If you know this guy, then you know Justin's one funny DIY homesteading dude. His videos were actually some of the very first that we watched about homesteading and raising chickens, and his documentary Permaculture Chickens is initially what introduced us to Joel Salatin. So, needless to say, we kind of have a soft spot for Justin Rhodes, and love pretty much every bit of content he puts out there. He has such a genuine desire to help inspire others to do even the smallest sustainable thing, and his excitement about it is contagious!
One of the first things that we learned from watching Abundant Permaculture's vlogs was that he makes his own chicken feed, and ferments it, thereby cutting costs and boosting the health of his birds. I mean, who doesn't want to do that? Only thing is, chicken feed formulation is a pretty important thing, so I had been feeling a bit intimidated up until here recently. Last month, while placing my monthly Azure order, I finally decided to check and see if I could get any of the ingredients for his tried-and-true recipe, and how much it might cost me. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they carry every main ingredient I needed to mix the feed myself, and that it actually didn't break the bank! With all of their products either being organic, or non-GMO, it makes the homemade chicken feed an even greater investment for our birds, and us as well.
If you have never heard of Azure Standard until now, let me give you a quick, simple review - I LOVE this company, what they stand for, and the amazing quality they offer. Not to mention the savings I find when comparatively shopping for the same items on other big name online sites, or even in the local brick-and-mortars. It's super easy to sign up with them, and it costs absolutely nothing - so you can join, shop around, and never feel obligated or pressured to ever buy a single thing; plus this isn't one of those pesky auto-ship type operations you have to bother with cancelling, either. The way Azure works is simple: sign up for a free shopping account, look through all of their amazing products (I'm warning you, they have just about everything), add the items you want to your cart, and then look to find the drop site location nearest to you. It's really, really simple. The best thing of all is that your cart isn't finalized until your drop site's cutoff date, so you can shop as you need to, adding or removing things as you like; and you aren't charged for your order until it ships out via their refrigerated freight trucks. For the sake of being completely transparent; we've ordered from Azure every month since we initially began ordering from them, and I don't plan on that changing anytime soon.
Along with Justin's recipe, I've also included handy links to the ingredients found on Azure and a couple of other websites for those who'd like to try and make it, but may not know where to source most of these things.
Chicken Feed Mix
3 lbs or 30% Corn
3 lbs or 30% Wheat
2 lbs or 20% Peas
1 lb or 10% Oats
3.2 oz or 2% Poultry Nutri-Balancer
10% Fish Meal added separately, daily (we prefer meal worms)
Kelp - Free Choice
Aragonite - Free Choice
Serving suggestions are 1/3 lb of feed per grown bird, per day. My best advice is to mix the feed together in a large rodent-proof container according to the 9 pound batches he shows you in the video below, and then weigh out however many pounds of feed you need for the number of adult birds you have each day. For example: if you have a flock of twelve birds, then you would need to measure out 4 lbs of feed for them for the day. Another tip to help stretch your dollar farther, and help boost your flock's overall health at the same time is to begin fermenting a days ration in water about 24 hours prior. If you'd like to see how Justin does it, check out this this short video from his YouTube channel, showing you step-by-step how to make your own chicken feed. I'm definitely looking forward to getting this done for our birds as soon as possible, and I'm just in time - our next deadline for April's Azure drop is next Tuesday, May 29th!