Feed questions...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MamaAB, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. MamaAB

    MamaAB Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
    Hey everyone, I am new here and just trying to get my mind wrapped around how I want to feed my birds. My neighbor who has chickens basically said good luck getting them to pay for themselves because feed prices are really high. GREAT haha

    So I went to check prices on feed. I would like to make my own feed BUT I also can't afford to put so much into their feed that I am spending and spending... So my basic question is...how can I make my own feed cheaper or atleast the same price as the pellets.

    I am not opposed to feeding half pellets or whatever mostly want whats best for them WHILE not costing me a ton.

    I can get pellets/crumbles for as low as .30-.32 a pound which I thought was really cheap.

    I found Oats for .29 per pound, Cracked Corn for .24 per pound, and BOSS for 1.00 per pound. I realize that isn't enough to "make food" they need more ingredents, I am just not sure where to FIND what they need. Is it economical at all to get it online?

    O and what about bird seed? My "supply" store has alot of wild bird seed...I know its not enough protein but what about for a portion of my "make your own feed' journey?

    HELP Basically I need help haha
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  2. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I feed mine corn and layers pellets, but found that if I feed kitchen scraps then they dont really get through their pellets as fast. Scraps I give them includes;

    Off-cuts and fat from meat
    Scrambled egg with crushed eggshell - good for calcium
    Boiled veg peelings
    tins of cheap sweetcorn - 19pence a tin here!
    Leaves from salad/veg - cabbage leaves, cauliflour/broccoli stalks, cores from apples
    Leftover cereal from breakfast time/crusts from toast

    If my mother makes stews and things, she keeps all the leftovers and I fill my chickens up on the stuff. They love it! Only thing to avoid is citrus... it enlarges their hearts. Too many carbs are also a no-no but occasionally is ok.

    Too many people say not to feed scraps, but when my grandad was small they didnt have layers pellets to feed their hens, the chickens had to have whatever was left! If really desperate, dig up some earthworms and chuck them some grass! :D

    Ps I would say you could use wild bird seed and add mealworm for added protein
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2012
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    If your yard is big enough to free range, that helps a lot.

    Some people supplement with various grains which can be cheaper if you have a local mill/brewery. Just be careful to watch the balance of nutrition you are giving. If you are going to add grains I would look into buying a higher protein feed so there is wiggle room to supplement without that protein dropping too low.

    I grow fodder to supplement my feed. The grains are cheaper than the feed I buy and sprouting them gets even more nutrition out of them. (might as well get as much as you can out of what you are paying for) I do a mix of barley, wheat, and BOSS but there are lots of options. It is cheap, easy and doesn't take up much space.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/713334/growing-fodder-for-chickens

    You could also look into fermenting feed. I personally have not done this so I can't recommend it or not but some people have reported reducing the amount of feed they go through by doing this. (the thread below says meat birds but it can be for layering as well)

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/644300/fermenting-feed-for-meat-birds

    I also farm my own meal worm and red worms which are very very cheap to maintain and a great protein source that the birds love.

    Good luck! Pay attention to the labels so you can be sure you are getting the best nutrition and ingredients for your money. Also watch out for waste and for mice and wild birds or any other free loaders -- it all adds up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  4. MamaAB

    MamaAB Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
    I was actually just reading about farming some meal worms...not sure how my husband is going to feel about that haha I don't think I have a "mill" locally but I need to call a few placed to see what I can get from them. Hopefully I will be able to come up with something that is resonable priced.
     
  5. mignonette

    mignonette Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2011
    My husband isn't crazy about the whole meal worm thing, so I just keep it away from him. He knows they are there, but..........out of sight out of mind.

    They are easy and inexpensive and allow me to use lower protien layer pellets and to suppliment with scraps and garden veggies.
     

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