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reducing feed costs.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bock, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. bock

    bock Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    I will be getting my 25 laying hens from Belt hatchery February 2011. We plan to sell their eggs to neighbors for around $3.50 a dozen. Around here, a 50# bag of Layena costs $14 from TSC. They will be free ranging on 3 fenced acres,and I was thinking about growing a garden and giving them a lot of the extras. Is there any other ways to reduce the feed costs further? Thanks for the suggestions! [​IMG]

  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Feed them leftovers?
  3. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    I found a place where I get fresh fruit, veggies and bread.
    Nothing is spoiled...just a little old.
    I feed these late in the afternoon so I am certain they have recieved thier needed protein.
    I get laughed at by my hubby, but I steam thier veggies [​IMG]
    I also feed cooked rice once in awhile because they love it....
    Just be careful that they get everything they need to make those eggs
    Good nutrition..good production..
    Have fun
  4. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    I get veggies from the local grocerie store that they pull and are gonna toss. The birds eat it up.
  5. cubalaya

    cubalaya Crowing

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    we will plant boss, millet and mangel beets next year.
  6. TexGardenGirl

    TexGardenGirl Songster

    Feb 2, 2009
    northeast of Dallas
    My husband brews his own beer and we give the leftover mash to the birds. It's mostly malted barley (sprouted, then roasted) with sometimes a little wheat and/or oat in the mix, then the whole thing gets boiled. (I made a batch of gluten-free beer once which contained buckwheat, amaranth and oats - they loved that one too.) We don't give them the hops (not sure if it's ok - might be) and certainly not anything already fermented! They love it. Depending how big a batch I may save some in the fridge for a few days so they don't get too pigged out and ignore their regular food. And I try to sprinkle it around the yard so they have to forage for it. (BTW, hombrewing saves lots of money if you are already a beer drinker. Same with wine. The first few batches cost a lot while the equipment is new but it pays for itself after just a few batches.)
    And here's some links on gardening for the birds
    Ok actually that's the only link - check out that entire website, lots of good info there. The author also writes frequently for Backyard Poultry magazine, and also for Mother Earth News and similar magazines. I've seen articles fairly recently in both of those on growing food for your animals.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Country Parson

    Country Parson Songster

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    It is fairly easy to get ALOT of free food for your chickens. Local restaurants (esp. 'mom&pop' type places) will willingly keep a 5 gallon bucket for you and fill it with food scraps. Your own food scraps are excellent (there is very little chickens cannot eat). Many of us are growing some of our own feed (corn, sunflower seeds, turnips, millet, wheat, oats, buckwheat, etc). Ideas are almost endless (I just learned you can feed chickens cow hearts...and since we are friends with someone who owns a processing shop we just hit the jackpot).

    The problem, however, is how to provide your own feed WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY given the chickens the proper nutritional ratios. At this point my own feed is supplemental. I do want to get to the point where I provide half or more---but I'm still learning about nutrition, so I can't help much there.

  8. serena763

    serena763 In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2010
    Leftovers! [​IMG]
  9. heather112588

    heather112588 Songster

    Nov 12, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    My little "piggies" eat anything...they have eaten everything from breads, fresh fruits (bananas are their favorite) and leftovers. They have eaten scrambled eggs (which is good for protein) and beef fat (good for winter). They are interested in anything i have in my hand when i come out the door- They have even tried to drink my coffee in the mornings when i went out to feed them. Of course, they get plenty of bugs while free ranging as well.
  10. Quote:I bet there's a pretty good protein ratio in the beer grains. I wonder if that could be checked by a lab? After the carbohydrate is fermented and removed, the grains' husks, germs might be the only thing left in that mash. I'm curious...........

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