Gluten-Free Poultry

How To Say NO To Potentially Harmful, Useless or Filler Ingredients, such as: 
Gluten, Corn, Soy, Wheat, Barley, Flax Seeds, Fish-Meal, or drugs!

FLAX (1. Can alter hormone metabolism. 2. Raw flax seed contains a toxin called thio-cyanate, a cyanide-like compound. 3. This toxin can be found in the blood after eating raw flax seed.  4. inhibits the production of enzymes necessary to synthesize cholesterol, needed for healthy brain. 5. can cause an off flavor in meat and eggs).

FLAX-OIL: Flax seed oil can hardly be classified as a "natural" product. It is highly processed and refined, making it no more natural than White Sugar (or even aspirin which originally came from the bark of the white willow tree).

FISH MEAL (1. a highly processed, nitrogen fertilizer, containing 60-75% protein. 2. can contain high levels of histamines and can be toxic. 3.can cause gizzard erosion and black vomit in poultry. 4. Can cause an off flavor in meat and eggs. 5. Can contain mercury. ). 

COCONUT PULP (A useless by-product, derived from processed coconuts. 1. is not a classified food-source for human or animal consumption. 2. no nutrient value. 3. Can cause diarrhea. 4. can cause prolapse of  the vent.). 

Although some of the above mentioned ingredients could cause harmful, or unfavorable effects, it does not mean that they do not have their uses for specific applications. 

Click to read research, abstract and references.
Poultry do not produce enzymes for the
hydrolysis of Non-Starch Polysaccharide present in the 
cell wall of the grains and they remain un-hydrolyzed. 
This  results in low feed efficiency. Research  work  has
suggested that the  negative effects of  NSPs can  be
overcome by dietary modifications

About Most Poultry Feed.
1. Most chicken feeds contain commodity grains, and are accompanied by added artificial enzymes, and bacteria..
2. Chickens do not, naturally produce the digestive enzymes, to break down heavy commodity grains.
3. Chickens convert commodity grains to energy, and it is a myth, that only commodity grains can be supplied for energy. The fact is that commodity grains are simply the cheapest form.

The pancreas breaks down carbohydrates. 

Hormones from the pancreas affect the level of sugar in blood. The pancreas also contains cells that regulate the secretion of insulin. 

Over working these organs, and forcing the organs to digest hard, heavy commodity grains can cause problems, such as candida, yeast overgrowth, and fungus. These issues could potentially lead to organ failure or even cancer.

Amylase is one of the digestive enzymes required to break down and split starches and heavy commodity grains. Studies have shown that the daily net secretion of amylase in chicks, is as low as d-4. Certainly not enough to digest heavy commodity grains properly. 

This is why most feeds contain artificial added-digestive enzymes, and certain added bacteria to help the birds digest heavy commodity grains, to some degree.

Undigested and poorly absorbed grains cause problems in the crop and intestinal lining. It can throw off the balance of flora, good bacteria and lead to various complications as they grow and age.

When feeding chickens a gluten-based fodder;
They are being force-fed  indigestible food, instead of absorbing a high density, nutritionally available fodder. You’re feeding your chickens things their body can’t use, and possibly neglecting them of the necessary nutrients which they require to grow a healthy brain, strong muscle structure, nervous system, well defined bones, feathers, organs and oils. The pigment in the feathering structures of chickens require some oils.

ex: Wheat is a known nutritive blocker. This is primarily due to the gluten-protein which coats the intestines and blocks the absorption of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Chickens do not go diving into ponds, lakes, rivers or oceans and process fish or fish fertilizers.
Chickens do not fly 30-98' into the air, knocking over coconuts, splitting them open with an ax or beak.
Chickens do not fly up to a corn stalk, perch and peck at corn, through the husk.
Chickens do not, EVER, voluntarily eat flax-products, unless forced.
Chickens do not EVER, eat raw, unprocessed, uncooked soy beans or soy products (poisonous).
Chickens do not cook.
Chickens are NOT vegetarians!

Let's get down to the nuts and bolts.

The early bird catches the ____.


Chickens are Galus-galus domesticus and derived from the Galus-galus (Jungle Fowl). All chickens that have flight feathers are decedent from the Jungle Fowl. Many chickens remain in their native culture and observational studies have shown that they do not thrive on any pasture based systems. This may be due to the fact that the dense jungles do not have much by the way of pastures, and that it's a natural environment for them. .

I have observed the glorious Galus-galus in their native and wild culture,  and in my studies I have learned that chickens are quite independent, as most with flight feathers are. They are opportunistic hunters that also have similar foraging characteristics to wild hogs. Chickens kill and eat spiders, other young birds and lizards. They forage, they do not pasture. In fact chickens have a hard time extracting enough nutritive values from many grassy types of vegetation, this is because they do not have a rumen (like cows, sheep, goats). 

This does not mean that they do not like a pasture, I am sure some do. My chickens forage in all my gardens and follow my cows, hogs, sheep and goats on the pastures.They peck through the dung for goodies (beetles, larvae etc). They even scratch through the hay and spread it everywhere looking for any spider mites, fleas and ticks that may be hiding inside the organic bales. 

Today we have so many different breeds of chickens and they have adapted to various climates, elevations, terrain, weather and other conditions. There is not just one way of raising chickens, there are many. The idea of feeding corn, soy and wheat to chickens is a fairly new one and it became popularized as a result of the industrialized agricultural revolution. That being said, I have traveled across this beautiful globe and we (Americans) are among the very few that buy bagged feeds to feed our chickens. In most of the world, chickens range free and forage. This includes Desert terrain areas too. In many parts of Malaysia the jungles have been stripped to grow corn, soy and wheat and this continues to raise complicated questions regarding the future of the native Jungle Fowl. 

Chickens eat worms, bugs, grubs, larvae and require meat-based proteins and fats. Chickens also get many minerals, enzymes, effective and beneficial microorganisms and vitamins from the soil. But, the things we are forgetting about are also quite critical, and these are "effective microorganisms, good bacterium, natural enzymes, prebiotica, probiotica etc". The earth is loaded with effective microorganisms and wild chickens get their fill, but what about the chickens that we raise in our back yards and our small family farms? In hopes of finding long term solutions to this question, Microbiologist, Dr. Brian Oakley has developed avian species-specific effective microorganisms which have been developed directly from the intestinal flora of chickens. This may offer commercial poultry producers an opportunity to get even better feed-to-growth conversion ratios and perhaps produce healthier chickens to feed the mass populations. 

In the photo above, the hens are not eating grass, they are scouting for June bugs, worms and water beetles. What I think you should know is that I practice vermiculture and have spent decades adding beneficial bacteria to the soil here. It is a tremendous amount of physical labor and it also requires maintaining good broods of various insects such as meal-worm beetles. I have also spent two decades cross breeding specific species of various worms. I had a particularly challenging time with getting Red Wigglers to survive in these conditions.  

 When I started to work with worms i could not get any help from anyone, and it became quite frustrating (to say the least). Today, "worms" is all over the internet (LOL). 

I bought composting worms at least 15 times and they kept dying. I bought different breeds of worms and if the birds did not wipe them all out in one day, they would die. FINALLY, I did something different. 1. I collected earthworms from our place in the San Gabriel Valley, 2. I bought some more Red Wiggler (Eisenia foetida. AKA: composting worms), and 3. I traded and bartered for African Night-crawlers (Eudrilus Eugeniae). .

 I began to travel more and learn more and more about different earth worms (blood worms,
Endogeic, composting worms, Epigeic, African Night Crawlers, Anecic). Earthworms used to be found only in Europe, but the good news is that today they live, breed and thrive across the North American and Asian continents too. Although I mention several types of earthworms, .the word "earthworm" actually describes thousands of specific species and each actually fulfills various or specific ecological functions.

The first thing I did when I got all new breeding stock of earthworms, I stopped feeding them ONLY cardboard, vegetation, kitchen scraps and shredded paper. Worms are natures clean up crew much like chickens and hogs. Worms are opportunistic and are omnivores. For about 16 years I have only had omnivore-worms that are COMPOSTING-MACHINES.

I kept all three species of worms separated until they started to reproduce and thrive in indoor containers. I fed them everything from fresh livestock droppings (from cows, sheep, goats, hogs, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys), to vegetation, organic matter and even RAW MEAT! .

With careful attention to detail, keeping records, observing them and really paying attention to their nutritional needs,  something was different, and even better. Although African Night Crawlers are not known to tolerate all the environments that Red Wigglers can tolerate; I had very specific needs for my vermiculture program and I was ready to try-try and try again until I got it right.. These worms have cross-bred, they have adapted, they thrive in our bio-regional,  micro-climate within the Mojave High Desert and the worms have been migrating all over the entire property (farm and ranch) for about 16 years. You can not lift any box, trough or container without seeing thousands upon thousands of these amazing worms. 

I still manage breeding-stock boxes, just in case of any potential disaster and these are the boxes I pull worms from when people want to buy incredible breeding stock. The chickens feast all day and all year. 

NOTE: The meal-worms, beetles, worms, Black Soldier Flies  and grubs are grown on what I have available on the farm and ranch. I do not raise any of them on beds of wheat, corn or other products that I do not want on my property. I was told many moons ago that the meal worm beetles had to be grown on some fluffy wheat or similar, but I learned early on that I had to do things a bit differently if I wanted a self-building and thriving sustainable vermiculture system. 

                WORMS                                         MAGGOTS/LARVAE


 On a regular basis all our birds (chickens, game birds,ducks and turkeys) get RAW MEAT!
Throughout the year we harvest whole hogs, whole lambs, mutton or whole goats just to feed all the birds. It is imperative that our birds are offered a well-balance diet to meet their daily nutritional demands, and we do not compromise.
 In nature, chickens consume decaying organic matter, pecking the meat and fat off bones that have been left behind by other predators. This is a primary, natural source of food for chickens, and although some might find it "gross", it is still a fact of nature and it is a normal part of avian culture.                         

I have three gardens: I grow seasonal foods of heirloom varieties and many of the seeds are ancient, prior to the industrialized food revolution. I am very fortunate and count these blessings every day. I am a seed saver and this helps to save money and it protects my farm, ranch, customers, farm members, our families, livestock and our environment from undesirable or unwanted seeds.

During the growing season, the gardens remain moist which helps attract more beneficial insects. The insects are a great source of protein and fat for the chickens and it ensures that the chickens do not go after my honey-bee colonies. Another great reason for letting the chickens loose in the gardens is they clean-up any fallen leaves, broken fruit, cracked squashes etc.
At the end of the harvest, I open the gates and all the ruminants, hogs and birds help to clean up all the vegetation. The larger livestock leave behind their droppings and the chickens peck and scratch through the droppings in hopes of hunting any dung beetles and similar.

Greens are offered to the birds while fresh, and they are free to forage through the garden that is loaded in greens. After harvesting the squashes I select the ones I want to keep, and the rest are left for the chickens to enjoy. When I have excess greens, I dry them inside the oven on low-low temperatures and dry them until they crumble. I package them and this way I have some for the off-weeks. I can leave them dry or I re-hydrate them using water. It really works great for the chickens.

In the very early 90's the informational resources were very slim, and during my Ag and animal science studies I mostly learned about commercial and  industrialized farming, ranching and AG-applications,   pharmaceutical-based  preventative measures, veterinary and surgical, but when that knowledge was applied to more valuable agricultural influences from Europe, the Mediterranean, Greece, Cyprus, South America and even from cultures as far away as, North Africa and the Middle East; the whole ball of wax became so clear to me. This has been a wild-ride, and i'm so happy to have jumped in. I hope you feel the same way too. .

We have learned so much from observing animals in their natural habitats and NOW all this information is available at everyone's fingertips and accessible without leaving your home, city, state or country. The methods used here are not new, they are quite old and some are ancient. I've been told by historians, paleontologists and anthropologists that some of the methods used here at RRF can be dated as far back as the Neolithic era. RRF is Physio-Organic, which maintains a close focus on animal culture as it is defined by their own culture systems with re-purposed and re-defined words to fit our new "organic" or "sustainable" methods. I hope that my post sparks some creative ideas for you. Enjoy!

Below are some of the photos to show what the chickens here at RRF consume and what we do. 

Ripe, Sweet, Delicious, Organic and Heirloom (Pesticide-Free) Fallen Seasonal Orchard Fruits are available seasonally to our chickens. Nectarines, peaches, vine fruits, pomegranates, mulberries and so much more. In the photos below we are collecting fallen fruit and pulling fresh greens and grasses too. 

We offer our chickens organic apples, fresh organic carrots and farm grown Nopales (paddles) all year. Of course I remove the spines and cactus pins with a colander, open fire-flame or scraper.

We have a long prickly
pear season because we grow several varieties. All the chickens love these delicious, wholesome native vegetables and the Tunas/fruit are loaded in vitamins, minerals etc.

Pictured here on the left (above and below) are Native Joshua tree seed pods and seeds. The chickens love these!

Excess seeds to sprout fresh micro-greens is always a benefit to offering them as much variety as possible.

We source RAW organic almonds too!
                                                                    Because we clean our paddocks daily, we have plenty of compost. The chickens dig through the compost, scratching and pecking for any goodies and this also helps to aerate and turn the compost before it goes to the worms.

WILD CAPTURED RAW CULTURE is provided to the chickens as free-choice and since these beneficial microorganisms are captured here on our farm and ranch, that's as local as we can get. 
Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Soy-Free, Corn-Free, Yeast-Free, Sugar-Free, Salt-Free 
Just Healthful Goodness! 
This is especially nutritious since it is loaded in naturally occurring digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals, effective microorganisms, and it's also a clean source of high protein. 
Our farms and ranches receiving semi-truck loads of vegetables. Each pallet is 2000/lbs.and each semi-truck drops about 20 Pallets. That's a boat-load of REAL FOOD! 

Our methods are not practical for everyone. Ours are considered to be among the most expensive and labor intensive methods; and that's just how it is for us. This method does not work for everyone and I understand that. This is just what works for our farm, ranch and our livestock. Our Physio-organic methods work for our customers, farm members and our families.  

Chickens are opportunistic omnivores and will eat almost anything!
I only say "almost" because I have found that individual chickens have independent taste preferences. They will eat cooked rice, cooked or raw oats, a dead rat, left over stew, salad trimmings, I have watched them scratch and peck through onion and garlic peels and in case you do not already know this... I have been scrutinized, criticized and even yelled at by many farmers and ranchers because of the  farming/ranching practices and methods used at RRF and I am just now, finally learning, not to be surprised by anything. Don't give your chickens thiDon'give your chickens that
This is poisonous to chickhat is not good for chickens
If it is natural, it's edible, if I grow it, you grow it, if  I eat it or if they want to eat it... they can probably eat it.
They know better than I do,  what to eat and what not to eat. I grow onions, garlic, greens, tomatoes, beets and we have a lot of native plants that are considered "POISONOUS" if ingested. I have never seen any chickens chowing-down on Datura, Wild Indian Tobacco or oleander leaves! not ever.

I am certain that I remember poisonous plants in the native habitats of Jungle Fowl. I did not see hundreds of chickens, Jungle Fowl or any other birds dead all over the place. This might be because some poisonous plants give off a strange or non-palatable smell or taste to protect themselves (I am no expert in that area) and maybe that deters them from eating certain plants.  It could be a result of any number of things. What I do know is that here, I have never had any instance where-by any animal has ever consumed anything that has made them ill or dead. I really think that they know via instinct. So the birds here are provided as much natural, native and culturally-specific foods, as possible and they seem to do a good job choosing what they like.

I've been growing poultry for over 20 years, and in the early years there were many trials and errors. OH MANY ERRORS. If I knew then, what I know now....
Do You Want More? 
Most commodity grains are "High Risk for G.M.O's" even when certified organic. 
A Few More Gluten-Free Options:
Fruits, vegetables, rice, rice flour, quinoa, oats,oat flour, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, garbanzo beans, legumes, hummus, nuts, tatziki, almonds, seeds, corn, millet, poultry, meat, fish, Black Wild "Cultivated" Rice
buckwheat and buckwheat flour is not in any way a "WHEAT" nor does it contain the protein called "GLUTEN". It is a herbaceous plant.
AKA. Japanese buckwheat and silver hull buckwheat. 
Buckwheat is not harvested, it is cultivated. Cultivated mostly for its seeds.

Image result for flowering buckwheat

Please don't hate the messenger. Simply do a little bit of research, read the references, conduct an on-farm study, and do a little bit of home work. It is important to learn, understand and know as much as possible about your livestock and animals. Develop a method that works for you, your livestock and your budget. 

Gluten-free may not be the best method for you, your profit-margin, your finances or your goals. It is labor intensive and very expensive to raise livestock as nature intended. When I state "slow-grown" Chicken, this really means Slow-Grown. Our chickens take at least 12 weeks to reach desired butcher weight.


If you have a very small flock (less than 50) it may be more cost effective to:
1. offer them ANY cooked or RAW kitchen scraps and left over food daily
2. offer access to organic compost pile. 
3. allow them to follow your other livestock or your horses. 
4. offer them access to your garden and . If there are specific plants that you think they might destroy, just place a barrier around those plants
5. offer them access to an outdoor worm-bin buffet
6. offer them meal-worms
7. grow some micro-greens for them
8. offer them gluten-free sprouted seeds
9. offer then some crushed or whole nuts

Your birds are ready to be processed for the freezer and still a bit underweight: 

Personal Recipe This recipe will supplement from 9-11 birds (one feeding)
1. Place 1 cup organic rice into 2 cups distilled water
2. Shake rice in the water for 5 minutes
3. Place cheese cloth over container and let rice sit and ferment in the water 5-7 days
4. After the water has soured, strain rice from water (discard rice in compost)
5. Sprout 1/2 cup organic lentils until tails appear in 3/4 cup soured rice water
6. Sprout 1/2 cup raw, organic almonds until split or swell 2-X the size in 3/4 cup soured rice-water
7. Add remaining soured rice water to 1/2 cup raw organic yogurt, stir and let sit covered with cheesecloth until all the sprouts are finished sprouting
8. Melt and make about 1/4 cup of pork fat or beef fat into lard or tallow (wait until cooled)
9. Add all ingredients (lentils, almonds, yogurt, soured water melted fat) together in a larger bowl, along with their soured water (ALL) and MIX WELL
10. Add 1 tsp. organic real salt, 1 tsp. organic turmeric, 1 tsp. organic white pepper MIX WELL
11.  Add 1/2 cup ground, organic, gluten-free, steel cut oats and mix well
12. Add 1/2 cup organic, free-range ground pork (or grass-fed/finished lamb or goat) Mix Well
12. Form into a ball or cake and cover with cheesecloth and let sit for 2 hours
13. Add 1/4 cup raw whole (with shell), organic hemp seeds and 1/4 cup whole organic, raw sunflower seeds (shell on) and fold/fold/fold/ until it forms a ball, loaf or round.
A> if it is too dry add a couple of tablespoons of distilled water until it is the correct consistency
B> if it is too goo-like add a few tablespoons of organic, steel cut, gluten-free ground oats until it is the correct consistency.
14. Place the loaf/cake or round onto a dusted baking pan (oat flour/prevent from sticking)
15. Place inside the oven on center rack on low-low setting 100 degrees (F) for 2 hours or just until the outer crust is a bit crusty/not sticky 


Consistency will vary and depend on specific ingredients, elevation, humidity, temperatures, personal technique and more. It will be a bit different each time you make it and it can be like goo on the inside or not. I make enough to last at least 7-days, 7 rounds or loaves and I keep them wrapped in towels inside the oven (oven turned OFF).

Results will vary and are dependent on many factors including specific breeds, ages, weather conditions, climate, temperature, health of birds, appetites and more. This is a supplement and not intended to replace regular feeding. 
Weigh and record weight of round or loaf, and offer the ERFC to your flock. This recipe will supplement from 9-11 birds (one feeding). 
Feed ERFC daily until they reach desired weight. During the time that birds are on ERFC they will also need their regular food (free-choice). Provide them with fresh, clean water and keep a record:
How many birds
How much ERFC (weight ) consumed by flock
Avg. weight of birds before ERFC and date
Weights of birds daily and record progress

Share your thoughts, your experience, your story and let's learn from each other. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you!

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All rights reserved 11/04/2012-2017


  1. So you say don't feed them all these foods; well then what do I feed them? Also chickens don't have to fly up to get these foods like corn or coconuts they eventually fall off the plant to make them excess-able to chickens. Also there is much research on lax seed and chickens saying it is good for the chickens. I would love to learn more on what you are saying please enlighten me.

    1. Hi Michael, I certainly do not disagree with you.
      I've spent some time in the natural settings of jungle fowl, and the fact is that corn, soy, wheat and coconuts do not grow in those areas as natural forage for them. That being said, I respect the fact that Jungle fowl live all over the world and food sources vary with each region. You mentioned research on Flax. I may be unaware of this specific research, would you please share with me the funding source for this research, which university performed this study and what the intended purpose was? My email is Thank you! Eager to learn more..

  2. What do you feed your chickens then, since everything you've listed is in commercial chicken feed? Would you share a recipe?

    1. Hello Wits End,
      Thanks for your inquiry. I have listed above and included photos of food that I have available such as fresh carrots, fallen apples, fallen peaches, Seeds that fall from the pods of the native trees, various native plants, vegetables and fruits such as Opuntia. and

  3. i echo the other comments. i am sincerely interested in learning what you feed your chickens.

    1. Hi Mikasa,
      Thanks for your inquiry.
      I've posted photos and details of foods, native vegetation, bugs, grubs and other foraging nourishment above.

  4. considering the post is about free range and all natural foraging methods that would mean the chickens are eating what would be there natural diet not the ones humans created for them to turn a quick buck.

    soy, grain and corn are cheap mass produced agricultural products that bring in alot of money. also cause health problems down the road.human beings arent suppose to eat it either.

  5. Where can I find your eggs for purchase?

  6. Interesting article which talks about chicken food.Whether it is natural, organic or other type, the food must have nutritional value. Different types of poultry feeds are available as bulk or bagged feeds.

  7. I echo the other comments: what do you feed your chickens? Due to allergies, we are looking for feed supplement ideas for our flock. We do pasture ours, but we need to supplement, especially during winter months, when there are no insects/pasture available for them.
    It looks like you've got something figured out, that I'd like to know, please. Thank you for a reply.

  8. VERY interesting... I have been telling friends that raise chickens that they were feeding them incorrectly...

    As you say, chickens are OMNIVORES !!!

  9. nice blog !! i was looking for blogs related of animal feed supplement . then i found this blog, this is really nice and interested to read. thanks to author for sharing this type of information.

  10. Very nice blog and useful too, we also provide animal feed supplement for all poultry birds, livestocks.

  11. I think you folks now exactly what is going on when it comes to taking care of animals! Do you have a recommendation for a gluten free feed for quail? I have very limited space for them to roam on the ground freely so I will need to supplement with either a commercial feed or make my own.
    thank you

  12. Replies
    1. Yes, we do have eggs for sale. Please visit
      Thanks for your inquiry.

  13. Nice to be visiting your blog, Well this article that I've been waited for so long.

    organic soybean meal

  14. Where can we purchase your eggs and/or chickens for cooking?

  15. Are you willing to share your feed recipe is. I am interested in learning more about it.

  16. Where can I purchase your eggs in Brooklyn New York? What is included in your chicken feed? Looking forward to your reply.
    Thank you!

  17. Where can we purchase your eggs in the NYC Metro area? Are you able to share what you actually feed your chicken?
    Looking forward to your reply.

  18. Would love to know what you feed your chickens. We it hot chickens, and my son is allergic to soy, corn, & gluten. Would love to know your chicken feed recipe. Thanks 😀

  19. Looking for gluten, corn, soy free feed. Do you sell the feed?

    1. Hi Stacey, Thanks for your inquiry. We do not sell feed at this time. We sell chicken, duck, carrots, greens, eggs, turkey, raw honey, milk, beef, pork, lamb and goat

  20. Replies
    1. Hi Cathy, Thanks for your inquiry. We do not sell feed at this time. We sell chicken, duck, carrots, greens, eggs, turkey, raw honey, milk, beef, pork, lamb and goat.

  21. Can I purchase the worms you have mentioned in this article?

  22. Hi. Just want to correct something. We malaysian dont clear lands for wheat, corn and soy. Those are not native crops to Malaysia. We import them. We usually clear lands for oil palm plantation.

  23. Thank for this post...I ask one question about this..
    where can i purchase this feed?


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