How to save money on chicken feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Scooter&Suzie, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After finding out that I was paying $4.29 just from feed per dozen eggs I decided that I need to find as many ways as possible to save on chicken feed. The person I bought my chicken coop from used shredded newspaper and scrap paper for bedding. I am going to try to switch to that, and see how that goes. I'll keep bedding on hand just in case I run out, or it isn't working. But as for feed... I need ideas how to save on that. Bedding can be stretched - not filling it quite as high and such. Don't worry, they will have a clean coop with enough bedding, I just won't be wasting it by adding more than they need.

    Ideas on how to save on feed are very welcome!
     
  2. Dette

    Dette Out Of The Brooder

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    Not sure if this will help, since it's not really applied to layers, but I am looking into fermenting feed for my meat birds. Beekissed has a great thread here https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/644300/fermenting-feed-for-meat-birds

    Also, if you let them out during the day to free range, they will eat lots of grass and bugs and such, and will not eat (by choice) as much feed.

    Any other ideas, welcome, I am always trying to make my chickens pay for themselves, lol! Selling some of the extra eggs helps as well.
     
  3. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why is it costing you so much? How much are you buying at a time? How many and how old are your chickens?

    I just checked my math as I went from buying 50ld bags of Purina layer to local grain company's layer in 100lb bags. The cost of producing an egg for me went from .15 cents to just under .10 cents per egg. I was paying $15.50 for a 50 lb bag of Purina and now buy 100lb bags of Ventura layer for $22.32.

    So for a dozen eggs is $1.20 plus the box @.22 is $1.44 cost total.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Our cost per dozen is around 90 cents, or less.

    To be economical, the flock must be top notch pullet year layers. Commercial hens preferred, but top laying, first year pullets of production strains of Barred Rock, 'Lorps, RIR, etc, also compete well enough. That said........

    Feed cost is where the difference is critical. We have a local Hubbard Feed mill that grinds their own layer. Nice, 17% protein, complete and pretty good quality. Current price, this week was $17.75 per HUNDRED pounds. (50 cents credit for returning the bag). If you are paying more than $20 per hundred for feed, your costs quickly cut into your profit margin. Forget $18 a 50# bag at chain stores. That's my tip, for what it is worth.
     
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  5. jamesbwood

    jamesbwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Seems high. My girls aren't laying age just yet so I don't have a price per egg.

    They are in a chicken tractor which I move every single day. They spend a lot of time picking at the lawn. Also they get worms and bugs from the garden and some veggie scraps.
     
  6. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wish I could find 100lb bags under $20 but it is what it is, all done with 50lb bags,saving $100 by buying a thousand pounds at a time not to mention time and fuel. Have to go further for the grain supplier but it saves in the long run over the feed store.

    Fred, how you been? Haven't seen you posting much must be busy with spring. Miss your wisdom.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  7. n8mont4

    n8mont4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Try growing some duckweed. Put some in a tub of water and scoop out half every day or so (it reproduces very fast) Dry it for a day and feed it to your chickens. It is very high in protein
     
    6 people like this.
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Wow - that is some feed!
    Where do you live and what kind are you buying?
    As some others have mentioned, locally milled feed normally cuts the cost a lot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  9. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The best price I can find is $15 per 50 pounds at TSC. I buy the Dumor feed. I cannot find a better price where I live. Maybe I should try looking around at all the other possible stores. I'll make some calls on Monday, I guess. I live in Pennsylvania, and I don't know of any locally milled feed around here. I was thinking, could I get together some of my friends who have chickens and together buy some feed in bulk in order to save money? I just have a few back yard hens (4 layers, and 1 bantam with 8 eggs under her). Although, I would like to get 3 more layers and a couple more bantams. I just can't do it yet with feed costing so much :/
     
  10. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a good idea! I was looking at some on e-bay. I can buy 1/4 for $5 w/ free shipping. Does that sound reasonable and is 1/4 enough to start with? I was looking at this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-4-Cup-Duc...927?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c4b784ef - It says that snails might be in it... Can the chickens eat those? I do have a tank with fish I could put it in, or should I use another container?
     
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