Hello, wasn't quite sure where to find my answer so I'm hoping I could find a little help here. In short... we love having chickens! My wife loves to play/hug them. Some follow us around. Most of them come when I call them (because they think I have food). And they're just neat animals. But..... We're not raising pets and while they are a joy, they need to pay for their feed. We eat a LOT of eggs in our little family. About 10/day plus baking and buying eggs at Wal-Mart (eww....) was getting super expensive. Plus I noticed many of the eggs had thin shells and pale pale yolks. We felt like eggs, being the staple of what we eat every day, needed to be top grade and a 'renewable resource' on our property. So we built the coop, have awesome chickens and all is well. Still not getting all the eggs per day but most of them are young and we have chicks on the way in a couple days. The eggs we DO get have a much better flavor and a richer color. My question/comment is this: Our number one cost in the future of our chickens is feed. What is the lowest cost solution we have to give them quality feed? Do we need to always use layer feed from the feed store or could we allocate a part of our (1 acre) garden to grow grains, corn or other veggies to use as feed? What should we grow? Does anybody have experience in making your own feed? Are there other cheaper solutions besides $14/50lb bag of layer feed? Perhaps mixing other grains in? How much do y'all usually spend on feed and how long should a bag usually last on 24 layers ? Any help would be very appreciated.