Amount of Chicken Feed to buy : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

It's a good 8 or 9 months before we can finish our transition to farm. With all that's going on in the world I'm kinda concerned about availability of "things" next year. While we don't have any birds yet I thought maybe we could go ahead and get feed now and store it. One less thing to have to barter for later.

If I were going to raise 20-30 heavy breed layers, how much feed and "stuff" should I expect to need for a timeframe of a year?


-- Johnny (not@any.more), March 16, 2001


I just figured up how much commercial feed I used last year - a whopping 55 bags, 50 lbs each. It was mostly scratch grain. I kept about the amount of poultry you stated and I also let them roam during the summer.

-- R. (, March 16, 2001.

One consideration before bringing home all the feed: how to keep it varmint proof....

I'm all for stocking up - got a years supply of rabbit, dog, cat and human food started... No where near done, but... started. (Cat's easy cause the bags keep getting pushed to the back of the closet, LOL!!)

For me that just means more stuff to move.... I wish I was in your shoes already!!!

-- Sue Diederich (, March 16, 2001.

Just a caution. Some types of the commercial poultry (and other) feeds break down over time. You may want to check on your particular brand and see if they any "expiration" dates.

-- Trisha-MN (, March 16, 2001.

We too used about 55 bags of feed over the last year. I figure we use about 1 50lb bag a week, have 26 chickens, and there are 52 weeks in a year. I get cracked corn and laying mash.

We have no way of storing more than about 3 weeks worth of feed at a time. I guess if I cleaned out on of the sheds there'd be more room. ;-} I use a metal trash can and it holds 3 50lb sacks emptied into it. For now, the corn is in an old cooler that holds just one bag. This combo lasts about 3-4 weeks depending on the season.

I don't know how long the feed would keep. If left in the bags or delivered in bulk you will most definitely need to keep the varmints out of it. Not just the rats but I suppose the little bugs that would get into the feed and eat it up.

Where are you? Maybe some of us could supply you with chickens? :-)

-- Heather in MD (, March 16, 2001.

You will find that cash is a lot easier to store, and move. You also (it's possible) might find that feed is cheaper in the fall and winter (after harvest) than right now.

-- Ed Copp (OH) (, March 16, 2001.

You also might find feed cheaper because all that is exported to europe to feed all that live stock that is being killed will have no place to go, creating a surplus here.

-- Hendo (, March 17, 2001.

I don't know where you live, but in the humidity of east Texas, the layer pellets (and rabbit and horse pellets) have a great tendency to mold and are therefore ruined. If you are going to store for more than a few weeks, you would do well to get grain, but chickens really do lay better on layer pellets than on the grain. If you need to get something to store feed in, an old freezer or refrigerator that still has a good seal on it works well. Place it so the doors are on the top and open like a chest freezer. This will pretty well keep out the rodents. To keep out rain you need to either put the freezer in a shed or cover it with a sheet of plastic and weight it down. You're on your own with the bugs.

-- Green (, March 17, 2001.

I would not buy feed now to store, for all of the above reasons- mold, mildew, nutritional loss, bugs, varmits, storage logistics, etc. But, if I were worried about being able to purchase feed in the future, I would lay in a supply of grain and corn seed with which to grow my own feed, plus any equipment needed to grow, process, and store it. I am planning to start growing some of my own feed NEXT year, when I have more time at home. A really great book is Gene Logsdon's "Small Scale Grain Raising", out of print, but turns up as a used book occassionally.

-- Elizabeth (, March 17, 2001.

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