I want to start grinding my own grains for supplement animal feeds and for home use. Is it realistic to be able to buy a hand grinder to carry out these jobs or will I need a motorized version? I am looking to supplement about 20 to 30 chickens and ducks as well as 20 pigs. Although I would be happy to hand grind I do not want It taking up hours of my day. Are there any proven models that function really well with good longevity?
If you want a flour mill, even set coarse it will take a long time to grind feed. But a days feed isn't much more than a large batch of bread, so The test times should be about right if you look at the online reviews. The good ones are easy to adapt to a motor OR BICYCLE. Pedal power is a good intermediate step, especially if you are off grid. Electric mills are WAY faster, but most only do fine to extra fine. No way to get grits or coarser out of any electric mill I have seen.
Small grist mills are reasonable on eBay or antique shops and are faster, but not that usable for the house other than grits or coffee.
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It can be motorized and bicycle-ized, but I can hand crank out enough flour for bread in a few minutes, with no exhaustion. It is definitely heirloom quality. I figured I might as well bite the bullet and spend the money once, rather than purchase many less sturdy (and less efficient) mills over the course of my lifetime.
I've ground by hand for bread baking. I did 3-5 loaves and hand grinder took about 30 minutes and I was not happy about it. It's not that the exercise is bad but there were many other things that needed doing and it took time AND a lot of energy away from that. It looks to me like one of those chores that anything you can do to make it go better, you do. Especially when you start talking about many pounds of grain.
Grist should go faster because of not being so fine but I think that you will not do well on any but the tiniest scale by hand grinding - or even by pedal power unless you really don't have anything else that must get done.