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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always grown extra in my garden with the intent to feed it to my animals and therefore cut back on the cost of feed. I grow tons of turnips, squash of all kinds, root veggies, and cabbage in excess of what we humans will eat and feed it to the livestock. These are all easy to grow and I harvest a great amount that goes straight to animal feed. I also pull weeds and use this as animal feed, collect apples not only from my yard but also stop and ask all over the county if I can "clean up the apples in your yard" and use this for the animals also.
In doing this as well as collecting old produce from the local grocery store where one of my son's and his wife work, I can practically raise our meat and eggs for free.
My animals include chickens, geese, goats, rabbits, and pigs.
I am wondering if any one else does the same and if so what do you grow?
 

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Havent really done it in years but as a teen part of my job around the time the fruit trees started to have ripe fruit is go out and pick it. Any with Blemishes and any that dropped to the ground were hustled off to the pig pen to slop the hogs. It cut down on the feed bill and they fattened up on it really quick!
 

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That is an excellent idea! My chickens have really been enjoying the garden scraps over the last couple of years, but I haven't deliberately grown extra for them.
 

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I raise rabbits and have several garden beds with about 30 different fruits/veggies. I grow several different things for my rabbits. It is a nice cycle. Food from the garden for the rabbits and the rabbit manure helps the garden grows.
 

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I originally started breeding rabbits for a meat for sale. I ended up getting more selling them as pets. I like to have them as a food source in my back pocket. I am expecting about 50-100 rabbits in the next two weeks. Will post pictures.
 

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If you count gophers as livestock, then yes, I grow for the livestock lol.

I have been having failures with my garden recently. Mainly due to the gophers that eat everything right as it's being planted.

Fortunately for me, a friend and his girlfriend went on a juice diet not too long ago. Free veggies for the chickens :)

But they're off it now. BUT it did stretch my feed. I still have a 5 gallon bucket of feed. Should get me through most of next month. Same with cat food. I've been letting them roam longer and they've been finding "stuff" to eat lol. Only thing I have to buy next month is dog food :)
 

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Growing animal feed is a major part of what we do here on the farm. But I must say that it's sometimes hard to provide the nutritional equivalent of processed livestock feed. Especially for the meat rabbits and meat chickens. The laying chickens do a good job of free ranging during the growing season but we supplement their diet in the winter months. The goats, cows, and pigs get all fresh food in the growing season, hay that we grow and bail in the winter. We live too far from civilization to get pig slop from stores and restaurants so we put up lots of food in the fall for the little squealers. Also many restaurants and stores do not give out old food any more - some health department rules.
 

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Subbing...good info here. I need rabbits, chickens, and goats....and don't have the foggiest idea what to feed them.
 

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Chickens are natures recycling device. They will eat almost any thing. And as my father in law would say. A chicken can make a fair livin behind a cow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
here is a thought , build some seasonal chicken runs under fruit trees?
I do this. I have and Upper and a Lower yard for my flock. The upper is my orchard. the chickens rotate up into the orchard to eat up the grass etc under the trees. No need to bother trying to mow and take the risk of getting to close to the trees and damaging the bark. Happened to many time to count when my boys would mow the grass.
 

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We only have chickens, goats and pigs. And we grow a lot of feed corn. And after we harvest our garden and put up our feed corn we turn our animals lose in the garden. We only keep our pigs about 3 months. So our corn lasts very well. All you do is grind it and feed it during the winter. The goats and chickens will scavenge food during spring and summer. And we feed our corn during winter to the egg laying chickens and the goats. We also feed it to the pigs and meat chickens but we only have them around for a few months in the spring / summer.
 
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