When I first got my chicks, I raised them on organic poultry grower feed, then I switched to organic layer feed. That was until I started reading the ingredients on the bags and got to thinking: If I cook for my family from scratch, why am I feeding my chickens “processed” food?
Now once a month or so I mix up a batch of soft white wheat berries, hard red wheat berries, black oil sunflower seeds, whole dried corn, a bit of dried kelp. They also forage outside all day, and I supplement with baked crushed egg shells for calcium and occasional cooked rice, kitchen vegetable scraps, and bread.
For the first couple weeks, I mixed in layer pellets with this feed. Guess what, they ignored the pellets and ate the berries and seeds. Now I don’t add any layer pellets at all. They’ve been eating it for about a month without pellets, and they’re doing great. Here’s the true test: We got our first egg today! It’s a pretty blue one from one of the Easter Eggers. The shell is nice and firm, and it’s about the size of a store-bought medium egg.