Cheapest way to buy feed??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Viking84, May 21, 2019.

  1. Viking84

    Viking84 In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2019
    my 17 chickens go thru feed at a rapid pace. I don't want to cut back on the amount or quality of feed they are getting, but would like to cut back on costs if possible. my local farm and feed store is cheaper than tractor supply, but was also wondering about ordering online. Has anyone ordered feed from Amazon or pet supply websites that was cheaper than buying from a store. Or maybe buying in bulk such as 500lbs at a time etc...
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    Buying a bag at a time online is typically more expensive due to shipping costs. First figure out how much you are going through. I wouldn't recommend purchasing more than you will go through in a month. You do not want any feed to go bad and go to waste or make your birds ill. Once you know how much you need I would talk to both your local feed store as well as a local feed mill to see what kind of price you can get on that quantity. Generally the more you purchase at once, the better a price you can get.
  3. Trux

    Trux Crowing

    Mar 26, 2018
    penny1960 likes this.
  4. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    How quick do they go through a 50 lb bag?
    Do they waste feed or do you have other animals eating they feed?
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Bulk is tempting but you can run into saving $ at the expense of nutrients.....nutrients break down over time, and not a lot of time, just weeks.
    How many days is a 50 pound bag lasting your 17 birds and how old are they? What type of feeder are you using? Where is the feeder kept (coop, run, etc)? Most times the feed is actually being spilled/wasted by the birds or consumed by pests.
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Many folks report stretching their feed budget by fermenting feed.
    penny1960, gtaus and 123RedBeard like this.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    My local feed stores offer a discount when 500 pounds of feed is purchased at once, and that doesn't work for me. With 45 chickens, I still wouldn't use it up fast enough, and don't have safe storage for that amount anyway.
    Fresh is best!
    Having dogs, cats, horses, and cattle, chicken feed is very inexpensive!!! I buy better feed, rather than getting cheap stuff and then spending even more to 'suppliment' it.
    Do figure out the actual cost of feed per week or month or whatever, and go from there. My local feed mill made a mash that was inexpensive but not 'good eats' for my birds, so that way worth trying, but a fail.
    You may have a local mill that works out well for you, and if you can order in bulk and split an order conveniently with other chicken keepers, that's great too.
    penny1960 likes this.
  8. Criticalicious

    Criticalicious Songster

    Feb 25, 2017
    New Market, VA
    Recommended feed is about 0.25 pounds per day. With 17 chickens, let's roundup to 5 pounds a day. That's still only 150 pounds a month, or three 50 pound bags (at an approximate cost for a high quality organic feed of $35 per bag, $105 plus tax) . If you want to decrease this add fresh greens, forage, free range, etc, but odds are good that your birds are wasting feed somehow.
    penny1960 and gtaus like this.
  9. MadisonOde

    MadisonOde Chirping

    Jul 16, 2017
    La Crosse, WI
    Call around to any local feed mills. We drive half an hour when we need feed, but we get a fifty pound bag of organic fresh feed for $10.
    penny1960, gtaus and Criticalicious like this.
  10. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

    Mar 29, 2019
    Northern Minnesota
    Another option is sprouting grains as fodder. For example, if you sprout 1 pound of barley as fodder, it makes about 6 pounds of sprouted greens in about 8 days. Not only does it cut down on the cost of your feed, but the chickens are able to digest/convert much more of the fodder than the grain itself, so you save on that point too. All it takes is some labor on your part to grow the sprouts. Many YouTube videos show you how to make fodder.

    Bottom line, a 50 pound bag of barley turns into about 300 pounds of fresh fodder.
    Criticalicious and penny1960 like this.

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