Where does one buy the ingredients to mix your own feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DanIndiana, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. DanIndiana

    DanIndiana Songster

    Aug 27, 2010
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    Can this be practical on a small basis, like for 7 hens? I would like to see it it work on a small level, and then expand to more hens once I lower feed costs. How about the vitamins/micronutrients? I just don't know where to find everything.
  2. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Sorry, but in order for it to be (financially) worth mixing your own feed you'd have to be very large scale. [​IMG]
  3. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    If you live near a feed mill, they should have all the ingredients and they can mix it to your liking. But you have to buy a large quantity that way, usually a ton or more. You can buy whole grains from most feed stores in 50 pound bags and mix those if you like, but again, it's going to be a huge amount of feed for so few hens. You're probably best right now buying already made up bagged feed for them unless you have a real reason to go with something else (you want it organic, want to exclude soy or corn, or something like that.)
  4. GarlicEater

    GarlicEater Songster

    Feb 23, 2011
    Gilroy, CA
    I've got 16 chickens, but only about half are laying hens. Got one standard game rooster, a bantam rooster, and 4 cockerels. So that's 6 non-layers. Plus a very pretty and apparently non-productive girl, I think she's too old to lay. So, only 7 layers, which is about right, since I get on average a half-dozen eggs a day.

    So I'm feeding 7 laying hens plus a bunch of extras. And a 50# bag of layer feed is lasting me 3 weeks at least. I give greens, leftovers, treats, daily so the layer feed is just a staple. I'm a great believer in giving plentiful greens every day, and I try to vary it, collards, cut grass, wild lettuce, etc.

    A 50# bag of feed costs me about $13.

    I'm getting 10 dozen eggs over the 3 weeks a bag of feed lasts me, if I sell them for $3 a dozen that's $30, half of that can go for feed. The other half of it can go in me. 3 eggs a day average. That's enough.

    So my little flock is pulling its weight!

    But wait, that's counting all those freeloaders. The 4 cockerels, the pretty but non-producing hen, and the bantam rooster are going to be sold. That's going to put a bag of layer pellets at a month or more.

    What it comes down to is, 7 hens are not going to eat enough to make making your own feed more economical than just buying your Purina or Dumor or whatever. They'll produce enough to pay for their feed, and give you enough eggs to eat too.

    Just my 2c.
  5. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man Songster

    Nov 21, 2010
    Apple Hill
    Quote:If you're using that type of feed, then you may as well just be buying factory-farmed eggs.
  6. dragonjaze

    dragonjaze In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2010
    Quote:If you're using that type of feed, then you may as well just be buying factory-farmed eggs.

    this statement makes no sense. also, instead of just making pronouncements, you could offer alternative solutions.

    To the OP: i've never tried it myself, but everything I've ever read says that mixing your own feed is not feasible unless you either split it with someone, or buy large quantities yourself, and then you have storage and spoilage issues.

    sounds to me like it's good to be one of your chickens! [​IMG]
  7. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Makes perfect sense. Commercial feeds are formulated with artificial methionine made from (among other things) petrochemicals. The synthetic amino acid is associated with elevated blood methionine, which is associated with (in chickens) artherosclerosis, heart disease, fatty liver, etc, and with dementia in people. See my blog for citations.

    If you feed your animals feed with DL methionine you really might as well buy factory farmed. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, of course (and I sometimes do) but it's something to think about.

    Other people have answered the OP's question nicely, but I'll just add that sprouting grains and legumes like wheat, peas and corn increases the availability of their nutrients, and if you have access to yeast, alfalfa, kefir or whey or other soured milk products and a little extra protein (meat meal, mince, whatever) you're going a long way toward providing a full nutrient profile (with sunlight for D and grass/greens for A). It's not as convenient as commercial feeds, and there are many things to get right if you're keeping high volume layers.

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