I have been looking around for other local sources of grains. A farmer in Woodland is growing Triticale which has a high protein, 14 to 19%. His crop is contracted to an organic dairy farmer in Petaluma. If the farmer does not want it all we can buy some to augment the food we have now.
Triticale is cross between Wheat and Rye and was first developed in 1875. I have sown it as a cover crop many times. It’s high protein make it a good chicken feed but it cannot replace all the nutrients in the organic feed we buy from Modesto Milling. I am not a chicken nutrition expert but am learning fast so that we can source enough local and organic grains, corn and beans to make a nutritious feed to supplement the grass and alfalfa on the farm. This may take some time to organize and one big factor is being able to store the harvest for a whole year until the next one.
A local organic Quail producer commented that there may be no need to mix and process the grains as the chickens will select how much of each they need if we give them access to. The food we use now is very palatable and they lay lots of eggs. Any change in their diet must be made slowly and as food is the biggest cost it has to be economic and maintain production. There is still much work to do.