So, what are the ways to save money on the chicken feed? Raising chickens is an interesting hobby, but the cost of feeding them can get scary. This is the case if you are keeping a large number of chickens. That should not worry you now that I’m here to help you bring down the cost of feeding chicken drastically.
There are different ways to save money on chicken feed. You can let your birds’ free-range or grow fodder for them. Alternatively, you can prepare your own feed, supplement with a few treats and feed them kitchen scraps.
Chicken feed is becoming as expensive as the cost of production increases. As such, many poultry farmers find themselves in difficult situations when it comes to feeding their flock.
Poultry feed takes the largest share of expenses incurred in maintaining these birds. That’s why you need to find alternative ways to cut down your expenditure on chicken feed. This way you will find it easy to raise your birds while providing them with the best diet. Below are the ways to save money on chicken feed.
1. Allow Your Chickens to Free Range
- You can let your chickens’ free-range during the day and keep them inside their coops at night. While free-ranging, they will find several things to eat. This will cut down their desire for commercial feed by a large percentage. That’s how you will save some cash in the process.
- However, you must ensure that the place they are foraging does have plenty of food that suits their nutritional value. In this case, you may grow different types of plants and grasses to serve as fodder.
- Chickens are naturally hard-wired to look for their own food away from their coops. They will pick at a few plants, weeds and grasses. Likewise, they will dig for worms and bugs or hunt down small animals such as lizards and mice.
- Free-ranging is a better option for you because it will cost you less and save you time. All you have to do is to let your birds out and everything else will fall in place. Your chickens will do almost everything ranging from searching for their food to taking water.
- Most importantly, the free-range will help keep the weeds and pests levels down on your poultry farm. Apart from that, free-ranging is the most affordable way of saving money on chicken feed.
2. Grow Fodder for Your Birds
- Growing fodder for your flock of birds is one of the 5 ways to save money on chicken feed. Much to your surprise, fodder is easy to grow and manage. Besides, it is highly nutritious for your birds.
- The best time to grow fodder is in winter when plants and grasses are scarce for your flock. While fodder is a good option to cut down the cost of chicken feed, you shouldn’t rely on it entirely.
- In other words, you should never use fodder as a replacement for your chickens’ feed entirely. Instead, you may use it as a cheap and easy chicken feed supplement to save you some money. Apart from that fodder will provide your birds with valuable nutrients including fiber for digestion.
- To succeed in growing fodder for your birds, you need extra space in your backyard. On top of that, you will have to spend some time taking care of your fodder crops. Even though growing these crops will cost you some money and labor, you can rest assured that you will save more on chicken feed. At least your birds will enjoy this treat especially in winter where food is normally scarce.
3. Prepare Your own Chicken Feed
- Another easy and better way of saving money on chicken feed is by making your own feed. You don’t have to be an expert in poultry feed to come up with a proper combination of chicken feed. All you need is a few equipment and materials and you are good to go.
- The average commercial poultry feed comprises of affordable filler materials such as soy or corn. Any of these two materials are readily available and affordable. Therefore, you should not have any excuses for not saving your cash on chicken feed.
- Given that soy and corn aren’t the most nutritious blend, you need to include other types of food as well. For that reason, you will have to supplement with different types of fresh produce.
- Also, you may allow your birds to free-range (as mentioned above) to supplement their diet with fresh treats such as worms, bugs, and even grass. This combination of feed will keep your flock healthy and productive throughout.
- Why should you go for expensive non-GMO and organic chicken feed when you can prepare something similar to that? Commercial poultry feed is usually costly and can drain your pockets if you are raising many chickens.
- Preparing highly nutritious poultry feed on your own can save you a lot of money while keeping your birds healthy. As such, you may look for a source of seeds and bulk grains to get started with the preparation of chicken feed.
- Besides saving you some money, your homemade chicken feed will meet your birds’ nutritional needs in the best way possible. This means you will include all the necessary food materials to make it well-balanced for them.
4. Supplement Your Chicken Feed with a Few Treats
- Instead of spending more money on chicken feed, you can supplement your birds’ diet with hearty treats. This is one of the 5 ways to save money on chicken feed. After all, some treats are readily available and it will cost you nothing to get them for your birds.
- On the other hand, you can purchase big bags or different types of treats from the chicken feed store around your area. Or you may order for these treats from Amazon at affordable rates.
- Supplementing your birds’ feed with hearty treats will provide your chickens with much-needed nutrients without straining your budget. Examples of treats that you should consider for your chickens include mealworms, black oil sunflower seeds and flock block among others.
- With mealworms, your chickens will find this treat delicious in addition to their normal diet. Mealworms are a rich source of proteins that will make your birds grow faster and become more productive.
- You can take the initiative of raising mealworms on your farm to save more money in the future. These tiny animals are easy to care for and they mature quickly for your chickens to feast on.
- When it comes to the black oil sunflower seeds, you can trust that your birds will love them instantly. This type of supplement is cheap and you can buy from your local feed store.
- A 50-pound bag of black oil sunflower seeds can last up to six months depending on the number of birds. But, you may save some money on this treat by growing them yourself. Most significantly, sunflowers can thrive almost anywhere and need very little attention from you.
- Another treat of great importance to your chickens is the flock block. A single flock block will last your birds several months. Also, it has plenty of nutritious seeds to keep your birds busy in winter months. You can buy flock blocks or prepare your own at home.
5. Feed Your Chickens Kitchen Scraps
- Providing your chickens with kitchen scraps can help you save more money on chicken feed. these scraps are a good source of different nutrients for your birds. But there is foodstuff from the kitchen that you should not give your birds. This is because they contain harmful substances that are dangerous to your chickens.
- Chicken scraps such as mushy berries, wilted lettuce, unappetizing leftovers, or stale bread can keep your birds busy all day. Don’t throw away that leftover food from your kitchen, instead pass them to your backyard flock.
- Giving your chickens the daily or weekly kitchen scraps will most likely reduce your chicken feed expenses. To make your birds enjoy their meal, you can mix the kitchen scraps with a smaller amount of commercial feed. Doing so will not only cut down food costs but will encourage your birds to eat more. At the end of the day, you will have saved some money for other uses.
What is the importance of providing your flock with the commercial feed? The feed is scientifically balanced to provide your birds with the right blend of nutrients. These nutrients play a crucial role in making your chickens grow well, become healthy and productive. Additionally, the feed is formulated to meet your chickens’ dietary requirements.
What is the downside of giving your birds commercial feed? The only known downside to feeding your chickens commercial feed is the cost. This is so, especially when feeding your birds all-natural and organic varieties. Sometimes the high cost of feeding a flock of birds can be discouraging, especially to newcomers.
Even though you may give your birds commercial feed throughout, you may also wish to save some money. To achieve this goal, you will need to apply the top 5 ways to save money on chicken feed. At least you will save more money at the end of the day for other projects.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!