How much does it cost to feed 25 chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by norahsmommy, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. norahsmommy

    norahsmommy Out Of The Brooder

    how much would it cost to feed 25 chickens a month? I plan on growing a large garden,(14'X28') from which they can have alot of stuff, weeds, veggie scraps, greens, tomatoes that are a bit past it. So how much feed would that number of chickens go though? They will have a large grassy run, 14'X28' but no free range. I also have an old super productive apple tree that they can have alot of apples from in the fall. So will it cost alot to make sure they have all the food they need?
  2. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    It would depend on the type of chicken (size).

    I have had bantams who hardly eat anything, and I have medium sized large breeds who eat reasonably, but I also have some larger dual purpose who are hogs - and if it is within reach, they eat it.

    The medium sized chickens lay good eggs - large to medium sized - the dual purpose lay huge eggs - large to extra large, and a lot of double yoke eggs, so it is a matter of what size eggs you want - the bantams laid small eggs (some of them were VERY small, since the chickens, themselves were so tiny).

    With just the medium sized large breeds for egg layers, I was using maybe slightly over 150 pounds of feed per month. I had a flock of about 25 of them. I am down to a flock of 12 on the medium sized birds - they are a mix of various breeds. With the flock of 12, they eat (usually not cleaning it up) about 4 pounds of feed a day, and they freerange, but in this weather, there isn't much to be had freeranging. In the summer they eat a lot less than this.

    In summer I save a lot of money on feed, because even though I put it out there for them, they are happy to eat bugs and grass and other various weeds and munchies they can get to.

    so, if ya got through the rambling, [​IMG] if you have 25 medium sized egg layers, you can probably get by with about 150 pounds of feed a month - if you supplement it with greens and other goodies.

    I buy my feed in 50 pound bags, and mix my own with other grains and such. I pay probably (total of the mix) about 15 bucks per 100 pounds of feed. But then, I am not buying Purina or Dumor - those cost more than the feedstore mix I buy.

    I am thinking of switching, however to a more expensive mix, since I am getting ducks and geese, and would like to feed them all the same stuff - which near me would be Flockraiser (purina brand) which sells for about 12 to 14 bucks for 50 pounds.

  3. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    I've got about 30 LF birds here. I go threw average 1 50lb bag in a little under a week. I buy 5 bags a month at $13. So $65 bucks I guess. That's excluding scratch, treats or any kitchen goodies they get.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  4. norahsmommy

    norahsmommy Out Of The Brooder

    I will be ordering from mcmurrays for the spring. I am getting black austrolorps, buff orpingtons, and barred and partridge rocks. I am guessing that these are the group that eat alot? Well the price of feed is really only a little more than it costs to feed my dog so I guess thats ok. The biggest expense for us this year is going to be the coop . We are going to scrounge around for lumber as best we can, but its still going to be expensive.
  5. Tailfeathers

    Tailfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 31, 2007
    Washington State
    Here’s some info that should be helpful.

    One hen will eat somewhere between ¼ to 1/3 pound (or 4-5 ounces) of feed per day. So just multiply that by 25.

    It takes about 2 pounds of feed per week per bird to equal 4-7 eggs per week or approximately 4-5 pounds of feed per dozen eggs. Most of this depending on size of bird, breed (whether it is a layer, broiler, or dual purpose), how much they will free range, and the weather. Your birds will eat more during the winter and less during the hot months of the summer.

    A 50# bag of Layer Rations (I recommend getting Layer Pellets) costs $14-15. A 50# bag Scratch is $12-14 and you’ll only use half of that per 50# bag of Layer Rations. You can use the second half of the Scratch when you buy another 50# bag of Layer. You can also throw a little scratch out on the ground as a treat for them if you want to every now & then. Scratch is to a chicken like candy is to a kid. It’s ok and maybe nice to give them every now & then but you don’t want them to have a full diet of it.

    It might be easier to look at the cost per day too. Let’s take worst case scenario and consider them eating ONLY Layer Pellets and no free ranging. In that example, let’s just say that your chickens eat between 4-5 ounces of feed per day and all you fed them was Layer Pellets at $15 for 50#. Your cost would be 8-10 cents per day for feed per bird.

    Now, let’s just say you paid $15 for a 50# Layer & you get 25 pounds of Scratch for $7. Your total is $22 for feed. That’s 75 pounds or 1200 ounces of feed. Divide that by 125 (5 ounces per day per bird) and you are going to wind up with 9-10 days. If we take the most conservative estimate of 10 cents per day per bird (or $2.50 per day for 25) for 9 days, you'll be spending about $22 ever 9 to 10 days. Again, depending on how much they free range and the weather it is likely to be less than that.

    In summary, the cost is going to be about $60-75 per month to have your 25 hens. The only other cost I can think of is that you would want to get some Oyster Shell for them to have free choice (meaning it’s left out all the time). I would think a 10# bag of Oyster Shell would last your two hens a full year and that would cost you about $4.

    Hope that helps.

    God Bless,
    1 person likes this.
  6. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 13, 2009
    Chicago area
    I'm really glad someone asked this question, (about cost of food), because I was about to post it myself. While anyone else is giving answers about food cost, could someone please talk about the cost of pine shavings for the coop? We're thinking about getting into the egg-laying thing, but want to know the costs first. Thanks!
  7. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:pine shavings vary a lot -

    I can get a bag of it at the local feedstore for 6 bucks - TSC has them for about 5 bucks (but they are really dusty) - and some feedstores will have them from 4 bucks a bag to 8 bucks per bag.

    TSC has them on sale, sometimes, so that would be cheaper to stock up there (but, like I said, TSC's chips are really dusty).
  8. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:Yeah, those will eat more than the medium sized chickens, as they are all larger large fowl.

    I figure with the cost of all my coops, the chickens, and the feed - I'll never break even - even with selling eggs and extra hatched chicks.

    But they are worth it, anyway [​IMG]
  9. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 13, 2009
    Chicago area
    Hi Mojo Chick'n! Could you tell me how much a 4-6$ bag of shavings covers? Is TSC an on-line store? Do you know the name of a nation-wide type of store that sells the shavings and the feed?
  10. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:I have 9 mutts and a roo mostly maran and RI crossessome with naked neck rooster, good winter layers. I go through 50 lb or less of layers crumble and about 10-15 lb scratch grain a month, more scratch in winter, less in summer.

    I also feed them all kitchen scraps family of four produces (no heavy grease, salty, sour or spicy food). They love it. Instead of oyster shells
    they get dried up and crushed eggshells.

    It cost me about 5 to 7 cents per hen per day, or about 20 bucks a month at $12 per 50lb crumbles and $10 scratch at local Tractor Supplie store. They produce about 150 + eggs a month now in January since Christmas. they only slowed down in Nov and Dec.

    I am very happy with my mutts.

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