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Need options for online grain supplier

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have started mixing my own feed using natural grains.  My first mix was Whole Oates, Milo, Cracked Corn and Soy Meal.  This mixed in equal parts has given me appr a 19% protein feed and it looks good enough for me to eat.  My price breakdown was as follows, all 50# bags:

 

Milo - 15.00

Whole Oates - 12.29

Soy Meal - 21.50

Cracked Corn - 10.59

 

This worked out to $0.282 per pound. However this was a one time deal, as I was quotes some different prices and the next order my Milo and Soy Meal are going up.  Not sure by how much, probably only 1-2 cents per pound.

 

So,I wanted to see if someone out there had information on a Supplier that would ship me grains as I only really have one source in my area that I can find.  Although, I am not sure of the cost of shipping will be any better than what I am currently getting.  It just might be that my local feed store will be the best pricing overall.

 

When I started this venture, I wanted to see if I could get an equal or better protein ratio feed than what I am currently buying at Tractor Supply.  I have been getting the Dumor Layer Pellets at $12.99 for a 50lb bag.  That is $0.2598 per lb.  What I mixed above is would have been only $1.11 more or $0.0222 cents per pound more.  Although, what I have not considered is that due to the increase in Protein, and the fact that this is whole grains that they may actually eat slightly less of this feed versus processed pellets.  Would this be a true statement?

 

So, overall I like the idea of feeding a mixed grain that I mixed and can adjust the protein percentage and substitute other ingredients to vary what they are eating a little mow and then.  But of course, I am trying to get the most bag for the buck and obtain my ingredients for the lowest price possible.

post #2 of 7

Chickens eat to satisfy energy needs first, not protein. However, your all vegetative sources of food will be short of some essential amino acids. Once that affects them, you may experience some feather picking and other issues.

You are also going to be short some vitamins and minerals.

Your biggest bang for the buck is with a complete feed.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 7
You can buy vitamin premixes to add to your custom grain mix, but that likely would make your cost higher that what you can buy pre-made from TSC. Plus, since the Dumor feed is pre-ground for the bird (then subsequently extruded into pellets), the bird invests less energy into digesting it, providing better overall feed conversion. Basically, if your purpose in mixing your own feed is to save money, it probably isn't going to work from both the front end and the rear with small scale production.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
My operation is growing, I currently have 26 chickens, 1 rooster, 6 hens and 19 pellets they are right at starting to lay. I have another 32 hatchling on the way so by the end of summer I will be just over 50 as head count and I will start some breeding. Mixing is not necessarily to be cheaper, but to get better quality mix with higher protein for around the same cost, however I assumed that the whole grains would be more filling and richer in nutrients than a processed feed like extruded pellets. This is what we find with our foods, processed is worse for you than natural food. Also, there has to be something extra used as a binder to hold the pellets together and that is not natural.

I am saying that purina and dumor and nature wise and others don't now how to mix feed, but I know that they crunch numbers to meet the minimum requirements for the least cost and charge as much as they can to maximize profits, they are a business.

I plan on raising meet birds later this year and having my layer flock on a cull rotation, so I want to come up with the best natural feed (not saying organic) for the best value so I know what they are eating and thus what I am eating. It may not be the cheapest and that is fine, as long as we are relatively close. I will look into vitamins and other ingredients to help balance.

I plan on changing out oates with wheat, barley or rye from time to time and also substituting in or adding millet.

If you had to name one ingredient that I am missing that you think would help balance, what would that be?

Keep in mind that my birds free range for a couple hours a day at least and we offer table scraps when available. I also have oyster she'll offered on free choice.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
post #5 of 7

Here's an idea of what additives your blend of feed is lacking compared to a purchased complete feed.

 

http://www.poultryhub.org/nutrition/feed-ingredients/feed-additives/

 

Your first mix breaks down to $14.845 per 50#. The cost of grain is going up for ou and you should be a poultry feed additive which will raise the price more. If price is not a concern and you've some misgivings of commercial feed then why not just purchase organic feed? Would you trust a organic feed blend? If so that's a good option. Feeding from 50# bags is about as easy as it gets. All guess work of nutritional needs is taken care of you just need to determine if you want GMO, animal byproducts and what not in the feed. Choose the feed that meets the requirements.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #6 of 7
Quoted from Poultry CRC:

"Feed enzymes

Enzymes are proteins that facilitate specific chemical reactions. After completion of the reaction, the enzyme disassociates and becomes available to assist in further reactions. Although animals and their associated gut microflora produce numerous enzymes, they are not necessarily able to produce sufficient quantities of specific enzymes or produce them at the right locations to facilitate absorption of all components in normal feedstuffs or to reduce anti-nutritional factors in feed that limit digestion.

Some cereal grains (rye, barley, wheat, sorghum) have soluble long chains of sugar units (referred to as soluble non-starch polysaccharides – NSP) that can entrap large amounts of water during digestion and form very viscous (thick gel-like) gut contents. Enzymes that are harvested from microbial fermentation and added to feeds can break these bonds between sugar units of NSP and significantly reduce the gut content viscosity. Lower viscosity results in improved digestion as there is more interaction of the digestive enzymes with feeds and therefore more complete digestion; improved absorption as there is better contact between the digested feed nutrients and the absorptive surface of the gut; and improved health as the moisture and nutrient levels in the manure are reduced which reduces the nutrients available for harmful gut microflora to proliferate and challenge the birds (e.g. necrotic enteritis, a chronic intestinal disease caused by Clostridium perfringens, resulting in reduced performance, mortality and the main reason we currently use in-feed antimicrobials).

Commercial enzymes are also produced that significantly reduce the negative effects of phytates. Phytates are plant storage sources of phosphorus that also bind other minerals, amino acids (proteins) and energy and reduce their availability to the bird. Ongoing research will develop enzymes that are more effective in maintaining function under a wider range of processing and digestive conditions. New enzymes may include those capable of reducing toxins produced during feed spoilage (mould growth in grains) and facilitating digestion of carbohydrates currently not available to simple-stomached animals (poultry, pigs, humans) such as cellulose, lignin and chitin. New feed additives are rapidly adopted by the poultry industry and have facilitated the development of significant new technology to advance the use and availability of in-feed enzymes."
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Okay, so I called another store that is not quite as convenient but not terrible to get to and they have much better prices on all the the grains that one would need for mixing chicken feed as well as peas to add to the mix.

 

So, I am expanding my formula to include Peas and sunflower seeds.  I have oats currently but the next batch will be wheat (last supplier was out of wheat the day I went to purchase) and I will be able to include a Vitamin/Probiotic Premix and still stay right around the TSC Dumor pellet price.

 

Thank you for the replies and making me think about what all is needed.

 

BTW, got my first egg yesterday off of my winter pullets.  Can't wait to get home today and see if I have another, or maybe even 2 or 3 from them.

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