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Feeding Wheat to Laying Hens

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have learned that wheat will enhance the color of yolks.  I have a source for buying wheat to add to my flock's diet, but have no idea how much I should feed.  Can anyone advise?  I have 45 birds.

Thank you!

Movin' to the country....
Gonna eat a lotta peaches!!!!!!!
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Movin' to the country....
Gonna eat a lotta peaches!!!!!!!
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post #2 of 12

We mixed in wheat and ground barely for the chickens when I was a kid.  They did a great job laying.

Wish I could remember the percentages...  sorry.

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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post #3 of 12

You might try checking this site out it has a good bit a about chicken feed recipes and such.

http://www.lionsgrip.com/chickens.html

All my wild oats have turned into prunes and all-bran
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All my wild oats have turned into prunes and all-bran
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post #4 of 12

My birds diet contains 20% hard red winter wheat.  This wheat has about 17% protein.  Which is about you want to be.  Me personally like diversity..  So I would say to not feed more than 20% wheat.  I can not remember the links to studies I have read, but their have been studies on higher wheat diets and the effects on birds.  I think some were up to 50% wheat.  But again IMO diversity is key.
For yolk color I feel alfalfa is good if they do not get to pasture or free range.  (Or in winter)
ON

"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
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"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
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post #5 of 12

Quote from Poultry Foods and Feeding...

Wheat -
I have always regarded wheat as the best
staple grain food for poultry. In many countries maize
(corn), rye, oats, and barley are chiefly used, as they
are often cheaper than wheat. The value of wheat,
however, is now more generally recognized, and, where
egg production is the main object, it is undoubtedly of
first importance.
There are two main classes of wheat : the hard wheats
with high nitrogen content, and the soft, starchy grains,
generally a third lower in nitrogen. This point has not
been discussed in any book on stock feeding which I
have seen, and yet it is of manifest importance. A
hard wheat with a gluten content of from 12 to 16%
is a better flesh former and egg producer than is a soft,
starchy wheat averaging from 8 to 10% and in many
cases as low as 7% gluten.
When wheat and its mill products, such as bran,
pollard, and wheatmeal, form the main food of poultry,
it is important to know its chemical composition. Tables
such as are usually published can only serve as a very
general guide ; what is required is accurate information
as to local conditions and foods.
Wheat is low in fat, compared with some other grains
and seeds, and it is necessary to make up this deficiency.
It is within the experience of most feeders that when
laying fowls have been fed for a long period on an exclusive
diet of wheat and its mill products, great benefit
results, together with increased egg production, on
a change to, or large addition to the food of, maize,
which has a high fat content. This change is due to the
more natural and more complete metabolism, owing to
the restoration of the " fat " balance."'
The carbohydrate content of wheat varies in proportion
to the percentage of starch in the grainsoft wheats have
a higher starch content than have the hard varieties.
A rough-and-ready method of testing a wheat kernel
is by biting or cutting it in half. If the grain is starchy
the interior of the kernel will be soft, white and floury,
while if of high gluten content the fracture will be short
and the outer layers greyish crystalline, and the flour
area comparatively small.
The fiber content of wheat is low, and, as regards
poultry feeding, may be treated as of comparatively
little importance compared with such grains as barley
and oats. The water content varies according to climate,
and may in a dry climate average 10%, and in a moist
climate up to 15 %, or more.

Chris

 

NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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post #6 of 12

Most recipes I have seen for grain mixes for poultry feed are for very large quantities (500 lb ot this and 100 lb of that, etc.).  Would sure be nice to find a recipe for the amount to make 50-100 lb at a time rather than half a ton or more.

Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

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Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

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post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonoran Silkies 

Most recipes I have seen for grain mixes for poultry feed are for very large quantities (500 lb ot this and 100 lb of that, etc.).  Would sure be nice to find a recipe for the amount to make 50-100 lb at a time rather than half a ton or more.


Look at my byc page.  I am working on putting what I currently feed down.  The recipe is in parts instead of pounds, so you can scale it.

I also dry grind the whole thing and offer that 24x7.
Been feeding it for about 6 months.  Birds seem quite healthy.
I think I must have spent 100's of hours on research..  I welcome any input from folks who try it or see holes in the formula....wink

I will admit it is a pain.. Sure would be nice to just open a bag... On the plus side I save money.  (Buy many ingredients in bulk once a year.)  Also.....Creating "designer eggs" is fun and differentiates my product, and lets me follow my "idealisms"  roll  hide

ON

"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
Reply
"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
Reply
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonoran Silkies 

Most recipes I have seen for grain mixes for poultry feed are for very large quantities (500 lb ot this and 100 lb of that, etc.).  Would sure be nice to find a recipe for the amount to make 50-100 lb at a time rather than half a ton or more.


You can always divide the recipe amounts by 2000 (most recipes I've seen make a ton) and then multiply the % of each ingredient times 100 lbs. to get the ratio for a 100 lb. batch.  600 lbs. of corn in a 2000 lb recipe is  30%, so .30 times 100 equal 30 lbs. of corn etc.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanx for all the info!  Do you folks feel that feeding wheat has made the yolks a darker orange-y color?

Movin' to the country....
Gonna eat a lotta peaches!!!!!!!
Reply
Movin' to the country....
Gonna eat a lotta peaches!!!!!!!
Reply
post #10 of 12

I've read that egg yolks get their color from the xanthophylls in the chickens' feed. So marigolds, afalfa, and corn would give you those bright orange yolks. As would allowing the flock to forage,.. and eat dark leafy greens. I wouldn't think wheat would have much in the way of orange pigment. idunno

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