How can I save $$ on chicken feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kristenm1975, Dec 7, 2008.

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  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have 20 hens of varying ages and sizes and a big metal trash can that I fill with a mixture of 50 lbs layer pellets at $15, 25 lbs scratch grains at $10, 2 lbs grit ($2), 2 lbs oyster shell ($2) and DE all mixed together. I just went through the whole can in two weeks. [​IMG]

    On top of that regular feed, I've been daily feeding them about 3 cups of hot cereal (oatmeal, cornmeal, grits etc) with meat and veggy scraps mixed in, along with whatever milk or yogurt I have that is past human consumption. The oatmeal costs 75 cents a lb at the grocery store and the scraps I got for free.

    All of this is adding up fast and I'm looking at the sad possibility of needing to re-home half of my girls if I can't find some way to cut the cost.

    I think a LOT of the chicken's feed is being eaten by rats and sparrow so I'm going to start taking steps to prevent that. I've covered the run with bird netting, but there are little openings that I can fix. As for the rats, I've advised my boyfriend that he'll be peeing into a jar from here on out so I can pour it all around the perimeter of the run and coop to deter the rats. Cracks me up that that's actually something that works. Bring on the beer and my problems will be over. [​IMG]

    I've found a market that will give me several pounds of meat scraps if I ask, and I'm going to check around to see if I can also get free produce that's too old to sell.

    Are there any other places anyone knows about where you can get feed-grade (as opposed to human grade) grains and cereals? I live in the Seattle area. I'd like to cut that cost too. If I can, and I continue to feed them the hot cereal with all the yummy meat and veggy additives, do you think they will do okay without the layer pellets for a month or more until I can afford the feed store prices?

    I'm sure there are a few people out there who might have some less than supportive comments about people who can't afford pets and I'd like to preempt those posts by stating that I'm perfectly willing to find good homes for any animals that I can't properly feed, although I'll be sad about it.

    Thanks for any ideas you all have!
     
  2. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
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    Here's a crazy idea. How about seaweed? I'm not anywhere near an ocean but we hear a lot about seaweed being used to feed animals and even humans. Chickens will eat just about anything. Just a crazy idea. Stan
     
  3. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
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    Hey Stan, worth a try! I live on Whidbey Island, and as such, am pretty near to some of the icky green stuff. Now, just have to see if there's any penalty for removing it from the beaches without some permit. Gotta have a permit to pee these days, it seems. [​IMG]

    Apologies to all for the duplicate post, btw. Not sure how to go about removing the duplicate.
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Please be careful with seaweed. I've read here that salt is not good for chickens. I don't know if seaweed is exactly the same thing, but worthwhile checking into before feeding to pets. Maybe it could be soaked or cooked in freshwater to remove some of the salt. When I was a teenager I used to make sweet pickles from kelp, and it wasn't salty. You could try local restaurants for their leftovers. Bread outlet stores. even dollar stores and BigLots have food now and sometimes its very cheap. Sometimes grocery stores will give you or sell cheap broken bags of food. Might be worth developing a friendship with the store mgr. Do your best to feed your chickens a healthy diet. Good Luck [​IMG]
     
  5. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
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    Good thought Imp. I too have heard that salt can be dangerous for chickens and will keep that in mind in my search for cheaper feed ideas. I do know of a couple of factory outlets for bread and its a great idea to check there for stuff that they are wanting to unload cheap.
     
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