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Cheap grains for chickens?

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Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby LostBrundageRabbitry » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:14 pm


Anybody know what kind of grain that I can buy cheaply to give to my chickens? Someone gave me some rice, and we have some wheat that's been sitting around that I have been giving them.
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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:55 am


it is more about where you shop than what kind of grain, - also- be cautious of overly cheap feed, -and look for mold and spoilage...
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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby LostBrundageRabbitry » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:02 am


Yeah, I've been making sure not to get bad feed.
Today I hauled home 2 bags of Purina Layena Pellets for 14$ each, 2 bags of Purina scratch grain for 10$ each, 2 bags of soy bean meal for 8$ each, and 2 bags of milo for 8$ each. I mixed all that with about 40lbs of wheat and 15lbs of oyster shell.
That's 455lbs of feed for $80. Score! :D :bunnyhop:
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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby UFCreel » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:45 am


Don't forget to give them your table scrapes etc. Was going to tell you to get scratch or cracked corn. But you already found that.

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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:02 am


do you have dirt.. the best priced "grain" I have used for chickens is Sugar beet, Mangle[stock beet] , J artichoke.[tops and tubers], carrots - in that order... its a little low in mineral and protein -so table scraps, or some other animal based protein source would be needed. Mine did fine on that because they got to run in the afternoons, so- they ate grass and bugs.
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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Rainey » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:25 am


When we got chicks in 2015 we decided not to use commercial feed as we had for previous hens. We'd been growing rabbits for meat without feeding pellets for a year and thought it should work for chickens too. Lots of advice that it couldn't work--we wouldn't get eggs, or not as early or not as many. What surprised me was that it wasn't just good enough--these chicks and later hens actually did better. they started laying earlier and even this winter when we thought we should be replacing them this spring we only bought a dozen eggs once. And they are the first hens we've ever had that don't peck each other or at least not enough so we see any bald or bloody places (I always hated that and didn't know how to stop it)
There are old posts on here somewhere about what we've actually fed them, but I think it would be different depending on what you have. When there isn't snow they don't free range but they have a permanent compost pile and a "yard" that can be moved onto fresh ground when they have scratched some of it bare. They get the parts we don't use when we butcher rabbits and Japanese beetles we pick off garden plants, some wheat and oats and BOSS like we feed to goats and rabbits, scraps from the kitchen or garden.
I don't know how everyone got hoodwinked into believing that chicks must be fed chick starter and hens layer mash but the idea is very deeply ingrained. I wish more people would try other diets and see for themselves how it works.
Thanks to Michaels4gardens for being a voice in the wilderness and for all his practical help.

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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:49 am


Profitable Poultry Production
by M. G. Kains
Chapter VII
Feeding and Feeds

It is essential to the fowls' well being and egg production to have green food every day. Lack is sure to affect egg production unfavorably. Flocks at range can secure abundant green food, but flocks in yards and in winter quarters must be supplied. It may be fed without stint at all times. Among the best feeds are clover, alfalfa, grass, vetches, pea vines, rape, rye, mangels, kale, cabbages, sugar beets, turnips -- in fact anything and everything the hens will eat. During the winter cabbage is specially useful. Root crops are good also. The leaves and broken heads from the hay mow may be steamed if desired. Kale and alfalfa contain especially large amounts of protein and ash. The latter and clover give a good flavor and quality to the eggs; but kale, cabbage, turnip and other plants of the mustard family are likely to impart a slightly disagreeable flavor if fed too abundantly.
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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Rainey » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:58 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:Profitable Poultry Production
by M. G. Kains
Chapter VII
Feeding and Feeds

It is essential to the fowls' well being and egg production to have green food every day. Lack is sure to affect egg production unfavorably. Flocks at range can secure abundant green food, but flocks in yards and in winter quarters must be supplied. It may be fed without stint at all times. Among the best feeds are clover, alfalfa, grass, vetches, pea vines, rape, rye, mangels, kale, cabbages, sugar beets, turnips -- in fact anything and everything the hens will eat. During the winter cabbage is specially useful. Root crops are good also. The leaves and broken heads from the hay mow may be steamed if desired. Kale and alfalfa contain especially large amounts of protein and ash. The latter and clover give a good flavor and quality to the eggs; but kale, cabbage, turnip and other plants of the mustard family are likely to impart a slightly disagreeable flavor if fed too abundantly.


I realize we're taking this thread off the topic of grains--I'd been meaning to start a thread on natural feed for chickens and then saw it here. Anyway I have a question about the 'green food" requirement. Much of what you list--roots for instance--aren't green. And I wondered about dried plants--if they would qualify. In winter we grow out some wheat into fodder for the rabbits and sometimes give some to the hens. But we have more roots and dried herbs. Would they count as green feed? They do get some fresh greens from what we grow in the greenhouse but it's limited to some bug-chewed leaves and maybe stems from chard and kale. Do you chop or grate the roots or feed them whole and let them peck off what they eat? Earlier in the winter we still had fodder pumpkins and they ate those readily when we just cut them in half. So much to learn--I appreciate the patience with my questions here on RT

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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:16 pm


I think you should start a thread just for that-- then we could keep it on track.. and discuss all this in a place others could research it and benefit.
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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:45 pm


There are ways to get more out of the grain you buy for chickens or rabbits.

Sprouting, either just to sprouts or to full-growth grain grass enhances food value and also makes the grains bulk up more.

One of our long-time members, GBov, has been doing some interesting work with fermented grains. Here's her thread about it:
fermented-feed-for-our-livestock-made-a-huge-difference-t32188.html

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Re: Cheap grains for chickens?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby AmberRae » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:19 am


I agree with Maggie. I would suggested fermenting grain and growing fodder. It takes some effort but it is much less expensive than commercial food. More importantly it is much healthier. My goats, rabbits and chickens love fodder. We can grow a ton in just a small space in the garage.

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