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Cheap DIY chicken feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kntrybumpkin, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. kntrybumpkin

    kntrybumpkin Out Of The Brooder

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    Looking for a fairly easy and cheap feed recipe wandering what everyone else has tried we don't have access to a lot of things where we live but wheat milo oats we do for sure
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You may not want to hear this but there is no cheap way to do so.
    Chickens are omnivores and need more than grain. It is extremely difficult (read that as impossible to make a complete feed with a homemade mix. You likely don't have the ability to do a nutrient analysis. Manufactured chicken feed has all the nutrients chickens are known to need in the correct ratios.
    If you were able to do so, it wouldn't be cheap.
    The problem is the economy of scale.
    Feed companies buy grains by the trainload. You will be buying by the 50 # bag.
    They buy vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplements by the ton. You would be buying by the pound.
    Some of the bags of grain I buy are more expensive than a bag of feed.

    I've done the math many times. It doesn't work.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. kntrybumpkin

    kntrybumpkin Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I've been looking into it I realize it's not cheap at the time but more so in the long run on pounds and price but from recipes I've seen I've been wandering about mixing layer pellets with added grains and such would it stretch out pound wise and save a little.... We use added cracked corn and scratch grains in winter for colder weather but as far as summer with warmer Temps I won't give any because it raises body temp but wandering about year round just to save a little and still meet their needs
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  4. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    theres a lot of ways to come at this, really, depending on how commited you are and what you can find. you can grow vegetables and fruits, you can strike a deal with a creamery for their excess whey. you can ferment feed. you can grow bsf larvae. there are a million ways you can save money on feed, but as canoe pointed out, its a real chalenge to go completely homemade, and most in between compeomises are still going to require more input in time, labor, research, and planning than just buying layer, so again, it just depends what you can find access to and/or how commited you are to saving money...

    we have cut our purchased feed use and therefore costs by about half thru different strategies suited to our circumstances, but it certainly takes more time and more work, and it also took a lot of research, development, experimentation, and general puzzling.
     
  5. kntrybumpkin

    kntrybumpkin Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2015
    We give house scraps lots of greens fresh veg from the garden scrambled or boiled eggs when we have too many for the fridge and anything we have leftover that is good for them just wandering what other people have tried with any success
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  6. Pendragonz

    Pendragonz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a couple links for you to help save feed costs!

    http://abundantpermaculture.com/i-cut-my-chicken-feed-bill-100/

    http://abundantpermaculture.com/how-to-feed-chickens-without-grain/

    Hope this helps you!
     
  7. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    maybe you have already, but you should look into fermenting feed if you havent yet. id say thats one of the easiest things to do to cut costs without sacrificing quality.

    we use extra or sub-par root crops or starchy tropical staples like (taro, xanthosoma, cassava, sweetpotato, beets, squash, etc) that we grow for our own food uses to supplement. we boil these in a beat up old pot and mix with layer crumble, water, and then culture with for example a little ACV or backslopping. we also sometimes use other things: stale bread, tortilla chips, weavilly rice, old bananas (that we grow) etc. we also usually juice comfrey leaves and incorporste as well. the recope varies based on what we have around, but the process is always the same, basically the typical fernented feed process, just cut with homemade carb sources. its simpler than it sounds...

    (we dont use grains because grains dont grow in hawaii and thus aren't the staple carbohydrates here. if i lived in a temperate climate, i might include potatoes, corn, sorghum, jerusalem artichokes, turnips, etc.)

    this feed prep is on top of fresh greens daily, fresh azolla, kitchen scraps, fallen fruit, etc and bugs from the compost run of course...

    og feed is 25--45 dollars here depending wehere you get it and what brand, and this strategy has got us down to where feeding doesnt actually burn a hole in the pocket.

    cheers!
     
  8. insomniatic

    insomniatic New Egg

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    Good morning everyone, my first day on BYC and not only amazed at all the informative forum, but thankful to each and everyone of yall for your ideas and post.
    As for this forum, I just made a "goulash" of sweet feed pellets (about 4 cups), raw oat meal (about 2 cups), crushed egg shells (probably about 18), 1 tsp. Chile powder (questionable about this but did it anyways), a small bag;(about a tbs) of pepper seeds from the local pizza parlor and garnished it with some goats milk (1/2 cup)to soften it all up. My flock is going crazy over this mix. No clue as to the nutritional value of that but it was fun making it and then seeing their approval by eating it all up.
    (And my girlfriend thinks I can't cook) SMH while patting myself on the back.
    If there is anything in my mix that I need to be warned about please let me know, as I am a beginner at chicken raising. Thank you and have a blessed day.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    Layer feed and all other feeds are complete nutritionally for the type and age bird they're intended to feed. Adding grains will stretch it out pound wise but will diminish the nutrition. Grains are deficient in several essential amino acids that omnivores need. They are deficient in many vitamins and minerals that chickens need. Corn, soy and sometimes other grains are already the primary ingredients in chicken feed. Adding more won't do your birds any justice.
    If you add more than 5% grain, you won't be meeting their needs.

    Fermenting is a good idea. When I ferment, I usually cut feed consumption by 1/3.

    If you mean sweet feed meant for ungulates and equines, it is pretty low in protein and may be too high in sugar. The goats milk is upping the protein so that's good.
     
    1 person likes this.

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