Fodder Feeding?

I’ve been doing alot of reading lately about feeding rabbits, chickens and goats (as well as cows, horses, etc.) on “fodder” instead of the expensive feeds from the stores.  With the increasing costs of feeds it seems like it may be the way to go.  At least with some of the animals we have.

From what I understand 1# of seed turned into fodder is equal to 6-7 #’s of fodder.  So a 50# bag of wheat seed @ approximately $20 would equal 300-350 #’s of fodder!  While the same amount of pellets (chicken and/or rabbit) would be approximately $90-$105.  And that doesn’t include the cost of fuel to go pick it up, because most likely those bags of feed would not be picked up in one trip.

The big chickens pretty much free-range during the day and don’t really eat much of their pellets unless it’s a really bad weather day out and they don’t leave their coop/run area or we keep them penned for one reason or another.  But the little chicks we’re don’t really want to let out for fear that the rooster (who has proven that he does *not* like them) will hurt them.  We’re mostly growing them for meat anyway, since it appears that most of them are going to be roosters anyway.  Those little buggers eat ALOT of pellets!  I think the 21 of them could easily go through a “tray” of fodder a day.  It would certainly be cheaper to feed them 1 # of grain turned fodder a day then 1.5-2 blue coffee can’s of chicken feed!  That’s about equal to 4-4.5 #’s a day.

Then there’s the rabbits.  They go through about the same amount of pellets on a daily basis as the chicks do.  4-5#’s.  So again, 1# of seed turned fodder or 4-5#’s of pellets.  There is no option about letting them “free range” LOL so we have no choice but to feed them pellets or fodder.

So here’s the break down.

  • 2#’s of fodder a day for 25 days would equal 1 – 50# bag of seed.  Approximate cost $20
  • 10#’s of pellets a day for 25 days would equal 5 – 50# bags of pellets.  Approximate cost $75

Seems like a no brainer to me.

Of course, there is the “initial investment” to think about.  Trays, seed, etc.  But even figuring in that cost I think we can still save alot of money on a monthly basis.  In addition it would make growing out chickens & rabbits much MUCH more cost effective.  Giving us the meat we’re wanting, at a substantially lower cost.