Chicken feed prices keep rising and makes it hard for the backyard farmer to see any profits when farming with broilers or layers. Keep in mind that with free food you can still grow your broilers but it will take much longer than using formulated food from suppliers. How to get free chicken feed – let’s begin
The most obvious method is free range chickens. Chickens get feed from all over the back yard in the form of insects, plants and fodder. This help reduce your food cost and you will save money.
Worm farms is easy to make and you can start with a couple of empty paint buckets or buy an old bath at the scrap-yard. Basically you can use any empty container to farm with earth worms, meal worms or black soldier fly larvae.
We will do a step by step article on worm farming soon so subscribe to our website to stay updated.
Restaurant scraps is a great source of feed for chickens. Meat, vegetables, left-over rice can usually be found at many restaurants if you go early mornings or late at night. You will have to arrange with management to remove the bins and you will have to be dedicated and stay at point to remove the scraps on the days you promised.
If you chickens are laying plenty eggs and you are not selling them you can boil, scramble or fry these eggs. Eggs are high in protein and you chickens will enjoy them. Never feed chickens raw eggs or whole egg shelves. You don’t want to teach your chickens to eat their own eggs
Vegetable markets and veggie stores is another method to get free chicken feed. You will have to arrange with management to remove the wasted fruit and vegetables and if you can manage that you can grow your flock into larger numbers. Vegetable supermarkets usually get rid of all types of vegetables on a daily base meaning you will always have some feed for your chickens.
Sunflower seeds are easy to grow and you can plant them almost anywhere in our country. They are a beautiful addition to your garden and is high in fats and proteins. Sunflower seeds grows fast and can be used in the kitchen for some baking recipes such as breads.
Fishing waste is a great source of protein for chickens. This might come as a shocker but you can feed chickens raw fish. Many towns has at least one or more fish and chips shops and they would eagerly help you with left over fish – raw or cooked. Depending on how many chickens you have you can arrange with fish shops to collect on a daily basis. Keep in mind that you still have to feed the chickens some grains like barley, corn and wheat to get some sort of balance in their diet.
Raising Crickets sound like hard work but kids are already doing this for their lizards and chameleons. Crickets is easy to raise and you will have constant feed with high protein for your chickens. It might become noisy at times so you need a big yard and cricket farming should not be close to your house.
Grow small crops and cover it with chicken mesh. As the crops grow through the mesh the chickens will pick it off. This will not cause any damage the crops and some crops can grow for months using this methods. This will ensure that your chickens get plenty of minerals throughout the year.
Kitchen scraps like rice, cooked food and general all supper leftovers is a great way of providing proteins and minerals for your chickens. The rule of thumb is that chickens can eat almost anything.
Wheat, Barley and corn is easy to grow on small scale. You can find these products cheap at any agricultural store if you ask them for the broken bags or the spill when they were loading trucks. Although intensive crops farmers will not plant grains all year long you can do so on small scale. Wheat and barley germinate extremely fast and you can give chickens some juicy high protein green feed within seven days.
Sprouting all types of vegetables is another affordable way of feeding chickens. Make sure that when you plant some seeds the first time for sprouting that you keep an area available for growing vegetables properly. If you don’t harvest your produce you will overgrow them and seeds will start to appear. Some plants like beet and lettuce can give you hundreds of seeds that you can replant and use for sprouting to get free feed.
Also read How to Save on Chicken Feed
Read How to make your own chicken feed for broilers and layers
How to get Free Chicken Feed – www.farmingsouthafrica.co.za
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