I decided to start a monthly journal entry on the costs of our livestock feed. This does not include any cost for aquistion of stock, or unusual costs such as lambing supplies or a new bowl or something. Just feed.
If you’re a new homesteader starting out, it’s really easy for your feed costs to get totally out of whack! And all you seem to do is write out checks to the local feed mill! I know that my costs are a little high right now because we are still feeding out hay, which for us has been an expensive deal with the drought of last year.
We have 8 sheep, 1 pony, 4 goats, 7 bunnies and about 85 chickens. Just for a reference. We did not include the cats and dogs as they are pets…
15 bales of hay
500 pounds of chicken feed
80 pounds of rabbit feed
100 pounds of goat/sheep grain
2 bales of shavings (for baby chicks bedding)
We will probably be downgrading our chicken flock somewhat. We are just not getting enough eggs vs. the sale of eggs to really justify so many chickens. The 500 pounds of feed for the chickens was really over half of the cost… $150! Of which, we sold about $24 in eggs over the month. Very out of whack. Now, granted, with the cold weather, they haven’t been laying much. And hopefully with the warmer weather will come more grass and bugs and lower feed costs. And we are also feeding 20 meat chicks, so that goes into our freezer/food eventually… still…. lot of chickens and work for little return. We’ll see…. Want to try some more alternatives to bird feed… more outlet bread suppliment and also sprouting grains for them…
15 bales of hay was a little pricey as well, since we’re paying $7 a bale for it… $105 bucks. Soon, we should have plenty of grass and pasture so that price should drop considerably as well. That will be nice.
So how are your homestead feed costs coming along? Any great feed tips to share with everyone???