How to keep feed costs low?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jmc, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Hello friends!

    Someone put this question to me and I'd like to get your thoughts on my reply:

    Q. What is the best way to keep my feed costs down for dual purpose or layers in a small flock?

    A. If you want to play the commercial game, you can get sex link hybrid egg laying machines, like Black or Red; you could also have a flock of White Leghorns.

    Focus on a light breed of chicken, like the White Leghorn, which is a proven non hybrid 'egg machine'.

    Make sure your flock has opportunity to forage in good grass or the like, even your garden (if they're confined): get into Chicken Tractoring like I have. Forage can cut feed costs by 30%

    If you want to be a traditionalist and purist like this chicken rookie, go for one of the heritage American pure breeds, like the RIR, Brd. Plym. Rock. These, like all the American breeds, are generally excellent foragers, unlike the Mediterranean Leghorns (cf. Damerow).

    My final word is, if you want a small flock of layers or layer/meat birds do this: Get a heritage American pure breed flock and provide them with ample opportunity to forage in addition to the commercial feed, by Chx. Tractoring, for example.

    Any thoughts on my answer anyone?
  2. KLH2010

    KLH2010 Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    I feed my chickens most of my kitchen scraps and that seems to stretch things a little bit. I never realized how much food got wasted in the kitchen before I had the chickens!
  3. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Foraging helps, that's for sure. Makes me laugh when the guy at the Portland's Farmers Market says his eggs are $7 a dozen because the cost of feed prices, but claims his chickens are "free range" [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We also supplement with our left overs and garden trimmings. It does make a difference, and the yolks are definitely more orangey.
  4. AnthonyT

    AnthonyT In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2008
    Franklin, KY
    Half a ton of layer feed mixed at the local mill to my specs (use the same stuff for broilers with reduced calcium, its 19.5% protien) is $228. I would definately say $7 a dozen for "free range" eggs is quite excessive! Of course free range does not mean pastured. They could be in a loose no cage confinement house with zero exposure to the outside world, or only access to a dirt lot.
  5. Sunny Chook Farm

    Sunny Chook Farm Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    Quote:We do the same. helps a lot on feed cost...
  6. NaturalChick

    NaturalChick In the Brooder

    Jun 24, 2008
    As for picking a breed for egg production, I am trying a breed called Production Reds, they are a cross between RIR's and NHR's.

    My girls are still too young to lay yet but are suppose to be almost as good as White Leghorns. We will see.

    I also feed table scraps and weeds from my gardens.
  7. My feeder is about 18 inches above ground and they have to jump up to get the feed,and since it has a metal divide they can only get their heads in, I keep it full of fayer crumbles,and turn them out about 3 o clock after they have laid to free range, also I give them bread and any scraps except meat or potato peelings. So I buy about #100.00 lbs a month. I have RIR marrie
  8. Ladysonja

    Ladysonja Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Porter, Texas
    Thanks for this information... I had the same question.

    I went to the feed store at lunch today and the prices for Purina were:
    Stater/Grower - 25# was $7+ & 50# was $14+
    Layena ETT Crumble - 50# was $12+
    Layena Pellets - 25# was $$6+
    Scratch - 25# was $6+

    I'm not sure of the Protien percentages, but I'm just starting out with all this stuff and hardly know what I'm looking at - [​IMG]

    I do know that I will be supplementing leftovers when I can as treats when the flock gets bigger. I was looking in the Frig this morning (after reading the do's & don'ts of treats) and thought they could eat just about anything I had in there.

    I'm not sure how big our folk will get, but I want to make sure I can afford them and the rest of my critters equally.
  9. DianaC

    DianaC Hatching

    Jun 26, 2008
    Last Sunday night I hit the jackpot when I arrived at the grocery store. The produce dept. had just placed out pallets of food in the parking lot. I found all sorts of goodies for my chickens...bread and produce. A lot of the produce was really fresh like the tomatoes, bags of cherries and blueberries! I only picked out the stuff that looked fresh, definitely not the yucky stuff. The bread was dated to expire the day after and was just fine. Anyway, my chickens have had a real feast this week. You should check to see what your grocery store throws out.
  10. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Quote:Why don't you give potato peelings? Mine really love them!

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