Spending $80 a month on feed, help me cut those costs!!

dpears28

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
50
0
39
Superior, Wi
Hi all! Let me start by telling you about my babies! I have 2 Swedish ducks, 1 Bronze Breasted Turkey, and 14 chickens. I will be adding a 10 meat birds to my flock for the summer. I live in Superior, WI and the weather has been anything but ideal to let my chickens out to free range as often as I would like. I buy a 50 lb bag of crumbles and a 50 lb bag of scratch twice a month for $80 total. I have been looking into making fodder but I have celiac disease (can't digest or come into contact with wheat, barley, rye or oats) so figuring out how to do that without making myself sick proves to be difficult. We are trying to budget our money better and one of our biggest losses every month are our chickens. We will not be getting rid of them, which is why I need your help. Please share how you feed your chickens and your ideas as how to make my monthly costs less!! Thank you!

P.S. if you need any more information about my situation please feel free to ask!
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
20
113
That is quite a bit of feed for the amount of poultry you have. I would bet quite a bit is going to furry critter with 4 legs. You may want to search online for 5 gallon bucket rat traps. They are very cheap to make and are repeatable in nature so very effective at catching multiples.

To help with the feed bill of course free ranging will help quite a bit when you can do that.
A few other options; contact your local bread stores and ask about day old bread as feed to see what the cost would be. It's $10 a truck load locally. Another option is to call the local grocery stores about their ruined produce. It is often free but some of them charge a bit if it's larger scale, like walmart where they have a sealed dumpster. With the littler grocery stores it's generally just a matter of emptying a trash bag for them every morning after the produce man has culled the days fruits and vegetables from the shelves.
Also if you have any small distilleries or breweries in the area they may give you their fermented grains for feed instead of throwing them away.
Worm beds may be another viable option as this can be free as well. They may take a little time to establish but you can use the older vegetables and some of the bread for the worm food.
Good luck.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Percheron chick

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,005
1,688
321
Boulder, Colorado
First start off with what grains you can handle. Corn soy, milo?, spelt?, triticale? rice? Next would be beans, peas, alfalfa (hay or pellets), beet pulp, spent brewers and distillers grains (know any homebrewers?) and all seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chia...). Fresh and frozen vegetables. Make friends with the produce manager at your grocery store. They toss boxes of vegetables every day in the trash. Trade him a dozen eggs on the side. Any and all kitchen scraps that you can eat, they can eat too. Weeds from the garden, start raising meal worms. The only thing you would need to add would be a Ca source and some type of vitamin/mineral blend. Do you have a small local feed mill nearby? They can be an invaluable resource for making up a small batch of feed just for you.
 
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ChicknCommander

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 31, 2014
223
11
81
Oklahoma
If you can't afford the ones you have, 10 more is only gonna get worse and meat chickens usually eat more than regular due to rapid growth. Chickens can eat leftover things go to a school cafeteria n ask if they could give you salad they are throwing out.
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,005
1,688
321
Boulder, Colorado
Also look at other classes of poultry feed. I can buy a locally milled chick starter that only has corn, soy, limestone and vitamins and minerals for $.21/# (1/2 of your costs) and it would fit your limitations plus with added Ca could work for all your birds.
 

dpears28

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
50
0
39
Superior, Wi
First start off with what grains you can handle. Corn soy, milo?, spelt?, triticale? rice? Next would be beans, peas, alfalfa (hay or pellets), beet pulp, spent brewers and distillers grains (know any homebrewers?) and all seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chia...). Fresh and frozen vegetables. Make friends with the produce manager at your grocery store. They toss boxes of vegetables every day in the trash. Trade him a dozen eggs on the side. Any and all kitchen scraps that you can eat, they can eat too. Weeds from the garden, start raising meal worms. The only thing you would need to add would be a Ca source and some type of vitamin/mineral blend. Do you have a small local feed mill nearby? They can be an invaluable resource for making up a small batch of feed just for you.

Meant to quote this so you would know I was replying to you. Oops!



Any of those grains you mention good for the fodder method or are those just grains I should be giving? We don't have many feed stores around here honestly. I will have to look into calling the breweries though. Superior is just a hop skip and a jump across the pond from Duluth, MN and there has been a major surge of breweries as of late. Off the top of my head I can think of 6 breweries I could call. I never thought to call the grocery stores though. I will have to look into that too. We already give them all our food scraps and in the summer they get our grass clippings and all weeds from my garden plus bad produce. If I were to buy more grains, does it seem to take the chickens longer to finish those than regular chicken feed? What would be a good source of Calcium? We have only had the chickens since last year so I am still learning. Thank you so much for the help and advice! :)
 
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dpears28

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
50
0
39
Superior, Wi
If you can't afford the ones you have, 10 more is only gonna get worse and meat chickens usually eat more than regular due to rapid growth. Chickens can eat leftover things go to a school cafeteria n ask if they could give you salad they are throwing out.
I know that adding the ten will make our costs more, that's why I'm asking for help now. We had three last year so we are prepared for the increase in feed consumption. We feed them any and all leftovers now.
 

dpears28

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
50
0
39
Superior, Wi
Very nice Joshua.

That is quite a bit of feed for the amount of poultry you have. I would bet quite a bit is going to furry critter with 4 legs. You may want to search online for 5 gallon bucket rat traps. They are very cheap to make and are repeatable in nature so very effective at catching multiples.

To help with the feed bill of course free ranging will help quite a bit when you can do that.
A few other options; contact your local bread stores and ask about day old bread as feed to see what the cost would be. It's $10 a truck load locally. Another option is to call the local grocery stores about their ruined produce. It is often free but some of them charge a bit if it's larger scale, like walmart where they have a sealed dumpster. With the littler grocery stores it's generally just a matter of emptying a trash bag for them every morning after the produce man has culled the days fruits and vegetables from the shelves.
Also if you have any small distilleries or breweries in the area they may give you their fermented grains for feed instead of throwing them away.
Worm beds may be another viable option as this can be free as well. They may take a little time to establish but you can use the older vegetables and some of the bread for the worm food.
Good luck.
Thank you for the advice. There are a few bread stores around town I will have to call. This is why I posted here, there are so many things I just don't think about on my own. Thank you again.
 

dpears28

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
50
0
39
Superior, Wi
Why would you want to feed them bread if you can't feed them wheat?
I can have the three boys in my house feed them the bread. I was asking about the fodder system being able to be done with different grains because that would be all me doing that. Feeding them leftover or stale bread is a lot easier to delegate to someone else in my house. :)
 

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