Monday, July 29, 2013

Local feed/food. Like, REALLY local!

The field across the road from my farm is being combined today; it's planted in some variety of winter wheat; couldn't tell you which kind. 
John Deere 6600 combine
This wheat is mostly purchased by a local chicken producer; it's a part of the feed that they use to feed their broiler chickens, and... hey, wait.  If I buy direct from the farmer, instead of buying from the mill who gets it from the farmer, I can save about 30%!

Literally right across the street from the house
 So a little haggling standing on the ladder to the cab, and we arrive at a price that we are both happy with, and they'll be putting 18 tons of it into my bins later today.  Wheat by itself isn't a complete ration, and in order to get the best value out of it I'll have to do something to make it more palatable to pigs; soak it, or grind it, but it can be fed directly to chickens and turkeys - their gizzards grind it up for them. 
 This grain isn't screened; it's got a fair bit of weeds and debris in it still, but the price is right; less than half the equivalent price of feed.  And I've already got tons of soybean flour.  Sounds like I have the basis for a ration. 

Note:  This is the combining from the edge of the field where there were some weeds and flowers and stuff; in the main parts of the field it's much cleaner; that's where mine will come from. 


George said...

Wheat as a cover crop is quite common here on the east coast, corn rotation and soy. Plus you get the straw :)

Soft white fed as chicken feed will do well with your soy flour, as soft tends to be slightly lower in protein and nitrogen than a hard wheat, IIRC. I'd have that ration tested, or at least verify the ratios with your neighboring poultry farmer, as I'd be concerned about too high a protein level as birds mature. Toss in some Fertrell poultry balancer and you've got a pretty good ration there.

paul said...

I would be a little worried about feeding a ration of whole wheat, soy flour, and nutria-balancer. apart from needing to get the ration tested for energy and protein, there is a problem with particle size. this is a very important aspect of poultry feed. turkeys in particular can have respiratory issues when there is a lot of fines in the feed, and all poultry can struggle with getting the full value of a ration when so much of it is fines.