The Road Home

The Road Home
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mixing Feed for Animals

We buy commercial feed for our goats and chickens. Our goal is to grow feed for them, but we haven't made that transition yet. The feed we buy is pretty basic and we mix it ourselves.

The chickens get a mixture of two parts laying crumbles and one part sweet feed. We also give them scratch grain which includes corn, sunflower seed, milo and wheat. 
We buy the feed in 50 lb. bags and unload it into trashcans for storage. The only pest problem we have this way are the fire ants. They have really become a problem in our area during the last few years.
 Our recipe for the goats is eight parts chopped corn, four parts sweet feed and one part alfalfa pellets.We chose these ingredients for simplicity and nutrition. We even left the alfalfa out for a while, but discovered a good reason to include at least a little. 

The first year we had goats after we moved back from Alaska we used about 1/4 alfalfa in our feed mix. That year out of about 10 kids born, 8 of them were bucks. We had never had that kind of ratio before, so I got out my books and read and read. In Pat Coleby's Natural Goat Care, I found if the ratio of feed contains too much alfalfa or similar feed, it will result in a high percentage of buck kids. So at that point we just left the alfalfa out. 
A few months later when we  had another batch of kids, there were more does and all was well until.......we had quite an outbreak of pink eye, which we had never had before. Standard triple antibiotic ointment will clear it up, but we couldn't figure out why we had it in the first place. So, back to the goat books I went and in Natural Goat Care I found the answer. In eliminating the alfalfa all together, we had lowered the vitamin A content of our feed ration to the point that the goats were susceptible to pink eye. We made a second adjustment to our feed ratio and we have never had pink eye again.




When we mix the feed we measure it by the scoop......











Then mix it by pouring it from one trash can to another....





a couple of times.











Now we have feed again for a few weeks.


This is an example of something that is more work and takes more time than buying something already prepared and ready to go. We would rather grow our own feed without any chemical process involved, but we aren't to that point yet. This is the next best thing.

The same holds true for our diet - we eat as simply as we can with the most natural products. But sometimes, a bag of potato chips sure is good!

Until next time - Fern

2 comments:

  1. I've heard that diatomaceous earth will take care of fire ants but I have never tried it because we don't have fire ants here. I do know how "fun" they are since I lived in TX for a time.

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  2. I have used corn meal on ants (not fire ants) and it works. They carry back to their hills and eat it and die.

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