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Mash vs crumble

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickappotamus, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. chickappotamus

    chickappotamus New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2015
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    I'll start my first post with this topic!
    I'm pricing my feed for 4 layers over 18 weeks old for 6 months of feeding. We'll call that 186 pounds worth.
    All the mills I've priced have crumble cheaper than mash..except one. The cheapest crumble would be $11.75/50lbs. The cheaper mash, though, is $20/100lbs. We have 9 acres flat and 50 acres of hillside. They'll be free ranged, but keep in mind we are moving October 1st. It's the first winter for all of us - I'm feeling like I'll want to feed them a bit more than 1/4lb each the first 6 months. My safe number will be 200 lbs of feed for October through March into early April.
    So, if I got mash, consensus among chicken keepers is that you waste a little more than if you were to feed crumble. This is frugal living, not luxury! What's the best route for these first 6 months? Spring time is a whole different ball field.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I guess I'm not understanding your question, I give my birds all the ration they want to eat, mash is powdery and dry and meant to be mixed with water, at least that's what it used to be, crumbles can turn into mash, for the least amount of waste feed pellets, and buy higher protein and good quality they will eat less, I also give mine a cracked corn sunflower seed mix as scratch twice a day, and I have a bowl of whole corn available, mine can free range all they want, my ration use doubles in winter.
     
  3. chickappotamus

    chickappotamus New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2015
    West Virginia
    Would it be more sensible to buy and feed mash or crumble for winter? I'd like for them to get the most out of the food with wasting as little as possible. Both are 17 percent protein. They will not have too much extra through THIS winter aside from the frozen and dehydrated scraps we've preserved, and the kitchen scraps as we go through winter. We will be harvesting seeds from our sunflowers this week, as well.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mash is a powder that is hard to eat without water added, if you're where it freezes you may have waste, with crumbles you have the waste of the dust parts, I personally would choose crumbles, with the option of adding warm water to it if I wanted to make a mash out of it.
     
  5. chickappotamus

    chickappotamus New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2015
    West Virginia
    So what if I were to feed them smaller rations (enough for them to eat within 15-30 minutes) twice a day with a warm mixed mash? I see some people like giving their hens the warm meals in winter. Would the mash (before being mixed with water) keep as long as the crumble would in the cellar house? All animal feed is kept in metal 55 gal drums.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Are you trying to limit your feed, I like to feed a warm meal once or twice a day in the winter, but they always have access to ration and whole corn, I also give them my scratch late afternoon so there is something in their crop that gets digested slower and creates internal heat during the night. I wouldn't limit feed intake if you're in a climate like mine where we have snow and below zero temperature at night a lot. Both mash and crumble should store the same in winter, in summer both have to be watched for mold in humid conditions.
     
  7. chickappotamus

    chickappotamus New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2015
    West Virginia
    I'd like to limit the feed only to where they are getting full nutrition but not free feeding over what is optimal. I want them to keep a full crop before I put them in during the cold evenings definitely. I much rather let them pick as they go and eat when they need to, but to ration the food for 6 months I don't know if they will be eating past my estimated numbers, being about a 1/4lb per chicken per day. I'm not a fan of limiting their (mash) feed intake to a ration twice a day, but for winter purposes I'd like to know that the feed will sustain their needs. Does this make sense? My goal isn't to deprive my girls at all, I want to feed the most economical way for solely this winter.
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens generally don't over eat so leaving feed out all day can be done without to much worry about over feeding. There is a method of feeding to put out only as much as they will eat in a day. its called ration feeding. You have to be observant though. You start by putting out in the morning about half to two thirds of what they are supposed to eat. then in the afternoon you put the rest out. You watch how soon they clean up the afternoon feeding. IF they clean it up well before they go to roost then you in crease the amount you feed till it is just cleaned up near dark. If there is a lot left you put less out. If you free range this becomes a very tough thing to do, as some days they will find a lot to eat and others less.
    When they make feed, they first mix and grind all the ingredients to make mash. The mash is then feed through an pelletizer to make pellets. the pellets are the broken or crumbled to make crumble. So the only difference between them is in the form. If you are talking about the same feed formula.
    My grandfather fed mash dry, as do most who use that form. That was the only form he had for most of his life. The chickens didn't have a problem with the dry mash. I also don't remember any large amount of wasted food on the floor of the chicken house. He then and I now use deeper feeders then most of the ones you can get on the market now.
     
  9. chickappotamus

    chickappotamus New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2015
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    I'd like for them to eat the dry mash if it works out that way! I had planned on setting out food freely and monitoring the amount they eat to guage how much I should be putting out to be as least wasteful as possible. I'll be starting up some meal worms in the spring, also!
     
  10. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would definitely try the mash as that is cheaper. You can always wet it, that will make any form the feed comes a porridge that almost any chicken readily eats.
     

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