I never expected finding a reliable, effective feeder for our pasture raised chickens would be such a challenge. Over the past twelve years I have built countless feeders. And I’ve tried at least ten different commercial feeders trying to find something that really worked. Along the way I came up with a pretty good homemade design for laying hens, but for broiler chickens I keep coming back to the Kuhl 50 lb hanging feeder as the best option. I like that it has a feed tray with a large lip, preventing the… Read More
Dave summarizes the big three of feeding pasture raised chickens at Wrong Direction Farm.
We feed our pasture raised chicken a combination of Certified Organic grains in addition to the plants and insects they eat. Here are the organic grains in their diets.
Let’s talk about grass fed chicken. As people learn about healthier meats, the term “grass fed” is one of the first big concepts they encounter. Wrong Direction Farm raises chickens on grass pastures, so let’s discuss what grass fed means and why grass is important for chickens.
Looking through the supermarket selection of chicken cuts and eggs, you’ve likely noticed the claim on the packaging “100% Vegetarian Diet” or something similar. A question came to me, “What’s the deal with vegetarian fed chickens and should I care?” Great question. Let’s look further. I won’t hold you in indefinite narrative suspense. Chickens are not naturally vegetarians. Nor are turkeys, ducks, or most other domesticated birds. Chickens are opportunistic omnivores. Wild Chicken Diets In looking at domesticated animals, whether dogs, cats, cows, or chickens, I prefer to study their dietary needs… Read More
Here at Wrong Direction Farm every week we serve up two tons of organic feed to the chickens out on pasture. Getting the feed out to the birds has always been a challenge, especially when the chickens are on pastures far from the road. We have tried all sorts of methods for bringing the feed out to the chickens, including wooden bins, 55 gallon barrels, and gravity wagons. Since we make sure our chickens are constantly on the move to fresh grass, this requires the feed supply to move along with the… Read More
This place is starting to look like a “real” farm, now that we have our first grain bin. I bought this bin from a nearby farm, and since I had to move it I was scratching the growing bald spot on my head a bit before arriving at a solution. I was in the middle of tearing down an older iteration of an eggmobile to build a bigger portable chicken feeder, so I had this sixteen foot trailer conveniently stripped to the frame. The tires are mismatched and the lights don’t work,… Read More
I’ve received several requests for details on my chicken feeders, so since I’m getting ready to build a few more I took the time to make some measurements. Please don’t consider anything I write here to be an absolute requirement. These are just my observations. There are a lot of ways to build a good chicken feeder. And there are even more ways to build a terrible feeder. Below I diagram the cross-section of the business end of my layer hen feeder. None of these dimensions are critical, but all of them… Read More
Update Jan 2018: I wrote a follow-up with dimensions here. I guess I can say I’m a veteran chicken feeder builder. I’ve learned that there are innumerable ways to build a container from which chickens eat, but very few of the feeders I’ve built (or the ones I’ve seen elsewhere, or the store bought ones for that matter) are efficient. And of all the livestock classes, pastured chickens have the most challenging economics, so inefficient feeding is the quickest way to financial ruin. Right now we are in the peak of chicken… Read More