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. 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. 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!