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barley? yes or no?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jackhowell990, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. jackhowell990

    jackhowell990 Hatching

    Apr 24, 2011
    Hi been given some free barley/ molt is this ok for chickens bantams and ducks and will they continue laying? There diet will be 70% barley 15% wheat and 15% layers pellets. So basically will chickens lay when being fed barley.

  2. hennyannie

    hennyannie Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I feed some homegrown barley wheat and oats to my chickens, but the bulk of my hens diet is laying pellets. I mostly just give the grains to the as a little snack while I am filling feeders. They may still lay well on this mix but I find they lay the best if their diet is laying pellets/crumble only.
  3. wyododge

    wyododge Chirping

    Sep 30, 2011
    Not very much protein there. but give it a shot, you wont hurt them.

    sorry, didn't answer the original question... yes barley is just fine for them. Mine eat it out the field all the time, and we mixed it with the whole corn we just cracked as well. lots of good oils, and roughage in whole grains.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Do you free range at all? With 85% plain grain and only 15% layer feed, I think it's going to adversely effect laying eventually, if that's all they get and they're confined. That diet is going to be low on protein in general and methionine in particular, as well as vitamins and minerals, especially beta carotene or vitamin A. You can offer oyster shell to give them the calcium it's lacking.

    You can always see how it goes for awhile. If it's a problem, just increase the layer feed. Whole grain stores pretty well and you can just feed it over a longer period of time. The other thing you can do is mix it with a higher protein feed, instead of the typical 16% protein layer feed. That would help a little, too.
  5. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Barley is only about 12% protein, same for wheat. The layer feed is usually around 16%, so you'd be feeding them (without doing the math, just a rough estimate) about 13% protein...which can certainly affect their laying rate. The ideal would be 16-20%. (16 is usually adequate but I prefer a higher protein ration for my birds) If they are free-ranging and able to make up the protein deficit by eating bugs (which is difficult this time of year, the bugs are not really out) then they'd do all right. But if they are confined and this is all they are getting...yeah, they are probably not going to lay as well. If you want to go the whole grains route of feeding, you will need to add a protein source--field peas, soybean products, and fish meal are all high protein ingredients you could add to the mix. Or you could just give them small amounts of the grain alongside the layer feed if you don't want to get into the math involved in balancing your own ration.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011

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