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bulk chicken feed. does it save much money?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I was thinking of trying to buy bulk chicken feed and was curious if it saved much money.   I did a couple google searches in my area (pacific northwest) and didn't find a whole lot of information.   Does anyone know of any good feed suppliers that sell in bulk around the Portland, Oregon area?    Also curious if anyone makes their own feed and how exactly they do it and how much money they save.    I am just thinking about chickens as a long term hobby.   Thanks.

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post #2 of 16

If you want your feed in bags that is not bulk. You might be able to strike deals for 1/2 ton lots of bag feed but that is a lot of feed for a backyard flock to eat up before quality goes to pot.

To get bulk feed prices you are probably going to have to take 18 tons at a time which is what a standard dual axel feed truck holds. This generally requires a feed bin 9' in diameter and 22' tall. 18 tons of feed will feed 100 layers for 4 to 4 1/2 years.

This is not like going to the bulk candy section of a big grocery store and scooping what you want into  plastic bag.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Grassbaugh 

If you want your feed in bags that is not bulk. You might be able to strike deals for 1/2 ton lots of bag feed but that is a lot of feed for a backyard flock to eat up before quality goes to pot.

To get bulk feed prices you are probably going to have to take 18 tons at a time which is what a standard dual axel feed truck holds. This generally requires a feed bin 9' in diameter and 22' tall. 18 tons of feed will feed 100 layers for 4 to 4 1/2 years.

This is not like going to the bulk candy section of a big grocery store and scooping what you want into  plastic bag.


Thanks for the non-pretentious response, Neil.

I never said I wanted my feed in bags, and it seems you are comparing one extreme to another, three chickens in the city vs. 100+ chickens for four years?   You are really saying there's no middle ground here?  Maybe I should have spent more time on google.

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post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Grassbaugh 

If you want your feed in bags that is not bulk. You might be able to strike deals for 1/2 ton lots of bag feed but that is a lot of feed for a backyard flock to eat up before quality goes to pot.

To get bulk feed prices you are probably going to have to take 18 tons at a time which is what a standard dual axel feed truck holds. This generally requires a feed bin 9' in diameter and 22' tall. 18 tons of feed will feed 100 layers for 4 to 4 1/2 years.

This is not like going to the bulk candy section of a big grocery store and scooping what you want into  plastic bag.


I'm a big fan of scooping what I want into  plastic bag.  I wish there where places that do this, it would be nice.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupman 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Grassbaugh 

If you want your feed in bags that is not bulk. You might be able to strike deals for 1/2 ton lots of bag feed but that is a lot of feed for a backyard flock to eat up before quality goes to pot.

To get bulk feed prices you are probably going to have to take 18 tons at a time which is what a standard dual axel feed truck holds. This generally requires a feed bin 9' in diameter and 22' tall. 18 tons of feed will feed 100 layers for 4 to 4 1/2 years.

This is not like going to the bulk candy section of a big grocery store and scooping what you want into  plastic bag.


Thanks for the non-pretentious response, Neil.

I never said I wanted my feed in bags, and it seems you are comparing one extreme to another, three chickens in the city vs. 100+ chickens for four years?   You are really saying there's no middle ground here?  Maybe I should have spent more time on google.


You got some information there; Bulk food is ...lots...

here (SE USA) the mills can do custom milling/feed bags but there is a minimum... the search has some hits

How many chickens -do- you/will you have? Feed in my area is 50# for $11-25 depending what's in it. (the cheapest off brand -> organic)

Most of us do not conciser 50# bulk food...

Here are recipes:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=4477

I used the custom search at the top of the page: 'feed recipe'

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2012 Art Contest runs till Midnight EST Dec 31st 2012

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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Right on, thank you FireTigeris.  I only have 12 chickens right now but later this summer I'm going to increase size to 50+ chickens.   The 50lb bags seem to last about three weeks for the 12, so with 50 it would go pretty quick.   One of the neighbors has his feed in these 60 galon barrels.   He probably has about 5 or 6 of them, I was just looking for something similar to this.  I have no real idea how much the feed weighs in the barrel, too heavy for one person to move that's for sure.

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post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupman 

Right on, thank you FireTigeris.  I only have 12 chickens right now but later this summer I'm going to increase size to 50+ chickens.   The 50lb bags seem to last about three weeks for the 12, so with 50 it would go pretty quick.   One of the neighbors has his feed in these 60 gallon barrels.   He probably has about 5 or 6 of them, I was just looking for something similar to this.  I have no real idea how much the feed weighs in the barrel, too heavy for one person to move that's for sure.


Alright then call around to the Mills (not feed stores) and find out what the minimum is- here those 55 gal drums are around $15-30 each and would work if air/water tight.

My local mills (by local I mean 1.5 hours or more away -*sigh*-) have a recipe already for chicken feed that is most often bought, this type w/o anything extra is cheaper per 'bag' cheeper still w/o bags and dropped from the grain silo into your truck.

(at least that's what I was told)

Oh and only use 'food grade' containers if at all possible. The other containers may have held bad stuff (kerosene, bug spray...)


Edited by FireTigeris - 6/29/11 at 10:38am

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2012 Art Contest runs till Midnight EST Dec 31st 2012

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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yeah, great, FireTigeris, that thread you linked in your first post actually mentioned a place that mixes feed in my state.   It's a bit of a drive but I won't need to frequent it often if I pick up a few thousand pounds of feed.   Looks like that will be my project for next week.  Thanks again.

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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupman 

I was thinking of trying to buy bulk chicken feed and was curious if it saved much money.   I did a couple google searches in my area (pacific northwest) and didn't find a whole lot of information.   Does anyone know of any good feed suppliers that sell in bulk around the Portland, Oregon area?    Also curious if anyone makes their own feed and how exactly they do it and how much money they save.    I am just thinking about chickens as a long term hobby.   Thanks.


You can buy in bulk or bag at The Urban Farm Store on SE 21st & SE Belmont in Portland, not sure of difference in price or if it is the same per pound.  They are awesome people to deal with.  The feed I put my girls on is corn & soy free; the grains are grown 'locally' in Eastern Oregon & Montana.

Also look up 'Concentrates' in Portland. They sell feed componates separately, as well as ready-mixed.


Edited by LoreenH - 6/29/11 at 10:51am
Chickenhead in Portland
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post #10 of 16

This group out of Phoenix seems to be saving money by ordering together.  Here is their website.   www.phoenixorganicfeed.com   It seems pretty self explanatory.  The tricky part I think would be organizing the local chicken people.  But how hard can it be for us to come together so we all save money...?  We're organized enough to have this website in place to answer every conceivable concern about chickens.  It seems like we could possibly organize ourselves.......especially to save money...?


Edited by Soy Free LIfe - 3/11/13 at 8:03pm
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