Can you give Oats to chickens??

erthymom2

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
719
7
151
Question someone asked me and I was stumped.....can you give chickens some oats (horse feed) mixed in as suppliment feed?
Anyone have any input in this?
 

Poulets De Cajun

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
5,251
93
309
Houston MetroMess, Texas
Yes. I've been giving my birds straight oats for a month now. I've added game bird chow as a supplement and mixed it in with the oats. I'm working on switching them to Game Bird Chow completely however. I needed more protein for my showbirds.

Alot of people mix their own feeds using whole oats, barley, wheat, and other grains. Especially the organic minded folks.

HOWEVER, when feeding whole grains, you HAVE to feed them free choice granite grit. They need SHARP edged grit to help digest the grains.
 
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vermontgal

Songster
11 Years
Mar 24, 2008
767
30
184
Salt Lake City / Sugarhood
Aside from feeding them bulk oats, mine LOVE homegrown oats from my garden. The oats are the best chicken treats for getting them to come over when I want to pick them up.

I grew the oats accidentally - I used oat straw for mulch. When I realized that all the "weeds" sprouting were oats, I let them grow, and now have these great chicken treats.
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foxcrossing26

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 4, 2008
29
0
22
So I can just pull up my oats (now looking pretty dry; I use them as a cover crop in the garden) and throw the whole thing to my chickens? Or should I hull the seed out and add it to their scratch?

Can I do the same with buckwheat, which I also grow as a cover crop? It has those little black triangular seeds. Maybe these eggs will give a buckwheat taste to my pancakes!
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vermontgal

Songster
11 Years
Mar 24, 2008
767
30
184
Salt Lake City / Sugarhood
My chickens like the fresh, tender oat shoots, but on the mature oats they only eat the oats themselves (unhulled), not the plant.

I would say you can just give them the whole plant. Or, let the chickens into your garden with oat cover crop, and they should "harvest" the oats for you.
 

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