how to make feed last longer.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chicken Girl, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Chicken Girl

    Chicken Girl Songster

    Dec 31, 2008
    How can i make a 50lb bag of feed last longer than a week? I have about 23 chickens ages 6months- 1 1/2 years. Can i mix in corn? Its about $11 a bag of feed out here. And its cold here too so they need more feed than average. Thanks for the help,

    Chicken Girl

  2. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    It sounds like way to much feed for only that number of chickens. you may be getting allot of waste. Try feeding only what they will eat in 1 hour x 2, your average chicken only consumes 4oz of feed daily. They can and will eat more but it doesn't make any difference, I have some birds that eat way more than they need thereby wasting feed, so I only feed them once a day and they look and feel great and I am saving a ton of $$$.

  3. marcym

    marcym Songster

    Apr 21, 2009
    I switched from crumbles to pellets. Made a world of difference.
  4. davidb

    davidb Songster

    Dec 15, 2008
    north east Georgia
    If you use the 20% layer pellets instead of the 16% you can mix a little scratch with it, But the 20% is higher so I dont know if you will save much money
  5. ewesfullchicks

    ewesfullchicks In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2007
    The standard feeding ratio for heritage breeds is 0.33/lb per feed per bird per day, or 53 lbs of feed per week, so you need to be feeding a little more than 1 bag of feed per week.

    The recommendations for breeds like the black sex-link is only 0.25/lb per bird per day, for only 40 lbs of feed per week.

    HOWEVER, I do not find this to be true. I feed a minimum of 1/3 lb per bird per day, and almost all of mine are sex-links. Sometimes, they eat less, sometimes they eat more, and I feed according to what is left in the morning, plus more when it's cold, or at a time when I know their reproductive systems are "gearing up" for laying in the spring.

    I feed a minimum of 5250 lbs of feed per month to my flock, based on the 1/3 lb/day, and then ADD stuff like cracked corn, if I want the eggs to be more yellow, or alfalfa hay, if I feel they need more nutrients, plus they "steal" my horse and sheep feed, when my livestock are feeding, and they're free-range, so they forage all day.

    Therefore, for your birds - feed them a minimum of one bag per week, plus all your household scraps, and an extra scoop of layer ration per week.

    Rachel, TX
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I agree.
    I always heard to figure on 1/4 lb per bird per day.

    0.25 lbs x 23 birds x 7 days = 40.25 lbs of feed per week

    If your birds are eating more because of the cold weather, then yeah I could see them eating up 50lbs a week. [​IMG]
    I would hate to cut them down on feed when they seem to actually need it.

    Free ranging them helps on feed cost, but not so much in the winter because everything is dead.
    Toss out a small amount of scratch for them (I measure in terms of Mason jars & coffee cans, so I'm thinking a couple of cans per day for 23 birds, lol) but don't mix it with their feed because they will throw feed on the ground trying to dig out the goodies.
  7. nic8407

    nic8407 In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2009
    Foothills of central CA
    Marcym- what do you mean switching to pellets made a lot of difference? I've never used pellets except for my rabbits. Thanks

  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:Chicken feed generally comes in 2 forms, crumbles or pellets.

    Pellet feed usually results in less waste, but some birds won't eat it very well so they sell both.
  9. Hozer

    Hozer Songster

    Feb 14, 2009
    Homer, Alaska
    I agree...don't mix the corn or scratch with their regular feed. I tried that figuring it would give them a little "suprise".
    Then I noticed they were billing (throwing out) their food like crazy trying to get to the hidden treats...kinda like a kid pouring out all the cereal to get to the toy in the box (I just dated myself with that one).

    I may have to try pellets to see if it reduces waste. I was thinking of adding quail to ground feed the waste, but was advised it is a bad idea.
  10. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:Yea...I heard to best described that adding scratch to feed is like adding m&m's to broccoli. They'll go for the candy and leave the healthy stuff behind. Scratch on the side is different, of course. I prefer giving scratch as an occasional treat rather than part of their diet.
    Pellets gets wasted FAR less than mash/crumbles! They spill half their mash on the ground, I swear! [​IMG] Pellets, however, don't get spilled as easily and they are big enough that they will pick them up and eat 'em. And, yea, they look similar to rabbit pellets...just for chickens. [​IMG] I have 30 chickens and go through about 5 bags of feed a month (sometimes 4 depending on how much they free-range around the yard and eat weeds and veggie scraps).

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