We’re raising our chickens in a model inspired by Vermont Composting Company and adapted to our situation. By bartering for whole organic grains from wonderful local farms (Farmer Ground Flour and Potenza Organics) we’re able to provide our chickens a great foundation diet. We incorporate truckloads of lawn leaf bags, woodchips, manures, and compost from local sources in windrows in our chicken area. We add mixtures of whole organic grain to this. With the heat from the compost and the stirring action of the chickens and the hay fork, they are able to eat beautiful ropey sprouted grain, earthworms, red wigglers, veggies and food scraps and be active and outdoors all winter. I’d estimate a cost to us of about 25 cents a day in sunflower and millet which we buy in bulk to add to their diet. This system could be cost negative if you had relationships with local restaurants / farms / co-ops to barter or be paid to handle their compost. Last year we got $100 in credit per month from a local restaurant to take their scraps. We had to stop because it was too much food for our chickens! We need triple the birds to handle the food we were paid to take!!!