Feed on budget and how much feed per chicken?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by kmzakowski, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. kmzakowski

    kmzakowski New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
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    I'm having to cut feed bill down. I alway thought I was an over feeder. So how can I can feed bill down. I'm disabled so it needs to be simple for me.
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under kmzakowski [​IMG] Welcome!

    I have heard that FF [fermented feed] reduces waste and cuts down on the feed bill. You might want to check out one of the Fermented Feed threads; this one is active:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/645057/fermented-feeds-anyone-using-them

    You could also try starting your own thread on the ‘Feeding & Watering Your Flock’ Forum: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/12/feeding-watering-your-flock

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
     
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  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Free ranging is the easiest way to reduce feed. You can also contact a landscaping company and allow them to dump their yard waste on your property to create a sustainable compost pile. You can also try your hand at raising worms. Trade eggs for vegetables with a neighbor who gardens.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    How much feed a bird needs depends on quite a lot of factors. Unless your birds are meat-types, they aren't going to be eating more feed than they need. Depending on your location, you may be able to reduce the amount your birds consume by free ranging. It cold weather, birds eat more.
    Bringing in feeders each night can help ensure that you aren't loosing feed to pests and rodents.
    But cutting back on nutrition is not a good idea. You may want to consider reducing the size of your flock.
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    The downside to free ranging as you have to accept losing birds to predators. Once predators get "lucky" they keep coming back and sometimes bring their relatives.
     
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and :welcome! Pleased you joined our community! Below are some old threads where cutting feed costs is discussed. Hopefully you'll be able to find some useful tips. Best wishes! :)
     
  7. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Some types of feeders enable the chickens to waste more feed by billing the feed out onto the ground. You may want to consider a treadle feeder where the chickens have to step on a lever to get to the feed or use something similar to the one I used to have: https://www.backyardchickens.com/pr...im-poultry-feeder-w-grill-13-lb/reviews/10199

    I've read of some members buying large amounts of feed to get a discount, maybe there is someone you can go in together with to do that (but be sure you have a secure place to store it).

    Good luck, I hope you find something that works for you.
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi and welcome

    I think it would help to know what your current flock size is and what you feed them. As others have said, cutting the nutritional intake of your flock, if they are layers, will impact on their health and egg laying.....layers need to have free access to a formulated feed...they won't eat more than they need to. If you feed scratch or whole grains you could cut that out and just give them the formulated feed which is designed to provide everything they need to produce eggs. Feeding too much scratch just results in fat hens and quite often associated health problems as with any animal with excess fat deposits. I recently culled some of my neighbours hens that were not very productive and was horrified at the amount of fat inside them encasing all their organs and belly....it was literally inches thick....no wonder they were not laying well. Interestingly I kept one and integrated her into my flock and she is laying much better now that she is on a mostly layer pellet diet. Previously she had been getting about 1/3 of her daily ration as scratch plus occasional fat trimmings off ham etc.

    Cutting down on waste can make a significant difference...pellets are better than mash for that, as hens will bill food out to find the bits they prefer in a mash and waste the rest whereas the pellets are all the same so it all gets eaten. Also some feeders are better at preventing spillage...but buying a new feeder will cost money of course, so may not be worthwhile.
    Some people find fermenting feed reduces the amount the hens eat but I would guess this is negligible unless you have a large flock.
    Free ranging in the non winter seasons can help but comes with risks. There is very little benefit to free range in the winter... not much to forage on and more risks...hungry predators looking for an easy meal, less cover from over head predators etc.
    Ensuring that rodents cannot access feeders at night can make a big difference. I have hanging feeders but recently have found that rats are still managing to access them and I've started to bring them out overnight and put them in a rodent proof bin and hang them back up in the morning.
    Culling non producing hens and roosters from the flock will of course make it more economical and just generally downsizing as others have suggested.
    Farming mealworms may help a little.

    I would not recommend buying feed in bulk as the nutrients, particularly the vitamins will start to break down over a few months and weevils and other pests can get into it and spoil it....not worth the risk

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

    Regards

    Barbara
     

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