What is the general price for Layer, Scratch, and Cracked Corn?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WhiteLeghorn2, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. WhiteLeghorn2

    WhiteLeghorn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I was told to mix in a small amount of cracked corn and scratch into our chickens diet, because apparently scratch and cracked corn is cheaper? We know how much the layer costs, but I'm wondering if any of you know what the general price for cracked corn and scratch is? (It doesnt have to be exact, obviously all stores are different, but what is the general price for those feeds?)
    Thanks everyone! A quick reply would be wonderful, because we're going to the feed store in the morning.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I do not believe you will actually find it cheaper. If you go the Tractor Supply website, for example, you'll see that cracked corn and/scratch is within a dollar per 50 lbs of a grower or layer feed.

    So, these grains are nice to train your birds to come to you, or something to scratch at while you take their photo, but it isn't an important aspect of their diet. Wisdom dictates less than 10% of their diet.

    You can save money on feed, but not by feeding cracked corn or scratch grains. Would you feed them a layer feed that was only 12 or 14 percent protein? Not likely, but that is what you'd be doing by mixing in those corn products. They are only 10% protein so you are in effect "watering down" their feed protein. Your basic Layer or Grower is already 60% corn. More corn by feeding cracked corn or scratch isn't going to get you balanced nutrition.

    Save money on feed by getting coupons, watching for sales, or best of all, finding a local feed mill that grinds their own feed and sells it to you in their generic feed sack, 100 pound bag.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  3. WhiteLeghorn2

    WhiteLeghorn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Fred
    Great post! (Although it is completely contrary to a care sheet I read, but either way I trust you more) Thank you. I completely agree with you, but why do people tell me I'll save money if I give them 20% scratch and corn? Doesn't make sense to me that they think that, but whatever floats their boat.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. ChickensXOXO

    ChickensXOXO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Completely agree with 'Fred's Hens'.

    I don't give a lot of corn and scratch. Only as a treat, which I sprinkle around in their run or in the yard, when they're free ranging, so they can search and scratch for it. Free ranging is one way I save money on feed costs, but of course, that can be a risk. You can also give leftover fruits and veggies to save $$$, or scramble their eggs and feeding it back to them, when they need extra protein like during a molt. Or drying and crushing their egg shells for calcium for laying hens. Just a few thoughts.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I agree with Fred. Corn and scratch are only around 8 % protein. Layer is 16%. If you ever have chicks or pullets below laying age they need 18-20% protein. At my TSC corn is $11, scratch is $14-15, and layer is $15-16. I like to feed my layers, roosters, and all ages 20% flock raiser with oystershell on the side in a separate container for layers. That way I don't have feather-picking, and when they are molting they have plenty of protein to regrow feathers. You might save a couple of dollars, but I think compared with the price of dog and cat food, chicken feed isn't all that bad, plus I get 50 lb bags versus18 lb bags for the same price.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Well, here's the flip side, just to better understand.

    You CAN feed a mixed, whole grains, even though they are only 10% protein, IF, IF your basic feed is super rich in protein and I would want animal protein in that feed. What kind of feed? A Gamebird type grower of around 22-28% protein. Sometimes these feeds are harder to find. Vegetarian feeds abound and I'm not a believer. The chicken is an omnivore and animal protein must be provided somehow. Some folks use catfish cubes and that's fine, but you gotta be careful with these or you can taint the taste of the eggs.

    Anyhow, with the use of a good 28% gamebird feed, you could almost feed 50% of the birds volume a grain based scratch or mixed grains. But again, will you save a bunch of money? Nah. The old 50/50 diet is an old favorite among the cockers and those guys have fancy birds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
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  7. Apdeb

    Apdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I figured out it is less than .50 cents per day to feed my 10 chickens any name brand food!!! thats if you buy 50 lb bags

    Treats are raisins or leftover fruits veg bread oatmeal etc
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    You might want to check into fermenting your chicken feed to save money, since many people recommend it saying their flocks eat less of this. It is basically feed, water, plus a little apple cider vinegar (with the mother in it like Braggs)--let it sit for 3 days, then feed. There are two threads on BYC detailing the success stories. I did it for 7 months this past year, and it does stretch the feed, but it takes a little more time to mix it and feed it each day. You can use feed plus whole grains, or gamebird feed plus scratch in combinations to get the right protein %. The whole grains are more attractive to chickens when fermented than the mushy feed. It just depends on how much you want to fool with it.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Here, cracked corn is a dollar a bag less than all-in-one.
     
  10. Shadow722

    Shadow722 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I buy the Nutrena Layer feed and Nutrena Scratch for $12.50 a 50lbs bag in Harrah OK at a feed store. I have 14 Chickens and 14 pullets and it last about 2 weeks for both bags. I pour them together in a big container so they get both mixed together. I have also been baking their egg shells and chopping with a Ninja Blender and feeding it back to them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

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