Feeding layers on a budget

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WashingtonCowgirl, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. WashingtonCowgirl

    WashingtonCowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Tenino, Wa
    Ok so our chicken budget is as close to zero as possible. Mostly because we are broke, but also because we have family that says we wont be able to raise them for as cheap as we think we will. We've recycled stuff from family to make the coop and run, worked out a deal with a local farmer to help him out for a day to get 3, maybe 4 pullet chicks. Now for the feeding part. We want to raise them as cheaply as possible, so they will be getting table scraps, worms from our worm bin and they will have free range during the day. For their grains we are thinking fermented and sprouted oats mixed with a bit of fermented layer mash. If we can find a way the is cheaper we will. So, does that sound like it would provide everything needed? If not, what can we switch so it would?
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Why are you fermenting the grains and mash?

    Also be careful of moldy food, it can kill.

    MY 'day old' bread shop sells a whole shopping-cart full of expired bread for $5.00- if you can freeze it you would have grains forever.
     
  3. WashingtonCowgirl

    WashingtonCowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Tenino, Wa
    Heard that it makes the feed easier to digest by adding probios, and because they are digesting more they end up eating a little less. I'll look into the bread thing, but the main place around here for groceries really is walmart and I know that they can't/won't do that (I work there and I've asked about that sort of thing before, but meat not bread)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  4. ScottM

    ScottM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe also seek out hopps from a ubrew place? Could also feed at certain times and not just have food out all the time
     
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have a choice on pullets? Leghorns have the best feed-to-egg ratio, so I would suggest Leghorns as the best option. They are also good at foraging.

    Maybe you could also trade some of the eggs for chicken feed.

    The chickens probably can get most of the food they need during the warmer months from free ranging. But in the winter you would have to provide them more food. The $5 for a shopping cart of old bread is a great idea. As mentioned, freeze the bread and each week you can give some of the thawed bread to the chickens.
     
  6. WashingtonCowgirl

    WashingtonCowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Tenino, Wa
    Not sure what he has as far as breeds, they probably are all local-farmyard-heinz57 as that is what most farmers have around here. Most are a mix of barred rock, araucanda (sp), RIR and cochins, with some purebreds (or mixes from other farms) added every few years. Depending on how good of egg layers these girls end up being, we might be able to work out a trade (we eat a LOT of eggs lol) We are also considering muscovy ducks as I was reading that they are quiet, don't really need water (like swimming water), are good meat birds and are good foragers. Plus we could have a drake, and therefore have ducklings, where as we can't have a roo. My roommates aunt offered us two unrelated females and a drake if we decided that we wanted them. We will see once we get the backyard set up as to how much room we actually have for everything :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  7. DawnCols

    DawnCols Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 17, 2010
    I've heard of people getting recently expired or castoff produce from stores, farmer's markets, and restaurants for free, or even collecting restaurant trash.

    I've been sprouting some cheap birdseed I bought that is mostly millet and canary grass seed.

    You might want to check out this thread:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/newestpost/615228

    Good luck!
     

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