Experiments in Feed. Pt. 2

When we run out of kibble, Rupert gets eggs.
Rough right?

And we have an over-abundance of eggs. So, I got to thinking about making my own dog food. I did it once before, a big experiment with cost tracking and everything. And it came out to be about as much as kibble. But more work.

But I was doing something different then. First, I was buying meat, in addition to using eggs.  And second, I was buying my rice and oats, at the grocery store.

So I did some more research. Mostly, on the protein requirements and caloric needs of dogs. I printed out these and scanned them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I used the SELF nutrition tool to figure out how much of what to get his daily needs.

We’re going to give it a shot. Rupert will now be eating:

Eggs. Eggs are a complete protein, and free/practically-free.  Most often we’ll serve them hard-boiled, crumbled. Even the shells are edible for dogs.

Rolled oats. A $15 50# bag will last us nearly the entire year—.06 cents/serving. High in protein and fiber, low in fat.

Oats have anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. They also have a calming effect on the nervous system. Oats are a more warming grain that helps strengthen the spleen, pancreas and immune system, and heart. Rich in silicon, oats strengthen bones.

The vegetables mainly round out the vitamin intake, antioxidants and fiber.

    • Sweet Potato. Roasted and mashed. .15 cents/serving.
    • Carrots. Served shredded and raw. .05 cents/serving.
    • Spinach. Served chopped and raw. .05 cents/serving.

Fish/Fish-Oil. In most cases, fish the mister has brought home.
If need be, I’ll look into buying cod liver oil.

We are going to be looking at a per-meal cost of something like .25 cents – .56 cents a day. Or $15/month. And he seems to be loving it.

(And it’s one less trip to the store.)

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Experiments in Feed. Pt. 1

We have a lot of critters these days.

I’ve spend a good amount of time thinking about how we can the feed more affordable, more efficient. We live in an farm community, it has to be possible.

There are all sorts of websites about making your own chicken/duck feed. Most of them were way too complicated for me. All 1, 2, 3, of these websites have recipes with no fewer than 10 ingredients. I’m sorry, I am not buying quinoa or kelp for my birds. The closest I got to simple was this page. It’s something.

When we picked up the baby buns, the girl gave me a small bag of oats and tricale to feed them. What? It turns out, that before rabbit pellets existed—the majority of rabbit feed was oats. If the bunnies could eat the same mix as the birds, it felt a little more possible to feed more efficiently. The best example I found about feeding rabbits, was this rabbitry.

So with all that in mind, I went and talked to my local feed store.

In the end, we started out with a mix of 50# whole oats + 50# wheat + 10# sunflower seeds. And 50# whole corn, for the dinner-ducks only.

I mixed the above mixture in with the alfalfa pellets we still had for the rabbits. We may continue this mix, or switch to hay. We can buy a bale of something (clover, other) from the feed store. We’ll see.

And for the birds, we soak a large scoop of the mix for each set of birds (chicken+ducks, and dinner ducks). Dinner ducks we add a small scoop of corn. This all soaks overnight in two buckets—then we drain and feed them.

And with the garden going, everyone is getting lots of weeds and bolted greens.

Everyone seems happy.

I have some research to do, to cut costs further. And to source some lentils or field peas. Just calls to make, figures to sort. (Can we store a literal ton of wheat?)