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Confused. Millets are different. Why?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Sparklee, May 4, 2009.

  1. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

    Jul 28, 2008
    I bought millet from a certain feed store and it's very light tan and the size of bbs (as in a bb gun). I've been using it for scratch and the hens love it better than oats or wheat.

    Last week I bought millet again (but from a different feed store) and it's light greenish/yellow and super tiny. I can't use it for scratch because it's just too tiny.

    What gives?

    And is there a difference in the protein percentage because I will have mix the super tiny green millet into the feed.

    Millet is supposed to be 9% protein, but if the super tiny green millet is just dehulled millet, then wouldn't it be higher in protein than the tan bb-sized millet?

  2. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Different genera and species of millet are grown in the US. Pearl, proso, and foxtail millets are different but all are grown for bird feed.

    Millets - Alternative Field Crops

    I grow foxtail millet in my garden every year. If you buy "spray" millet at the pet shop for caged birds, you are probably buying foxtail millet. The seed is very small but the chickens like it.

    I don't know about the others. Millet is supposed to be higher protein than corn and about the same as wheat. If what you purchased is dehulled, it should be higher protein but I suspect that it is just a different millet than what you had before.

    Do you have a feed tag to check the type and protein level?

    I imagine that it wouldn't hurt to feed any millet but the percentage in the ration should be low or you will be diluting the protein in their diet. I think you are right to have that concern.

    Mixing it with their other feed may not work too well if they really like it. You know how wasteful chickens are if they start pushing the other feed out of their way to get at the treats. They can probably see it well enuf to pick it off the ground even if it is tiny, if you just want to scatter the millet for them.

  3. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

    Jul 28, 2008
    I was using the tag from my last bag to figure the protein. I think 9% was a mistake in my previous posting. My spreadsheet has the protein of the tan millet, but the spreadsheet is in my other computer which is currently inaccessible. The tag on this new bag (tiny green millet) doesn't have a protein level. It's just Millet, Birdseed. No kidding. It has a lot number and country of origin, but no protein rating. I think I'm counting it as 11%, but my memory fails.

    Thanks for the link. And the reply.

    I'll just go with whatever my spreadsheet says the protein was for my the last bag for this bag, too. It's bound to be close enough, I guess. The chicks will survive even if I don't know the protein level of this millet. Millet is likely millet. (But I don't feel the same about sunflower seeds--shelled vs. in the shell.) I'm right around 19% for the layer chicks and 21% for the broilers--a little leeway either way won't likely hurt. I already put the millet in their feed and they are enjoying it. And I don't have to grind it down to a smaller size like I do the corn and peas. So that's a plus. A big plus.

    My older hens will miss out on the millet until I go back to the original feed store and get the larger millet.

    Too bad the labelling process doesn't indicate exactly *which* millet is going to be in the bag.

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