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how can i saved on my chicken

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by scorpion8505, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. scorpion8505

    scorpion8505 New Egg

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    i was given 4 hens an a duck (1 is red, 2 r black and white spotted, silky and i white duck which i think is a male) right now im using a dog kennel 10x10 with a tarp on top to keep sun off them is that to small? anyway im drying corn husk for hay for them i can get it for free and it composted faster than hay. any way im trying to save on food can they eat dehydrator food like apple pear and other veggie? beside selling eggs if i have to many with 4 kids it not often lol. does any one sell the poop to save money on food and if so what do u do with it to make it sell-able how much do u sell it for.
     
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello & welcome! [​IMG] The size of your 'coop' is very tight, the recommended floor space for large, heavy breed hens is about 4 sq. ft./per bird. Do you allow them to free range/ pasture during the day? If not, you are going to be having problems with feather picking, bullying etc. when they get bored. You really need to up the size of your coop to avoid problems - also - is it predator safe?? You don't say where you live, but raccoons, foxes, weasels, coyotes etc. all enjoy a free chicken dinner when available!
    Are your hens full grown? If not, I strongly recommend you feed them balanced nutrition rather than dehydrated food. Come to that, I hope you are going to re-hydrate the food prior to feeding and supply water in addition. If you don't supply them with enough protein and calcium, you will not get good egg production from your girls. The bottom line is that if you don't give them enough of the 'right stuff' they won't give you eggs......
    Go to the learning center tab here. It gives a lot of info on feeding chickens balanced diets etc.
    Good luck with your adventure! [​IMG]
     
  3. scorpion8505

    scorpion8505 New Egg

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    I'm from pa the silky is in door 60% of the day my kids love her the rest stay in the kennel so will be making that bigger for them. it is predator safe :) i think they r full grown i know 2 r laying egg right now. they eat better than me lol i have a huge garden and they love everything :) but winter is coming i don't want to feed them from the store i don't know what they have spray on them. Maybe i should can the veggie and fruit vs dehydrated? For the bullying they were mean but now they r super friendly i have them about 4 week now it took some work (2-3 hours a day with them) but i cant have mean animal with kids. all my pets have been rescue pet someone some were did not want them :( i have never want a pet they come to me lol
    All i want is healthy animals right now i have 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rabbit, 1 guinea pig, fish's, the 4 hens and the ducks. And my 4 kids 8,6,5,3 :) all i do all day is take care of everybody. all my my animal and kids get along too.
     
  4. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can buy organic non-GMO chicken food but expect to pay a pretty penny for it.

    There are other things you can do to reduce your food bill.

    Fermented feed is supposed to make more of the nutrients available to the birds reducing the amount that they need.

    You can sprout seeds to provide fodder and greens even in the winter.

    Several times a week I bring home a 5gal pail of prep cook scraps from the Cafe at work. Ask around at restaurants or grocery stores to see if you can get their throw aways. The restaurant you'll be getting prep cook scraps while the grocery store will possibly have fruits and vegs that are past their prime. So people on here have mentioned collecting roadkill to feed to their chickens. Others trade extra eggs to neighbors for the neighbors scraps and leftovers. If you want to get scraps from neighbors, I like to make it as easy for them as possible. So I might have a covered bucket that I keep at each neighbors house that I empty when I make my neighbors scrap run. That way they can just dump their scraps into the bucket and I empty it on a regular basis. Don't want a neighbor to have to hold on to food scraps till you get around to stopping by and having it stink up their house, they will get tired of saving for you real quick if that happens.

    I suggest supplying a "complete" dry food and supplementing with as much free stuff as you can get your hands on. Also in the warmer weather the more you can freerange the lower your food consumption will be.

    In the end it's all about what you can tolerate as far as costs and the resultant egg/meat production. The lower quality their food the lower their egg production will be. Some people want 4eggs/day while others would be ok with lower feed costs and only 2eggs/day from their birds.
     
  5. Freerange Chick

    Freerange Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm new so am learning a lot here. I too am interested in good nutrition and saving on feed costs.
     
  6. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Good morning, I'm not sure about 'roadkill' for chickens. True they will eat meat, but it shouldn't be old, moldy, decomposing etc. botulism has killed many a bird - kitchen scraps are excellent - again nothing too old, moldy. When I feed scraps etc. I look at the freshness of it, you cut out the bad parts and leave the good. Rule of thumb is if you wouldn't eat it, don't feed it to the birds. [​IMG]
    The average price of a bag of feed is around $16/50#. For 4 birds that should last a couple of months at least. I have 15 birds and they eat 1 bag/month plus whatever they get around the yard/scraps. In the learning tab here is a list of what chickens can eat and the 'no-nos'.
    If you have a local supermarket nearby, the suggestion of old, non- saleable fruits is a good one. I have found that chickens love old bananas... who knew? Bottom line is that chickens are varied eaters and as long as the food is not molding, they will be fine with just about whatever you feed them, [​IMG]
     
  7. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He's got 100 sq ft and 5 birds.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Red-Stars-in-RI

    Red-Stars-in-RI Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another source of food is a neighbor who's got a "bumper crop" in their garden, more than they can eat or give away. A crop like zucchini, summer squash, or cucumbers can quickly get away from a gardener and suddenly they have a bunch of over-ripe fruits that aren't real good eating for people, but great for chickens. A dozen eggs might be a welcome trade for them to get rid of some of it.

    For the last week, my chickens have been getting piles of overripe corn, squash, and cucumbers from my parents garden. The girls love it, and their feed intake is certainly down for the week.
     
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    The downside being that their protein intake is also down for the week - even more of a concern if you were already using a lower protein layer ration which is generally 15-16% protein (vs if you are feeding a higher protein feed such as a grower ration/flock-raiser/etc. that has 20+% protein). Don't get me wrong, veggies are great for your birds, but a drop in the overall protein intake can have a negative impact on your birds' overall health and production of eggs. Sometimes "saving" on the feed bill comes with an expense, which is paid by your flock.
     
  10. Red-Stars-in-RI

    Red-Stars-in-RI Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is a valid point. For a week, probably not a big deal...but long term you need to make sure you chickens are getting all the nutrients they need in the right amounts.

    Free ranging to get some protein rich bugs might help, although it's tough to know the exact percentages.
     

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