Do I need to supplement Powderhorn Feed with anything else?
Powderhorn Feed has no additives, which means you need to supplement with calcium, which chickens need to make egg shells! There are a few different options for calcium: you can buy ground oyster shells or, you can grind up egg shells and feed them back to the birds. Careful! If you re-use the egg shells, grind them up fine so the chickens don’t start going after freshly-laid eggs.
And if your chickens don’t forage frequently, make sure you offer them grit in a separate, free-choice feeder. Chickens don’t have teeth, so they swallow a small amount of grit and store it in their gizzards to grind up food. This is especially important for whole grains that need to be broken down.
How do you switch from crumbles/pellets to whole grains?
It’s like giving your cat or dog a new food. Start by gradually mixing in a little bit of whole grains into your chickens’ current feed to adapt their gizzards. Increase the amount of whole grains in their feed each week, until eventually you’re only feeding them whole grains. It may take a few weeks for your chickens to adjust to the change, so don’t be alarmed if egg production drops off a bit. They may also start flinging grains all over the place (you’ll soon learn what they like and don’t like) or picking out certain grains first. Chickens know what their bodies need nutritionally, so some days they may feed on more protein, less calcium, etc.
Can I/how do I sprout Powderhorn Feed mix?
This “scratch” feed is live, so it can be sprouted for several days for better nutrition. here’s a great tutorial on sprouting feed.