Our Basic Livestock Feed

50 lbs  Ground Corn ($9/bu – local mill)
15 lbs  Soybean Meal  ($21/bu – local mill)
2 lbs. Vita-Min Premix ($15/bu – Tractor Supply)

Made 67 lbs at a time, everything is mixed in a steel can, then brought out to the barn by 5gal buckets at feed time.  Water added to mix for pigs and chickens.  Used for cows, pigs, goats, sheep and chickens. One 67 lb. batch costs $15.60, or $11.64 for 50lbs., which is the price of corn alone at Tractor Supply right now–it was $12.59 at Southern States last week.  Purina Goat Feed sells for $17.99/50lbs and is no better than ours–that’s $6 more per bag!.  In short, we’re feeding our best animals a complete concentrate that costs less than stores are selling corn for.

Now, the plan is to slowly replace these ingredients with our own field corn, then, as our dairy grows replace soybean meal with dairy proteins and eventually create a free concentrate feed that will maximize our gains/profits and create the most efficient farm possible–from soil to cheese.

Note that this mix ends up at about 16% protein, which is good for any growing or pregnant or lactating animal.  However, to increase the protein content, one can simply add more soybean meal to a specific animal’s feed.  For example, in the old days, hens were fed a 22% feed.  No problem…just add soybean meal to our mix–but remember that hen feed should be “mash”–add water, mix and serve with a doughy/crumbly texture.

WM

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4 Responses to Our Basic Livestock Feed

  1. Frank Schmidt says:

    Can you give the rationale for the mix and how much are you feeding to each animal in each species?

    • wmclaa says:

      Corn is the best source of energy, but lacks protein. Soybean meal is a very efficient source of protein, but lacks (with corn) vitamins and minerals.

      I’ll have to get back to you on quantities…I just feed the animals based on what I know they eat to be healthy. It’s more of a “feel” thing than a scientific thing. Experience allows you to know when to give more or less based on individual animals’ responses to feeds.

  2. Kati says:

    Can you tell me why chickens and pigs need the mush vs dry feed? Thanks!

    • wmclaa says:

      Wet food is heavier stays in the bowl for messy eaters…that’s one reason. Second, some animals prefer wet food, just as we prefer oatmeal in milk or water to eating dry oats.

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