for my own chicks. Thanks!
Renee, I have not raised chickens in some years. My recipes are on the site. You’ll have to search or read through. For baby chicks a mixture of coarse corn meal, instant oats, ground alfalfa, millet, rice cereal, with molasses mixed in works great. Also, I remember I learned they need vitamin D and mixed it in. For the growers and layers, I evolved to using a bird seed mixture from Tractor Supply, no wheat and with sunflower seeds and dried fruit. The chickens did fine on this, were beautiful and layed. It can be done, not too hard.
I love this! Thank you for posting your gluten free feed recipe. For the morning mash has brewer’s yeast which is not gluten free. Do you know of anything else that could be substituted in it’s place?
’m looking into GF chicken feed because I too have celiac. Happy to have found you! I have a question, you feed both a seed mix and a mash. Is it necessary to do both, or will the seed mix suffice on its own, or the mash on its own? I’m new to chicken nutrition and to making my own food.
Only wash eggs with visible dirt you can brush off.
First try sandpaper.
As a last resort Use warm/hot water to rinse eggs. Something about osmosis and not forcing the bacteria into the egg. Then dry.
Hello! I’m also wondering what “milo” is. Here in Australia, we have the malted drink powder “Milo” and it is definitely NOT gluten free (it contains malt barley).
We have three beautiful silkies and they are an absolute joy…
Milo is another name for Sorghum
Aha! Thank you, Susan!
(I was pretty certain no-one in the U.S. was making chocolate malt drinks for their chooks 🙂 Now I can try out the recipe for our girls.) Karrie
This looks like a good recipe. Will you explain what “milo” is in the recipe?
Pingback: Honey soy chicken | Yummy Lummy
Everyday when I go out,or the children bring the eggs in, I’m amazed and thankful for those be-feathered little rascals. Congratulations on your beautiful eggs, and I admire your ingenuity and perseverance in mixing your own feed!
And I have read that you shouldn’t wash the eggs – removes the natural protective barrier and lets bacteria inside. Also, if you do wash, there is a water/egg temperature thing to observe – so a bit of research is in order. So far (only 8 eggs, one early bird layer) Louie is laying clean eggs, so I haven’t looked anything up recently and my memory is a sieve!
It is eggciting!
Thanks for sharing your recipes. My gals are doing well on the organic gluten free food I had made, but I may price the ingredients you list and see if I can reduce the cost or the quantity I have to buy at one time. My gals get supplemental oatmeal, homemade 24 hour yogurt, kitchen scrapes, meal worms (that I’m raising), hard boiled eggs, sunflower seeds (hulls and all). They are spoiled rotten! They love melons and cucumbers and tomatoes, but not watermelon!
They make me so happy – it’s difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t have chickens. Maybe we are wired to enjoy their clucks!
A more experienced chicken raiser told me the same thing about the protective barrier, but mentioned just rinsing. We’ve had one laid in the sandy run and another laid randomly on the poopy hay, so I rinsed them under running water for sure! Seems the first eggs are a bit messy, but then the girls seem to get the hang of laying in the soft hay of the boxes.
Your girls must be so very healthy with such a fine diet! Yes, they make me so happy! And maybe it is just the way some of us are wired, because all my mother can say is, “I hate chickens, they are so stupid.” I have not let her daunt me, obviously. Glad to be in the chicken-loving group with you.
You know, with eggs that pretty, you could just put the Easter Bunny out of business! I want ot save your recipes, for that “someday” when I have to time to venture into the chicken coop hobby myself. Don’t know just when that will be! I have read somewhere that if you rub mineral oil on the eggs they can last like months without refrigeration. Any thoughts on this? Enjoy!
Interesting theory about the mineral oil. But around here, our eggs would not last more than a day. We eat them!