I'm researching what to feed my hens for the winter. I know I will buy laying pellets (9.50/50lb bag). I'm currently mixing in some scratch grain (9.00/50lb bag) but was wondering if anyone had a cheaper idea to feed them...
Remember cheaper isn't always the cheap solution it looks to be. If they are not getting what they need and you have health issues because of it you can end up putting more out in treatment than you would have to stay with the better food.
I suspect that your layer pellets are a great choice, protein at the price is something I can only dream of! I do plan to give treats in the evening to my hens, and I'm paying $14.50 for the same pellets for get for $9.50. Ahem.
Do you have feedmills in your area? Or does you local farm supply store sell bags of different small grains and cracked corn?
I mix my own scratch. Then you can use which ever grains you can find on sale. I will keep the BOSS and cracked corn and the rest will depend on what I find interesting and priced right (as long as it is something they can have). This also keeps their scratch "new". I keep the individual bags of stuff at home and mix it here myself but you can have a feedmill mix it too. They may however have restrictions on amount and what they can put in i.e.-only what they sell. Plus, many will charge for mixing and bagging-one more reason to do it yourself if you can.
Shoot... we're paying over $20.00 a 50lb bag for layer feed, $15.95 for scratch. The girls get table scraps, too, and any grassclippings (not for long, though... it's 23°F out there this morning!). I don't know how cold an Alabama winter is, but I think you're fine with the layer feed and supplemental treats of scratch and table scraps.