How I Cut My Chicken Feed Bill To Zero

Categories: On The Farm

Here we’ve fed chickens scraps on top of our pile…

Week #2

Remove your pallets from your week #1 pile and assemble the pallets in your next corner. You can rotate clockwise or counterclockwise, just go the same way each time. Now fill the bin with new compost material and flip your week #1 compost. If done right your birds will be extremely interested in the biota.

Week #3

Remove your pallets from week #2 pile and assemble them in your next corner and fill. Now, turn your 1st and 2nd piles. You’ll start to notice the progression of your piles. The chickens will eventually start showing less and less interest in the older, less active piles. The pile temperatures will start to drop. However, your piles shouldn’t shrink too much, nor should they smell bad. If this is happening, you’re losing nitrogen to the atmosphere as you don’t have enough carbon to capture it properly. If that’s your case, add more carbonatious brown material next week when you turn your pile. Here’s a picture of us turning a pile. Notice the steam coming from the heated pile!

Week #4

Remove your pallets from week #3 pile and assemble them in your 4th and final corner.

Fill the bin and turn your 1st, 2nd and 3rd week piles.

Week #5

Harvest your finished compost from your first week and apply where needed! Start over by removing your pallets from corner #4 and assemble them in your 1st corner. Flip the 3 remaining piles. Now, you’ll be on a four week cycle.

To see how others are combining compost and chickens, check out this thread at 

More than just Free Chicken Feed

The compost attracts countless biota, which is a live protein source for your birds. Between the biota and your kitchen scraps, I’ll venture to guess this is a higher quality feed than stale commercial grain.

Not only do you get free, higher quality feed, you’ll get a cubic yard of compost each week. Just the compost harvest from 1 week is enough to cover a garden bed 1” that’s 15’X20’! That’s ample enough patch to keep a family of four in vegetables all summer long!

From Spending $267 a month to Profiting $80!

I did notice that my production rates became less consistent, probably because of my inconsistencies in my learning curve. However, I still get sufficient amount of eggs and meat from my flock of 30 for our family of 6.What’s changed is my stress level during the fall and early winter when they’re production slows. If they slow down, I’m not out any money, but I’m still getting a cubic yard of compost every week. A quick search online showed a cubic yard of compost selling from $20-$75 in my aread. So if you didn’t need all that compost you could sell it.

Let’s add up the total value here. I went from paying $267 a month in feed to getting at least $80 in compost.
Ready to get started? 

via AbundantPermaculture

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