With feed prices on the rise, we all need ways to cut costs and spend less on chicken feed. Because high feed costs kinda take the fun out of chickens…
Here are 5 ways how to spend less money on chicken feed in 2022.
How to spend LESS money on chicken feed
#1 – pasture or free range your birds
Pasture or free-range your birds during the day. Let them find their own food. Chickens are capable of finding way more than we give them credit for. If you have a stationary coop, let your birds out to forage for a few hours in the evening – or all day if your land is fenced.
With portable shelters, like the Cackellacs, you can give them even more room by setting up portable chicken settings around the coops and letting the birds out to forage. This is our favourite way to combine free-ranging and controlling the birds. No one enjoys hunting for nests, wondering where the hens have laid their eggs!
#2 – grow vegetables and greens for your flock
This is a great way to cut feed costs, as chickens love old veggies, greens, and fruits from the garden. Not only can you give them the spoiled veggies, but you can also plant extra specifically for them.
#3 – grow mealworms
Being a great source of extra protein and fat, mealworms are a great addition to any flock’s diet. Particularly in the winter when the flock does not have access to fresh bugs. And chickens love fresh, squishy worms! While growing them may not be for everyone, it is definitely an option to check out.
If bugs are your thing, here are a couple of articles to get you started.
#4 – ferment or soak your grains
By far the best way to stretch your purchased feeds, soaking or fermenting them also makes it easier for the birds to digest them. Particularly for whole grains, fermenting starts the breaking down process, providing the chicken with highly accessible nutrients. Dried grains do not always have that.
Fermenting provides chickens with additional beneficial probiotics which improve their immune systems and offer better access to vitamins and minerals.
Besides all the health benefits of fermenting, doing so can drastically reduce the feed bill. Not only is the weight increased in the feed (all the grains plump up), there are more nutrients available to the hens that are not available in dry grain.
Check out the following posts to get you started!
#5 – grow fodder
Yet another way to stretch your feed, as grains become 40% more digestible when sprouted, soaked, or turned into fodder for chickens. Plus, for fodder you can get bulk grains such as wheat, oats, barely and rye. All of which tend to be less expensive then a ration.
Systems for growing fodder range from high tech, expensive setups to simple ones you can start right now. Murano Chicken Farms has a quick, easy setup with instructions right here. As does The Praire Homestead and The Fewell Homestead.
Fodder is especially benefiticial in the winter when fresh greens are hard to come by.
How to spend LESS money on chicken feed in 2022
Hope it’s been helpful and given you a few ideas on how to keep your chickens from breaking the bank. And don’t forget all those kichen scraps can go to them as well.
May your chickens grow fast, lay plenty of eggs, and stay healthy 🙂