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How much does it cost to feed chickens? - Page 2

post #11 of 52

We are TIGHT too but the enjoyment of having chickens outweigh the pleasures and start off small like maybe up to eight hens. The 40 lb bag last us one month for eight hens and seven juvies. They dont have access to free range, just coop and run.

If you are looking for profits or to break even, its not possible unless you go all scratch which it isnt good for them on long term. Free ranging will save more expenses on feed.

BYC Member since 4/11/2002 
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BYC Member since 4/11/2002 
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post #12 of 52

I have 4 hens and a 50lb bag of food lasts me 3 months.  They free-range in my backyard.  It is really pretty cheap- I'm a college student so money can be tight.  One thing to consider is if someone might buy a few eggs off of you to offset feed costs.  If not, could you trade eggs for services to save yourself money?  Maybe your hairdresser wants a dozon eggs a week to cut your hair every 6 weeks?  Just some suggestions.  Anyhow, I hope you fulfill your chicken dreams! 
Kati e

I love my hens!  Edwinna, Thelma, Lousia and Miss Betty
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I love my hens!  Edwinna, Thelma, Lousia and Miss Betty
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post #13 of 52

I guess Im starving my birds, for Im not using that much feed...I have 75 total, counting about 20 chicks. I go through a bag of starter every two weeks on the chicks (yes I keep their feeders full daily) and MAYBE a 50lb bag of layer every two weeks. Summertime really helps on free ranging on my days off (dont feel comfortable when Im at work), and I feed veggies to them every other day.....They are laying for me so I must be doing something right. smile

50 layers to help pay for feed... Bantam-Exhibition Cochins:Mottled, Brown Red, Blues, Barred/ Black Hamburgs/Columbian Wyandottes/Black Langshans...not to forget a few silkies for brooding!
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50 layers to help pay for feed... Bantam-Exhibition Cochins:Mottled, Brown Red, Blues, Barred/ Black Hamburgs/Columbian Wyandottes/Black Langshans...not to forget a few silkies for brooding!
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post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildsky 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunlizz 

About  1  1/2  pounds  per  chicken   per day .   OOOPS       PER  WEEK

   
We have  49  head  . 
We  are  using  like 85  pounds  PER WEEK   of  feed  and  we give  ALOT of  scrapes and  treats .

50#'s  cost  11.00  for  Purina Laying  Pellets


We  give them  the  following :

Greens
grass
bread
RICE
cooked  oatmeal
cooked  grits
and  all  table  scrapes


Thats an AWEFUL lot of food they're eating.

Thanks : 

  Liz
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Thanks : 

  Liz
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post #15 of 52

I  feed  real  early  in the  morning  . Mid afternoon  I  give  treats    and  replenish  ALL  feed   around  5:00 -  5:30  . 


And  I am  not losing  feed  neither . 
All  feeders  are ground level  and   any  scratching goes on ground . 

49  HEAD  and  more  to be hatched  at  end of month .

Thanks : 

  Liz
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Thanks : 

  Liz
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post #16 of 52

you can sell eggs to pay for the feed

post #17 of 52

I have 4 ladies & my experience is like Katie's.  A 50# bag lasts about 3 months.

The ladies have free-range during the daylight hours.  We have acreage but they tend to make the round in the yard a few times everyday.

They get produce scraps as two people can generate, so it is some but not a lot.   They have two feeders and they are full all the time and they have free choice when they feel they need storebought food.

Not a money making opportunity but definately not a huge drain if you can see your way to do it is worth it.

Keeper of 6 Big Girls ( barred rock, partridge rock,  EE, 2 slw) a Cairn Terrier and Calico Cat

Visit my blog at http://lookingoutthewindow.wordpress.com/

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Keeper of 6 Big Girls ( barred rock, partridge rock,  EE, 2 slw) a Cairn Terrier and Calico Cat

Visit my blog at http://lookingoutthewindow.wordpress.com/

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post #18 of 52

I know you are just ball-parking it, but I would estimate a 15-20% increase in the cost of feed. The cost has been going up and I definately think that trend is going to continue.

post #19 of 52

Starting out is definately the hardest part about raising chickens.  I started with a kayak, put an ad in the paper to swap it for a coop, low and behold, someone out there had a coop and wanted my kayak. 

We painted, and bought a heated waterer that holds 3 gallons, and a feeder that holds 25 lbs of grain, and within a couple weeks had a functioning coop.  Our run consists of the metal frame to one of those canvas storage building/ tents.  Its 12 x 20. We knocked on a strangers door when we see the abandoned frame in his back field, and he sold it to us for $20.00!  We wrapped it from top to botton with chicken wire, and waalaa, a great run for our babies.
We have 16 bantam silkies, and are looking to acquire a couple ducks, and 4 laying hens.  Our silkies are only 5 weeks old, so we are unsure of how many roos we have, therefore, our numbers may need to change in the near future.

so far my costs for this adventure estimate just under $600.00.  The feeder & waterer were my luxury items at $120.00 combined.  However, they will allow me to leave for vacation for a few days at a time, and the water wont freeze this winter.  That cost also includes 1 50 lb bag of medicated starter feed. 

The cost was more than I anticipated, (it always is, as my husband says) but the kids and I love playing with the chicks, seeing how much they change from day to day is amazing.  They are a fun hobby and someday will have a few eggs for a bonus!  http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/14013_chicken_coop_085.jpg

1 husband - aged to perfection, 2 sons - 18 and 16, 2 mini-poodles - 11 and 1, 1 cat - 2, 16 silkies 5 weeks old.  No wonder I'm tired....
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1 husband - aged to perfection, 2 sons - 18 and 16, 2 mini-poodles - 11 and 1, 1 cat - 2, 16 silkies 5 weeks old.  No wonder I'm tired....
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post #20 of 52

The first 5 months of life - pullets are not laying. The pullet's cumulative feed consumption to get her to the point of laying will be less than 20 pounds. Assuming starter feed costs twice as much as laying feed and goes for 50 cents a pound, she will cost you $10 to get her to 5 months of age.

A production hen can lay 1 dozen eggs while consuming 3 pounds of feed. But, you aren't expecting that much efficiency from your hen. Perhaps, she is will eat 5 pounds of feed to produce 1 dozen eggs over 1/2 month. So this is 2 dozen eggs a month, while she is eating 10 pounds of feed.

If feed is costing you 25 cents a pound ($10/40 lb), you have paid $2.50 for 2 dozen eggs. Multiply your $2.50 per month feed costs by 12 months ($30) and add to that the $10 for the 5 months of pre-lay. Your hen has cost you $40 and you have 24 dozen eggs from her at a cost of $1.67 per dozen over the course of 12 months of laying and 17 months of her life.

According to the Washington Post, the national average for eggs in March was $2.17 a dozen. It isn't the worse case scenario but your hen is eating only commercial feed and still saving you 23% on your cost for eggs. Each of your laying hens will save you about $12 over a 17 month period of time.

Generally, laying hens are not kept so that their owners can lose money. And, since they provide all the essential amino acids, eggs are a source of high-quality protein in our diet.

Steve

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TheEasyGarden - Gardening Forum

Easy - Fun - Fulfilling... How Gardening Should Be

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