Top 10 Ways To Save On Chicken Feed Costs

Hinotori

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Do you have ideas for improving foraging opportunities in small runs?

My chickens' outdoor runs get picked and scratched bare.

DS15 put sod down following edging overgrown cement. I thought that was a great idea! DS7 likes to rake leaves and dump them in. Its not much, doesnt go far.

My only remaining idea is to build a chicken tunnel to get them out of the run. But that will have the same problems eventually.

How do I get bugs back in these areas?

I use short fence panels for the silkies in their courtyard because they can't fly over them. Restrict where they can range. I've seen setups with 3 large pens for one coop with separate pop doors so they can be funneled to certain pens. Let's the vegetation recover.
 

Mini Horses

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Not seen a rat here. Mice? Not many with a dzn feral cats..yes, they're fed by me but can't touch them. Mice are practically non existent here. Cat food, my chickens love it!!!! Mostly grain anyway. Extra milk I let curdle and both chickens and cats partake. The chickens free range all day....ample bugs and manure with 25 goats and 7 mini horses to go behind!! I do feed some scratch & layer but, limited with all else...more in winter. Also kitchen scraps, garden scraps.
 

Trying2keepitReal

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For those of you that feed cat food to your chickens, do you feed dry or wet or both? I do dry but soak it in water to make more of a mush. Never thought about wet food, but maybe in the winter? Any feedback is welcome.

Gave the girls some squash yesterday, even the babies ate some :)
 

tortoise

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For those of you that feed cat food to your chickens, do you feed dry or wet or both? I do dry but soak it in water to make more of a mush. Never thought about wet food, but maybe in the winter? Any feedback is welcome.

Gave the girls some squash yesterday, even the babies ate some :)
I feed it dry. The food I have for them now is Cat Chow which has a clover shape kibble. They're not a fan. Hard to eat?? I might try it wet or put it in my blender to chop it up. I could give some to my younguns too if i did that. They get ultrakibble which is stupidly expensive. It's basically cat food for chickens 😅 $8.99 for a small bag - ice cream pail size.

They are old enough now that I'm not too concerned about nutrition imbalances. I think animals pick what they need. I read a reference to a study in which one group of chickens was given formulated pellets while the others were given all the ingredients separately. The chickens that ate free choice gained better. I have not seen a published version, and have not fact checked. There was a study done in toddlers with the same idea. This was before computers and there was too much data for human calculation so the researcher ended up abandoning the data. Anecdotes from that study remain. They are fascinating. It makes sense to me but i can't claim it is true.
 

Hinotori

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All I know about free choice is that when I tried feeding Scratch and Peck, they quit laying and started eating each others feathers again. Interestingly, that didn't happen when I had to feed them the scratch I mixed up myself for awhile. It had peas and peanuts in it to help on protein.

I do give the big girls cat food occasionally. The silkies aren't big on cat food. It's Kirkland Maintenance Cat. It's small somewhat flattened balls. I only have 2 cats and so the food doesn't get too stale, the chickens get a cup for 15 birds a couple times a week.
 

Mini Horses

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Moisten it if kibble is large...they'll eat it. 🙂. Chickens devour things you wouldn't believe!

Something they love....surprised me!....turnips. my goats, too. Nice thing is they grow well and keep in ground most of winter. Pull a few and toss for a treat. I used to chop with a machete and move out of their way :lol: good nutritional profile too.

I put some milk I let clabber, out for chickens and cats this morning. The bowls were emptied by all. 🤗. Of course, I have milk goats, so feed one and feed all.
 
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