Saturday, 5 December 2015

Plastic free chicken feed

It can be difficult to avoid plastic packaging when it comes to animal and pet food. I have been determined to reduce the amount of animal food I buy in plastic packaging, which means buying in bulk and/or making my own.

My latest endeavor is heavily supplementing my store bought chook food with grains I've sprouted myself. Sprouting grains releases nutrients that wouldn't ordinarily be accessible to chickens in dry food. Here's how I did it:

  • I bought several same sized tins from my local recycle centre and punctured holes in the bottom of them with a nail (don't make them too big or the grains will fall through).
  • I bought organic grain and soaked a couple of handfuls overnight, giving it a good rinse before placing it in one of the tins. 
  • I then repeated the procedure the following day or two, so there wasn't a huge amount sprouting at the same time. And again until all tins had grain in them.
  • The tins are stacked on top of each other and rinsed twice a day, with the oldest grain on top.
  • The grain is ready after six days; keep the rotation going (with three tins, you will need to soak new grain every two days).
  • To give the chickens the calcium they need, I dried out their egg shells in the sun, then crushed them up and mixed them with the sprouted grain.
  • The chickens loved it!
This site offers lots of advice if you'd like to give it a go.