Buying chicken feed in volume / bulk and feeding scratch vs layer feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by beatua, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. beatua

    beatua Hatching

    Jan 1, 2011
    Hi all,
    I have been trying to find a place to buy chicken feed in volume, around 1 ton, (perhaps at a grain mill), but have been unable to find anything in the portland oregon area, anyone have any ideas? Right now I buy in 50 pound bags at a local farm and ranch store.

    Our chickens are free range (they come out of the coup in the morning and go wherever they want on our 5 acre property during the day and then go back in the coup when it is dark. Do we need to give layer feed? I think the primary reason for using layer feed is the higher protein content is this correct? Could we just feed with feed wheat and feed corn or something like that and they can get protein from bugs and worms. Anyone do something like this for feeding their chickens?


  2. gamebirdsonly

    gamebirdsonly Crowing

    Mar 5, 2007
    I have mine free ranging only on 1 acre so I give mine wheat and and layer pellets.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  3. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Layer feed has more calcium for egg production,you might be able to get by without layer seeing that they free range but you should at least provide them with oyster shell.
    As far as bulk buying you could probably check out your area to see if there is a commercial egg producer in your vicinity ask them if they can put you in touch with their supplier or buy a ton off of them. Also go to where your buying the fifty pound bags and ask them if you order forty bags of feed if they can cut you a deal and pay in advance. Dont know if you will have luck with Purina or Blue Seal but give them a call,maybe they have a facility in the Pacific NW.
  4. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    I mix my own feed in bulk. We don't have a feed mill, so I buy 50 pound bags and mix it myself in plastic 50 gallon barrels. I do not feed commercial processed pellets. I feed a mix of wheat, corn, oats, barley, sunflower seeds, flax seed, peas, soybeans, brewer's grain, and alfalfa pellets. When I was a kid, I raised 50 hens on nothing but scratch, and they laid lots of eggs. I can't imagine that either the feed or the chickens have changed that much in the last 20 years.

  5. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    How many chickens do you have? I would not buy in bulk because of storage/pest problems unless I had over 100 chickens. Two fifty pound bags
    of feed will store in a galvanized garbage can and will feed 100 chickens for a decent amount of time.
  6. kingsfarm

    kingsfarm Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    BoltonChicken --- I have 87 chickens and have to feed 100# starter-grower a week.....What am I doing wrong? 32 free range (fed twice a day) 19 roosters ( 6 in one cage 13 another because age diff) 26 pullets in another area --rest in it because they are spread out? how much should I be feeding them? am working to get the 26 pullets to free ranging with flock....Help...
  7. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    Man.... there are a lot of variables you have. Size of chickens, age, breed, etc. The standard to allow is 1/4 pound per day per chicken. For your flock that comes to 22 lbs per day so 100# per week you are using is doing good as you are supplementing with free ranging. As you can see I was off in my prior post about the length of time 100# will feed. I guess a "decent amount of time" varies person to person! [​IMG]
    If you have a place to store the feed in the dry (completely dry) and keep it free of pest that will hold one ton of feed, then I would do it if I were in your place. You should get a pretty good price break buying in bulk quantity. As an alternative you could see what kind of price break you would get by buying 10 50# bags at a time. There should be a break in there somewhere!

  8. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I told DH I would call me feed supplier tomorrow to double check the pricing. A couple weeks ago I checked on horse pellets; bulk v. bag is a stunning savings.THe lady in the office explained the number of people to run the pellets thru the badding machine is high and the 2 people to deliver it. Bulk is a dumped load in a box truck and augered into a bulk silo. I could pay for the silo in like a year!

    THe grain guy who delivers my grain , and runs the company!, cautions about how poorly cracked/milled grains hold up. Only a couple weeks in his opinion. A local poultryman, well experienced, keeps his milled grain a couple months. Not saying you should; just what he does.

    I do believe in trying to balance the nutrients of micro and macro nature; added vitamins and minerals can be valuable to supplement all kinds of foods. A bird truly benefits from eating the green leafy veggies, but also needs a higher amount of calcium than most natural sources can provide. THe egg output expected from our modern chickens, heritage or not, use high amounts of calcium and protein.

    There are many ways to get there; to each there own way. GL
  9. R_Chickens

    R_Chickens Chirping

    Jun 19, 2011
    Quote:Are you going to add DE as it's augered in to keep it dry?

    - JC

  10. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    I didn't realize that DE could work as a drying agent. I heard that the main benefit to adding it to feed was to kill insects. Am I wrong here?

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