Following the conversation on multiple message boards lately and being a strict observer of the commodities market I can't help but have noticed the talk turn to "inflation". It's not suprising, some of it have been screaming it for quite a while now, what is suprising are the number of people actually suprised by it and totally still uprepared for the shit storm to come. Equally suprising is the number of people who a year ago thought I was a nut job who have now been "illuminated" so to speak.
Regardless, that's what this blog exists for as well as what the Homegrown Goodness message board exists for (in coming months it will come to reflect as such much more clearly than it currently does). Every bit of this research, while useful to upstart farmers and plant breeders, functions more as a source of information and inspiration to those preparing.
Every since I started raising poultry a few years back I've been an avid "feed recipie" collector, I copy and paste them like mad from all over the net and have friends at local feed mills bootleg me copies of their recipies for research purposes.
What you come to learn rather quickly is that the majority of all feeds are "complete diets" designed for completely confined animals with little thought to the animals which are allowed range and don't need a "doctored" feed to "baby" them through life. You also quickly learn that a lot of these feeds are unsustainable or nearly impossible to mill on your own property, particularly if you plan to grow the ingredients yourself.
Roasted soy is the hardest of these to produce yourself, fortunately it's also not necessary once you figure out the benefits available from other sources of protein provided both by range in the "fat of the year" and by table scraps or other grains (including high protein corn, wheat, and oats in the winter).
I experimented a hell of a lot with a utility mix for turkeys, guineas, bantams, and now quail and have come to the most sustainable mix I could find that still manages to get the job done.
As such, here it is, the simplest recipie I have ever seen for a high protein "utility" feed:
Bishop's Homegrown Sustainable Gamebird Feed:
Bishop's Homegrown (sustainable) Gamebird Ration
Wheat (substitute millet)
...Sprouted oats (sprouted grain of any type works)
Oyster shell (lime for quail) free choice (this isn't locally sustainable but feeding eggshell back to the birds also works on a limited basis. Lime in Indiana however is fairly sustainable (dolomite lime only!)
Grit (particularly for confined birds like quail.
5 (I actually use no where near five parts sunflower seed due to space limitations with growing and storing sunflowers, experiment and you'll find what works)
Next comes rabbit feed...give me three more years, but I'm betting grass and legume paired with garden vegetable scraps will get us close. Perhaps not as efficent as pellets, but workable.