Thursday, March 1, 2007

Chicken Feed

When we first bought our chickens we were told the previous owner had been raising them on crumbles. We didn't go too much into details so I'm not sure which brand they used but we ended up stopping by the local feed store and picking up Purina Mills® Flock Raiser® which seemed to work fine. We know our long term goal was to have most of their feed provided by nature so it was just a matter of time before they were let out during the day and in the coop at night to protect them from area predators.

As discussed before we were taking some our chickens to a processor in our area. After a quick visit with the owner of the ranch we found out they have all of their feed custom manufactured for them based on a mix designed by a poultry nutritionist. It had some of the things we had researched that were good for them (oyster shells, kelp, etc.) as well as being extremely fresh. They use so much feed per month (they have quite a few chickens and processing for others was just a thing they fell into) that there stuff is never stale. The 3 bags of stuff we bought were less than two weeks from the place that manufactures their feed and you could tell a difference. The baby pullets and older chickens ate the stuff like it was chicken candy. They have a mix for chickens that are laying which we'll probably need to upgrade to in the next month or so however now that our older chickens are pasture grazing they aren't eating too much feed anyhow.

If you're looking at raising chickens for profit I can't provide any expertise as we're doing it primarily for ourselves however the reading I've done the cost of feed is a huge issue with making a profit. Click on over to the Homesteading Today Forum and look at the Poultry subforum, there are some sharp people there who have a good grasp on what to do to keep costs down and birds healthy. A few of the people I've talked to track their costs pretty closely so you can get an idea of the costs and profits involved in raising your own flock.

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