Cheapest Chicken feed route?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bradleyjpyle, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. bradleyjpyle

    bradleyjpyle Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2012
    With the onset of fall here in central NY my chickens that ate basically NO feed this summer (2 acre pasture and woods) suddenly descided to start scarfing alot of feed.

    My pig that lives with them eats:

    Fermented whole corn kernels and Whole oats. 50/50 mix

    My chickens absolutly go bonkers and try to fight the pig for the feed. Its humorous but the pig hates it so Ive started tossing them some of there own to leave the pig alone.

    Question Is:

    If I'm lazy and cheap cant I just feed this to the chickies this winter? (Mostly barred Rocks)

    I really dont feel like getting fancy with formulating some feed

    Layer mash is .25cents a pound

    Kernel corn/Oats are .18cents a lb

    I can easily burn through 200lbs of feed a week

    $36.00 Fermented el cheapo

    $50.00 Layer Mash

    That is $14 a week difference, $56 a week difference, $2912 difference a year.


    I like my birds but they arent pets. Cents are dollars.

    I will note I supplement with oyster shell. Eggs are perfect, production is wonderful I have no health issues.
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens


    Are you really complaining about .25 cents a pound? Holy cow! You don't even want to know how much I pay...

    It is important to provide proper nutrition through the winter months. Please do not feed them corn and whole oats. That sounds like scratch grain to me, and definitely not a good idea.

    How many birds do you have? Roosters should not have layer feed. How much is your grower per pound?
  3. bradleyjpyle

    bradleyjpyle Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2012
    Grower/Starter is .26cents a pound

    My animals are all free range. 200lbs a week is alot to even be contemplating some of the mixtures totaling $1.00 a/lb
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I'm the same way with mine. I have 150 birds and go through about the same in feed. 3 bags of 50 pounds a week at least. Maybe 25 more pounds..

    My 50 pound bags cost $15.20 or so. It's a lot of money, but the eggs are sold and they pay for themselves.

    Also with grower it would be $52 a week for you to feed your flock. I would be very happy with that. You may have less birds than me though.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  5. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    There's a great thread here about fermented feed, I'd recommend checking it's much less expensive and seems to be a very healthy diet for the birds. I would suggest a supplement of some sort of protein for them over the winter; they need it both for egg production and for maintaining their own bodies, and insects are generally in short supply over the winter months. One of the cheapest sources is cooked, dried beans. Pintos are plentiful and cheap in our area, so I use them a lot. They do need to be cooked to remove the toxins in them, but it's just a matter of soaking overnight and then into the crockpot with fresh water. I also give them all our meat scraps and yogurt which I make on the cheap...but then I only have 6 so it's not the chore or expense it would be for a large flock.

    Have to go with aoxa...just corn and oats isn't enough nutrition for them, particularly over the winter. Do you have a lot of roosters? If so, you might cull them, keeping just a few of the best...that would cut down some on the amount of feed you'd need.
    1 person likes this.
  6. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Farmers in the southern US an other warm places have been free ranging chickens an feeding only corn an scraps for over 200 years.

    Most of the time that is all my free range birds get. Caged birds need a complete feed. Free ranged on good land, not so much.
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Just because it's been done for 200 years, doesn't make it right. We know more now than we did 200 years ago.

    I have lower protein feed, which doesn't matter since they get enough protein from foraging. However, corn is not a balanced diet, even with everything they find ranging.
  8. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    No corn is not a balanced diet, it is candy to keep them tame. Chickens can get all there diet from the land just fine when given room. I dont claim to know New York, but it works here all year.
    1 person likes this.
  9. highline

    highline Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2010
    Myrtle, 'Sippi
    Don't make it wrong either..... I still believe in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" frame of mind.
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I grew in southern Indiana doing same with American Games. During harsh winters supplementation had to step up with more complete diets but otherwise whole corn was all that was used to supplement natural forages. A typical winter in New York will be much tougher than Indiana and not even in same realm as southern states.

    OP will likely have assume heavy snow cover will choke off natural forages. I could get by with continued use of whole grains and supplmentation with modest amounts of grower for protein and vitamins. If egg production desired. then free-choice calcium supplement of some sort will be needed and increases in application rate for grower used when egg production dips. Extreme conditions on free-range forage will be extremely hard on the birds. I know this from many years of experience.

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