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Feeding chickens for cheap

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by wanttobefarmer, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. wanttobefarmer

    wanttobefarmer Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Elgin, TX
    I need help, My chickens are breaking me. 25 chickens eating organic chicken feed. 3 bags a month. They free range 3-8 hours a day. I give them bread and veggies from the garden. The food is free choice. $30 dollars a bag, at 3 bags a month is $ 90 a month. I really like them being on organic mostly because I don't want to feed them food that has been sprayed with pesticides or such. If anyone has any Ideas I would appreciate it. I am not oppossed to making my own, but I have 2 jobs and I am a full time student, so the cost would need to be worth the time. thanks everyone.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011

  2. jenni22776rn

    jenni22776rn Songster

    Mar 6, 2011
    Central Maine
    Three bags a month seems like alot of feed for 25 chickens...I also buy organic feed and one bag last almost 3 months...is there alot of waste with the food? We changed our feeder due to the waste and it seemed to help...we pay $25 for a bag of the organic feed that comes in a 88lb bag...white water farms. If you are allowing them to free range and feeding treates like bread and veggies...3 bags a month is too much for you to be going through...I am not sure I could afford to keep chickens on that monthly food bill...$90 would buy my chicken feed,dog food and rabbit food!
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I would say you are getting away light on feed with 25 chickens.

    To cut your feed cost, reduce the number of birds you own.

    Nobody needs 25 chickens unless they are selling eggs or breeding show birds. If you are selling eggs, you should be getting enough for the eggs to pay for the feed. If you are not, stop selling eggs and reduce the size of your flock.

    If you are raising show birds, you should be able to cover part of the cost of feed by selling chicks.

    If your family is actually eating the eggs from 25 birds, then your feed money is part of your grocery budget, and I'd say you are getting some cheap food.
  4. wanttobefarmer

    wanttobefarmer Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Elgin, TX
    Quote:I believe that our bags of chicken feed are 50 lb bags. The last 4 weeks we have had chicks in the brooder and thier heat lamp had kept the hens awake at night causing them to eat even more I believe. If I had your feed I could give the cost would automatically drop to less than 45 dollars a month. How many chickens are you feeding? Thanks
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Grass clippings!!!!!!

    Very short grass clippings 2-3 inches long from untreated lawn will lower your feed bill. They love them. Don't let them eat longer than that as it can cause impacted crop.

    Alternatively, you can plant grass seed in a tray- but for 25 chickens you really need a nice big bag of grass clippings, lol.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  6. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Can you free range them more often? My chickens eat WAY more of their feed if they are kept locked up for the day, rather than letting them free range most of the day. If that's an option, that's what you need to be doing.
  7. saladin

    saladin Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Free ranging more often is the best route.

    It also sounds like you are feeding way to much feed.

    If they have no access to anything else a mature chicken only needs 4 oz of feed per day. If free-ranging most of the day I give mine way less (like maybe 1 oz of feed).

    Quit with the feed available all day: it makes for fat lazy birds. If you want to feed them twice daily that is fine; what they can clean up in 10 minutes. That is all they need.

    If free-ranging cut that time in half and only feed them once a day.

  8. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    Apr 11, 2011
    My sixteen 8 week old chicks go through a 3 lb feeder full of grower pellets every day or day and a half. I use the Blue Seal Grower-Cal (non-organic) and my chicks are all happy and healthy! They get treats occasionally. We are still in the process of building our coop, so they are in the brooder, unless I bring them upstairs or outside to play.

    Organic is a choice, not a necessity.
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Adjust your flock size, I suspect, will be the only answer, in the end. If you cannot afford 25, then you'll have to do what you have to do. If your budget is $40 a month in feed? That might compute to around 8-10 good hens or so. It's the right thing to do. Not saying it's easy, but unless your finances change, there' only so much that can be done with alternative feeding, especially with winter coming and most ranges deteriorate in quality of foodstuffs available.
  10. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I would drop the organic feed, & get the $12 a bag scratch. With freeranging,& scraps, this should be enough for them.

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