Learning about Chickens and have some questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TerryQui, May 31, 2011.

  1. TerryQui

    TerryQui Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    Columbus Ohio
    Hi, I am new to raising chickens. I do raise birds, http://www.feathersnsong.com
    My concern right now is cost. We are on a really tight budget and just purchasing food for our family is a challenge.
    A local friend shared with me that it costs him about 3.00 a dozen in eggs, with chicken feed etc.
    That is of course, more then I pay for normal eggs, though I know they are so much better.
    I need to get the cost down and I need advice.

    Here are some feeding ideas that I have. You can let me know if they are good ones or not.

    1) my birds don't eat all of their food, zupreem pellets and seeds. They are picky and pick out their favorites. I thought that maybe instead of tossing this, I could add it to the chickens food.
    2) I know how to raise meal worms, have done it in the past for bearded dragons, so I am going to breed those again.
    3) I am working on a rather large garden that will have lots of extras.
    4) We are a large family, 9 kids( four by birth and five adopted), there are four kids still at home, all teenagers and young adults. There is always left overs that someone does not eat and often food in the fridge that does not get eaten.

    I would love to hear more suggestions and ideas, as I really want to keep a bout six chickens.
    I am already dealing with an issue to get the permit, as in Columbus Ohio, they require the chickens go to the vets once a year and I am not sure how I am going to handle that financially.
    Thanks for your help. Terry (mom to the birds, soon chickens, as they are in the incubator and my nine children. )
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    To avoid all that trouble, I'd just try to find someone in the countryside near you that is selling their naturally produced eggs at a reasonable rate. There are even many who just give away their excess eggs. I bet if you placed an ad on CL or Freecycle and described the size of your family and your situation you may find someone who would be more than glad to give or sell you eggs at a reasonable price.

    Even if you cut feed costs, it sounds as if your vet visits would wipe out any edge you had gained. If you still want to go through the trouble, many people sprout whole grains and feed the sprouts which contain more nutrition than the whole grains themselves, thus requiring less grain usage/purchase. Free ranging with the use of a tractor can also cut your feed bill while raising birds in the city.

    You could also raise rabbits above your chickens, let the chickens eat any dropped feed, raise worms in the chicken/rabbit poop combination and feed these to the chickens, eat the rabbit offspring, thus having a second source of food above your egg producers.
     
  3. TerryQui

    TerryQui Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    Columbus Ohio
    Thank you. Actually it is not about trouble for good eggs, but about the joy of keeping chickens. I am a farmer at heart, and grew up with my grampa's farm. I really want to do it, but need to keep the price at the normal egg price if I can. Thanks.
     
  4. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 5, 2010
    Big Island, Hawaii
    Welcome!!

    You can feed them just about all your kitchen scraps. I feed them every scrap of uneaten sandwich, dinner plate scrapings, left overs that used to get icky in the back of the fridge, half eaten apples, uneaten scrambled eggs, uneaten half of my husbands lunch..... Everything! I keep a compost but all that ever goes in it is avocado seeds and peels, orange peels, potato peels and coffee grounds. Everything else goes to the girls. You could even grow stuff in your garden for them. They love spinach! I have 16 chickens and it takes me ages to go through a 50lb. of layer feed. If they can free range a little to find bugs and plants that will also supplement. I have to make sure they eat a little layer pellets every day just to make sure they are getting all the nutrition they need that I might be missing by filling them up with scraps.
    Now and then I go to a farmers market and tell them I am buying veges for my chickens. 2 weeks ago I got a huge box of slightly over ripe papayas for $2.00. My girls LOVED them. I even save the egg shells and dry them out in the oven a little, crush them up and feed them back to the chickens. The go crazy for meal worms.
    With chickens around just about nothing goes to waste. I have a big family also and it just used to make me sick to have to throw food away but now I don't even feel bad about one serving of spaghetti left over. I just give it to the chickens. And the best part... they give you eggs!

    To me the most expensive part of chickens was the coop.
     
  5. urbanchickmama

    urbanchickmama Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2011
    i don't know if you can use any of these ideas, but i thought i'd tell you what we've done: i'm really new to raising chickens and, although my husband i have been talking about it for a while, we were a little ways away from having everything together when we won the raffle at our daughters school for half their class chicks. within a week, we had gotten free large and relatively high quality pallets and donated chicken wire from friends and built ourselves a rather large coop/run in the secluded garden area of our yard. we have since purchased a few more chickens (all the same age as the original 5) and one 50 pound of feed, but all in all we've only spent $50 and we've had the chicks for over a month now. i can't imagine our cost will really increase, as our coop is finished and we've got all the chickens i'm allowed. the 50 lb of feed was only $15. PLUS their diet is supplimented daily with food scraps and debris from the garden [​IMG]

    we are not required to have vet visits, but i'm guessing raising chickens does not have to cost very much. it all depends on what you feel you have to buy, and what you can create with items you already have.

    [​IMG]
     

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