I feed my chickens organic.*
To buy organic feed lay feed (no hormones, just the right mix of nutrients), we make a trip from our little town to “the city” about three times a year – not a problem.
Then we supplement their lay feed with:
* a little (organic) chicken “scratch” now and then
* their own shells crushed small
* vegetable and fruit trimmings from the kitchen
* dandelion leaves gathered from walks around the neighborhood
* sunflower seed heads (their favorite!) we grow and enjoy first as summery greenery and flowers
* herbs (such as burdock root and nettles) mixed into animal fat
* grasshoppers off the highway during “plagues” (we can harvest a quart in a few minutes)
* free produce trimmings from the food coop
* and more – sometimes friends bring them things.
Our girls are of various ages, all producing about equally, all pretty happy (no ugly hierarchy acting out) because they have enough space, and we get an average of over 2 eggs a day all year long for a total of about $100/year. This means we get happy-bird, organic eggs for less than $2/dozen!
And sometimes the three birds have even laid four eggs in twenty-four hours!
And when we sing on the back porch, they jump up on their roof to look over the fence and watch. They’re wonderful friends and great entertainment too!
* I’ve eaten almost exclusively organic food since the late 70s. People tell me it costs too much, but I think eating non-organic food is very unhealthy, and will cost more in the long-run.