Other feed options

kodiakchicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 18, 2008
896
3
149
Kodiak, Alaska
As I posted in another thread, a 50# bag of layer crumbles costs me around $23.00 here in Kodiak. I've currently got 17 chickens, 12 of who are only about 15 weeks old so still in the growing stage, and 3 ducks - all of which are layers or will be layers. They go through a bag of crumbles in about a week, if I feed as much as they want, which means my feed bill is over $100.00/month, not counting the scratch and oyster shell. They all free range and come summer the feed consumption will go down, but right now everything is covered by about five inches of snow and ice. I don't expect to have enough greenery on the ground to help their food consumption until early May.

I want to try and reduce my feed bill by supplementing with leftovers, etc. I know some people go to their local grocery and get the tossed produce. My question is, what scraps and leftovers can I feed my birds that will still be nutritious for them. All I give them right now is leftover lettuce and the chickens don't like it, only the ducks. I never give them bread scraps, because I've heard it has no nutritional value.

Bear in mind that buying other products will not reduce my feed bill (a pound of tomotoes costs over $5.00 and a head of leaf lettuce is $3.00) so scraps or other leftover type options are the suggestions I'm looking for.

Thanks!
 

NYREDS

Crowing
12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
5,644
423
303
As a general rule if you can eat it they can eat it. Bread has a lot more nutritional value than lettuce-lettuce is mostly water.
When we do our weekly clean out the fridge it all goes in a bowl together & given to the chickens. They don't leave much behind when they're done.
 

Chickenmaven

Songster
10 Years
Feb 6, 2009
2,064
12
181
Michigan
Mine eat old stew, blubber off the roast, rib bones, rice (brown), bread (whole wheat crusts), apple & pear cores, tomato stems, grapes, noodles... We don't compost anymore. The hens get it. If the kids (the human kind) won't eat it, the chickens will.
 

HiDelight

Songster
10 Years
Mar 1, 2009
153
0
109
buy cheapo wild bird seeds or mixed, black oil, millet whatever ...if you can find it and sprout it in quart mason (you can google the instructions it is very easy to do you can just rotate jars of it to keep it going and always have some fresh ones to feed them) that would provide both some protien and greenery

everything is expensive in Alaska! I feel for you! But this way you could stretch feed and having the greens and seeds in one
 

HiDelight

Songster
10 Years
Mar 1, 2009
153
0
109
Quote:I am so thrilled with our automatic composting machines I can not even tell you

everything I used to toss in the compost heap and more (things I could not compost even like meat fish ect WHOOO HOOO) they eat digest and poop out manure!!!

these cute little girls are the best gardening buddies in the world!

with no compost heap no vermin raiding my composting bin!!!

(sorry if I strayed but it is true they eat anything and everything I have no waste at all ...now if they would wash dishes right???)
 
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kodiakchicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 18, 2008
896
3
149
Kodiak, Alaska
So chickens can even eat meat scraps? I wasn't aware of that. I guess I'm used to the rabbits, who have much more sensitive digestive systems.

It would be great to be able to use excess for them.
 

ams3651

Songster
12 Years
Jan 23, 2008
3,343
13
223
NE PA
mine have had left over rice and beans, meatloaf, spaghetti, apples or pears past their prime, some types of lettuce they wont eat but some they will. Some have mentioned softening alfalfa cubes with water and offering to the chickens. As long as its not salty or spicy they pretty much can have it. Have you looked at the treat chart on here? It does mention some things they cant have.
 

kodiakchicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 18, 2008
896
3
149
Kodiak, Alaska
Quote:Ahhh, thanks for pointing out the treat chart. My mind is so preoccupied with other things that I totally missed it. I should have figured someone had already put something like that together. Thanks!
 

laurenlulu

Songster
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
154
3
126
So, sorry to butt in on the original question, but for those of you using the chickens as personal compost machines (which sounds great to me)- how much less crumbles to you have to feed... or if they're eating all of that, how much "regular" food do you give them?
 

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