If feed stores closed and you can’t free range...

Bigbluefrog

Songster
Aug 9, 2019
208
396
137
Central Wisconsin
I heard grass clipping can be fed to our birds as long as you don’t fertilize.

I would not worry about shortages.
This too will pass and most feed stores are essential and will continue to run.
I was at tractor supply- calm atmosphere and well stocked.
People are super friendly and helpful.
Also note the shortages are from panic hoarding not a shortage.
I talked with several stores stockers and asked are deliveries slowing down? He said “no! people are overbuying.”
So relax - we got this.
there is more going on than the flu- think about it- life goes on
I do feel “The News” will sensationalizes events- they love drama.
Not me- I got chickens and they are little diva drama queens:wee
 

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
1,916
4,693
286
Northwest Indiana
I’ve heard the feed stores will stay open because they are considered an “essential business” just like the grocery stores, since people need to feed their animals just as much as we need to eat, so that’s one good thing at least but I still have stocked up on feed just in case. I’m lucky that we also have almost 3 acres so my birds do get free range which helps cut down on the cost and conserve some feed. If they didn’t get to free range, I would probably give them lots of veggie and garden scraps or maybe even start a garden just for them. As well as maybe grains, feed their eggs back to them, etc.
I was worried about this. Our state just issued the shut down of all "non essential businesses"and yet gave no list whatsoever as to what that meant. They said grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, but not feed stores. It starts midnight tonight so I was just going to call them tomorrow to verify.
 

KDOGG331

Release the Ferrets!!
Premium member
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
38,369
105,929
1,646
Massachusetts
I was worried about this. Our state just issued the shut down of all "non essential businesses"and yet gave no list whatsoever as to what that meant. They said grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, but not feed stores. It starts midnight tonight so I was just going to call them tomorrow to verify.
I would definitely call!! But I’m pretty sure it includes feed stores. They just probably didn’t list it cause I doubt they or the average person even thought of it. 😂 but I’m pretty sure they’re still gonna stay open. I don’t think they would starve animals. I’m sure Petco and stuff may close but I don’t think feed stores would.
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
7,291
14,240
642
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Feed stores might be listed as exemptions under something like "animal care" or "agricultural" - either way every shelter in order list I've read allows for vets, pet stores and feed stores to do business as they're considered essential.
 

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
1,916
4,693
286
Northwest Indiana
Feed stores might be listed as exemptions under something like "animal care" or "agricultural" - either way every shelter in order list I've read allows for vets, pet stores and feed stores to do business as they're considered essential.
I called TSC and they said they will remain open but their hours have changed. I havent called Stock and Field but their website shows they changed their hours and says nothing about closing
 
May 28, 2018
2
0
6
I do not want to start a panic, rather a conversation. No I haven’t heard rumors of feed shortages. Yes we all are aware of the virus situation in the United States and everywhere in the world.
Just for the sake of conversation If someone needs to decide to stop buying feed and could not free range what would be your go to way of feeding your flock?
Yes we all know free range is the ideal. This discussion is about a situation where that is not an option, neither is purchasing grains. Let’s just include the thought that this is not a farm with fields to grow tons of grain but perhaps a “backyard garden” could include a bit dedicated to chickens. Let’s discuss this in terms of various seasonal and environmental conditions. Let’s also include that you are not open to the idea that you should stop raising chickens because you can’t afford them. This isn’t about affordability. It’s just a discussion.
What would you feed your flock? What would you grow for them? What would you do in winter?
If this discussion becomes problematic I request moderators to remove it. Let’s just enjoy exchanging ideas.
I’ve had some thoughts. I have a small framed chicken garden in their run so they can eat greens through a wire barrier without destroying roots. Perhaps I could expand that idea with frames of various heights to allow more mature growth an possible fruiting. Maybe grow a protected amaranth plant to allow the grain to fall for the chickens to eat.
I have other thoughts to share but let’s start there.
Your turn.:)
 
May 28, 2018
2
0
6
I was getting scraps from school because we compost after lunch. I would imagine that you could call grocery stores and restaurants for thrown out veggie scraps also. I love all of the conversation and great ideas.
 

Garmmermibe001

Hatching
Feb 23, 2020
4
5
8
If free range wasn't an option at all, I'd probably just get a weedwhacker and start cutting down grass into small enough strips for them to eat.

Alternatively, I'm about to start growing figs where I live. They are hearty and grow well here. And the chickens seemed to love them last year. Every morning, there would be new figs because of how fast the plant puts on fruit. And they'd always head to the tree and wait for me to pull off some fruits for them.

I have room for probably a couple hundred fig trees and that would easily supply all the food they'd need (as well as all the food I'd need) if free range really wasn't an option at all. Just the one tree I have now is enough to feed them half the morning every day for as long as it puts on fruit that year.

Granted, with the virus going around now, it might be a little late to plant figs in this situation since they need time to... well... to grow. But, it might be a nice safety net in the future. I really can't state how well those figs do. I bought mine like 10 years ago and never watered it. I forgot it even existed until last year to be honest. It's a nice low maintenance plant.

But, yeah, cutting down grass and putting it in their run or gardening food just for the birds is probably your best bet if you can't free range and can't get into town.

As for the winter... I might still go with figs. The trees don't produce fruits in the winter. But, I could probably preserve some of the fruits and still feed them depending on how many trees there were and how much I was able to harvest.

For protein, you could try raising crickets. I believe you can order crickets online. Let them breed, then chill or freeze some of the feeder crickets and give them to the chickens.
 
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