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Feeding alfalfa seed as a supplement or folage replacement?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by whitg, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. whitg

    whitg Out Of The Brooder

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    Anyone ever heard of feeding alfalfa seed as a supplement or replacement for greens? Why I ask is because we have an alfalfa seed plant a few miles from our house and was thinking about their waste product. I know some people like to feed rabbit alfalfa pellets or alfalfa hay and it got me thinking about it. How much would be good in a 50 lb bag of pellets or seed. Anyone know?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I have no idea, but call the expert at the plant, and your state poultry vet, at the vet school, or a poultry nutritionist, again at the vet school. Rabbits do better on grass hay, but that's not relevant here. Mary
     
  3. Nupe

    Nupe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I had access to cheap or free alfalfa seeds, I would grow it as fodder for my chickens. That would most definitely put some color into your eggs!
     
  4. MysteriaSdrassa

    MysteriaSdrassa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure what the protein content of the actual seed would be. As a feed source though, I would think it much more economical to use it in a fodder system. Or, if you have a large area for your chickens take it out and broadcast spread it with a lawn feeder. You would probably have to keep your girls contained for a few days until it takes hold and starts growing. Alfalfa as a green feed source runs right around 20% protein and drops slightly when dried or turned to silage. Pellets can be slightly higher.
    Of course, even better than alfalfa for fodder/pasture would be White Clover. It's protein content runs around 25% and slightly lower when dried or made into silage. As a pasture it does not grow very tall making it ideal for chickens and they find it more palatable than alfalfa.
    A word of warning though,, if using clover as a forage for chickens, be sure to use White only or keep others to a very low minimum. Other varieties like red and crimson clovers can contain levels of cyanide that could potentialy harm chickens. My pasture area for my birds is 2 acres of White clover with a sprinkling of alfalfa, red clover and timothy mixed in. The red clover, timothy and alfalfa are remnants of a field originaly planted for dairy cattle and doesn't contain enough red clover to pose a threat to my birds.
     
  5. glib

    glib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, the proteins become much more available when alfalfa becomes fodder. I wonder, though, why the plant should give up seed which can germinate.
     
  6. whitg

    whitg Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I'll call tomorrow and ask prices [​IMG]
     
  7. Marandaise

    Marandaise Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 31, 2015
    Do you have a good source for large amounts of forage range mix?
     

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