Monday, July 10, 2006

Grinding Feed


Grinding feed is a fairly common occurence on our farm. We can only process a bit at a time with the facilities and equipment we have. Not only that, but we do not want to feed our animals stale feed that loses its nutrition. I usually grind feed once per week and try to process as much as we need for the following 6 or 7 days. The chickens are going through quite a bit of food now as they are growing quickly in their pens. Again, I use the "N". This time though there is a pulley attachment that I bolt to the pto shaft. This is then connected to either the hammer mill or the burr mill by a long canvass belt. The grain is then shoveled into the hopper of the mill and gets spit out the bottom. I can adjust the fineness of the grind depending on what animal I am feeding or what age the animal is. Young chicks and hogs need a finer grain while adult chickens can almost utilize whole grain...this feed is ground quite coarse. Yesterday, I was grinding organic wheat screenings. The screenings are what is left over from a seed cleaning operation and is full of weed seeds and other volunteer grains. In this case, there is an abundance of alfalfa pods, canola and buckwheat...an almost perfect mix of grains that is very healthful for our chickens.

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