Anyone grow their own feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by harvestmoonGal, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. harvestmoonGal

    harvestmoonGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    1
    81
    May 10, 2013
    Moneys real tight around here. I go through about a 50Ib of laying pellets and almost 50Ib of scratch, every two weeks! Plus I own goats! So that's another 50Ib of feed every two weeks!

    The feed I buy is the cheapest here. It's $20 for any 50Ib feed, so I'm spending about $30 every week to feed them. It may not seem like a lot but that's money I really don't have. I love them to death and want them to be happy and healthy but..

    So my question is if anyone has/or does grow their own chicken feed? Does it save money? Is it better for the chickens? Will they still lay?

    If someone could help me please!!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,368
    3,600
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Wow, 20 is really high for a bag of feed. Where are you located? It doesn't help you but it ranges from 13-18 around here.
    A few suggestions.
    Fermenting feed is supposed to reduce feed use because it eliminates waste and improves nutrient uptake.
    Are your birds allowed to forage and what is the pasture made up of.
    Instead of buying scratch, buy bags of whole grains and seeds like wheat, oat groats, sunflower etc.. Those are around the same price and then you can sprout them, increasing volume, vitamins and protein.
    Most people don't have the space to grow sufficient grain for their birds.
    Everywhere the chickens forage, I plant, clover, alfalfa, field peas, beets radish, turnips and buckwheat in summer.
     
  3. harvestmoonGal

    harvestmoonGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    1
    81
    May 10, 2013
    I have about 1 1/2 acres to work with. I live in east texas area. The feed price is always changing :-/
    My chickens don't get get to free range often but I want to build a small mobile cage for them.(there is a LOT of wild animals constantly trying to get them.
    If I do grow my own feed could I put some up for the winter?
     
  4. cestial225

    cestial225 Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    6
    83
    Apr 8, 2013
    I second doing a fermented feed. I have 16 birds and was going through a 50 pound bag every 2 weeks. I switched to FF and it cut my feed in half! So now I go through one bag a month and at $16 a bag it is totally worth the extra effort. I go through about one bag of scratch every 3 months.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,368
    3,600
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    here are a couple articles to look at

    http://www.mofga.org/Publications/M...r/Summer2003/Chickens/tabid/1481/Default.aspx

    http://www2.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/feed_ingredients/grains.html
     
  6. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

    6,179
    697
    308
    Aug 23, 2013
    Portland/Vancouver area
    Chicks love table scraps. They like any kind of veggies, bread moistened in milk. Try to make it through the winter then plant some things that will help feed your chicks. Sunflower seeds, radishes, tomatoes, etc. Best thing to find and plant is a mulberry bush. It fruits 3-4 mo a year and is high in protein. Chicks love it. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries. They love it all. Toward the fall, Aug or so plant root plants. Mangels is a hugh beet and is a great cheap fodder. Keep it in the ground all winter and pluck it out when needed. Same with radishes and beets. At least that's what I plan on doing. [​IMG]
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,368
    3,600
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I do that too. And I pick the leaves for the penned birds through the winter.

    We have mulberry trees along two fence lines. They produce a lot and fruit at a young age.

    But what part of a mulberry is high in protein.?
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,368
    3,600
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
  9. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    681
    32
    131
    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    How many chickens do you have? This will determine, in part, whether you will be able to grow enough feed to reduce the cost of keeping your flock fed. Don't forget about the startup costs of planting, though. Spending a dollar to save a dime won't help you at all.

    We currently have only 10 chickens, and a bag of feed lasts us about a month. We supplement with table scraps (vegetable peelings, meat scraps, pasta) and folk who get eggs from us send theirs along, too. In the summer, we catch a couple of bags of grass clippings and they go into the run. In the fall, we give the chickens gardening waste. We do not free range our flock.

    We also saved a lot by taking a look at how well our feeders were working. There was a lot of waste. Hanging the feeders helped, and using a feeder that didn't allow the birds to rake through the feed to spill it helped even more.

    Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck. I can understand what it is like to be on a tight budget, and I hope that everything works out well for you.
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,368
    3,600
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Truer words were never spoken.
    In the drought of a couple summers ago, I would have been money ahead not planting a garden.
    Besides all the labor and seed cost, I was shocked to get my 3 month water bill - $280. I could have filled the fridge with more organic produce with better variety from Whole Foods than I was able to put in there.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by