If you are a homesteader maintaining a small farm with livestock like me, chances are you have or currently buy your feed in 50LB sacks. For the last two years, we have. When you add it all up, it can get a bit expensive!
Originally I was paying:
$6.99 for a 50LB bag of cracked corn at Fleet Farm (link here)
$11.39 for a 50LB bag of oats at Fleet Farm (link here)
$10.95 for a 50LB bag of layer at Fleet Farm (link here)
In an effort to trim costs a few months in, I did a little bit of price shopping and found a local feed/pet food store that had a bit better pricing:
$6.50 for a 50LB bag of cracked corn
$7.00 for a 50LB bag of oats
$11.00 for a 50LB bag of layer (was 5 cents more, but I easily saved that in fuel)
I was content with the above prices until my brother stopped at a local feed mill with his pickup and had them bulk fill his pickup box with 1 ton of grain. When I heard the price, I started brainstorming ways to get in on this big savings! I arrived at the plan of purchasing an old gravity box, which can be found for sale in the $700-1000 range. Problem was, we have some other major expenses we are saving for and there wasn’t really room for another one at the moment. So it got put on the back burner, even though that purchase would practically pay for itself.
Then, my wife’s cousin let me in on a little secret. Our local feed mill will fill totes (large pallet sized sacks). They charge a refundable $30 for the tote. A single tote can hold 1 ton of grain. That is the equivalent to forty 50lb sacks. So I called in my order, hooked up a trailer, and picked up my grain. I used 5 gallon buckets to unload, literally a ton of grain from the sack, into 50 gallon drums.
So, you may be wondering what the pricing came out to. They charge per pound, so I did the math for pricing per 50LB to make it easily comparable to the 50LB sacks:
$2.99 for 50LB of cracked corn
$4.35 for a 50LB of oats
$6.75 for a 50LB of layer
That is nearly a 50% savings across the board!! If you have access to a trailer (or pickup box) and are currently buying your grain in 50LB sacks, you may want to reconsider!
So what does a ton of grain look like in my barn? Well, after finding every spare storage container laying around in the barn and garage, it looks something like this:
Not to mention that all of our duck and chicken feeders are also full to the top!