ANOTHER "OATS" QUESTION

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mainechicks, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. mainechicks

    mainechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I HAVE ABOUT 15 LARGE BAGS OR OATS MY HUSBAND WAS GIVEN FOR BAITING BEAR, BUT THE BEAR WERE NO IMPRESSED, SO HE USED VERY LITTLE OF IT.. I WAS ALL READY TO SHIP IT TO MY SISTER IN LAW FOR HER HORSES, BUT AFTER READING THIS PAGE, I'M UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THE CHICKENS CAN EAT THEM? THIS IS IN NOT OATMEAL, THIS IS A GRAIN, SEED LIKE LOOKING OAT.. I'M NEW AT THIS AND DON'T WANT TO HURT MY FLOCK.. IF ITS A TREAT FOR THEM, I'M KEEPING A FEW BAGS! THANKS.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Yup, you can feed them as is or sprout them over the winter to give them some greens. I'd be hanging onto a couple of bags if it were me.
     
  3. mainechicks

    mainechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks I will!!
     
  4. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oats are actually my chicken favorite grain they prefer oats to the (expensive organic) feed that is the staple of their non free range diet. And whole oats are only $8.00 for a 50 pound bag.

    I am right now in the process of fermenting them for the first time as it is supposed to increase the usable protein. There are several threads here on BYC about fermenting grains.
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    My chickens have oats in their mix. Definitely feed the oats if they are still good! I wouldn't go more than 1/4 to 1/2 of their feed as oats (if you are starting with a 20% protein feed such as unmedicated chick starter or flock raiser, you can give maybe half oats.

    If giving layer feed I'd not give more than 1/4 oats. You might want to make sure they have oyster shells to supplement calcium. Make sure they have grit or free range. You really ideally don't want to get under 15%protein, and those oats are maybe 11% protein or so, so you can see that if you are starting with a 20% protein feed you can give more as opposed to layer which is usually 16% protein.

    They will NOT eat tons of oats if they aren't used to it, most likely. They might leave them at first so I'd mix them in slowly at first. Then you will see them disappearing and they will get used to them.

    If they refuse them you can take a small amount and wet them down (only enough for 24 hours so they don't mold). Chickens LOVE wet feed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
  6. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Though you are right about raw whole oats not being a high protein food for chickens, fermenting had a big impact on the digestibility of protein, and actually doubles the digestibility of the protein for some grains. It's also very good for their digestive tracks.

    Fermenting grains for 100 chickens might be a lot of work but it's pretty easy to manage for a small flock.
     
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Oats are a good protein source but are a low-energy and has a high amount of indigestible fiber.

    Chris
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes very good point Chris09!

    I should have clarified my post above that I wouldn't personally keep chickens on high levels of oats like that for extended periods of time....only to use up those bags you have.

    I would mix in some other grains if you were going to make it a permanent thing...also it can make the droppings sticky.
    http://www.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/feed_ingredients/grains.html#Oats
     
  9. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wanted to add that my hens freerange all day and that I also offer them oats and other (fermented) grains and lots of sprouted BOSS. My hens have much healtier (and smaller) poops since I took them off of comercial feed and started fermeting a varity of grians.Same thing that happened with our dogs when we inproved thier diets.

    BTW, the link you provided states that layers can do well on a diet of up to 60% hulled whole oats. The oats I have (leftover from a rescue house we were fostering) happen to be hulled, but it was purely accidently. So that was good information too read !
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  10. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    WAIT A MINUTE!!!

    What kind of oats do you have? Feed oats or forage oats? There's a difference. Feed oats are fed to animals. Often they have an fungicide on them to prevent mold. If you try to sprout them, they will mold instead of sprouting. Forage oats are oats that are planted to feed animals when they sprout. Like the Plotspike Forage Oats the hunters plant to feed deer in deer plots. These oats do not have a fungcide and will sprout successfully. Before you feed oats either raw or sprouted, contact the company on the bag and see if they have a fungicide or anything else that would interfere with chickens eating them.
    Best,
    Karen in western PA. Successfully feeding Plotspike Forage Oats to the chickens.
     

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