A great method of feed is growing your own fodder. All you need is some whole oats, whole barley and maybe some whole rye. You can go with sunflower seeds or anything else that will sprout. YOUTUBE growing your own fodder and you will see a return of apprx 300lbs feed for a 50lb bag of whole oats. Thats a huge return and very very easy to grow indoors. Needs nothing but water and in 7 days its ready. Get yourself 9 small totes with the bottom tote for the water drainage and the top tote for the (diffuser) if you would call it that. This way when you pour your water in the top it gently drains into #2 and then down respectively. With the 7 totes you will have a ready to go fodder tray daily and the chickens love it, the pigs love it, EVERYTHING loves it.
I also have an indoor worm bin. Check into that! I feed them my produce scraps, coffee grounds newspaper, and anything else you would put in an outdoor compost. With the fodder I toss in about 24 worms at least daily and sometimes on both feeds for the day. The LOVE LOVE LOVE them! I harvested about 30 red rigglers from the yard (FREE) and I now have thousands!
Next get yourself a mealworm farm gowing. AGAIN harvest the large black bettles you find under downed wood logs and rocks (FREE) and keep them in a tote with some bran or oats (quick oats) and the beetles will lay tiny eggs that turn into mealworms, which then will turn into more beetles keeping the cycle going for you. The chickens love both the mealworms AND the beetles so feed accordingly to keep the population going. I put in the odd vege scrap as thats where the bettles and the mealworm get their moisture intake from so this must be kept up to sustain the colony.
Iv heard if chickens are eating a good source of live foods they will lay all year long depending on how cold it actually gets. Im just starting out as well but I can attest that the live food will work just like with aquarium fish that you are looking to breed as well. Again another excellent food source for the birds.
Good luck with your girls!
Hope that helps
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