Gluten-free commercial feed OR recipe to make your own needed. PLEASE!!!


7 Years
Oct 8, 2015
So my flock that I raised from day old chicks in October 2015 started laying in March...just in time for Easter eggs! Been loving having my own hens & the daily supply of fresh eggs that goes along with them...except.........

I react to wheat - stomach/intestinal issues & an itchy, painful blistering skin rash. I avoid it like the plague in the remainder of my life but (foolishly) listened to my local Ag agent who said "There's no scientific evidence that proteins from feeds chickens eat will be passed through to their eggs. It just can't happen.". Well, I'd love to have that agent by the neck right now, tell him about the growing amount of stomach issues I've been having & SHOW him the painful, weeping blisters I have...even on my scalp!!

I LOVE keeping chickens & I don't want to give them or their eggs up. Can someone PLEASE tell me where I can buy a wheat-free, barley-free, rye-free commercial chicken feed OR post a "recipe" that I can mix myself that will supply the nutrients my girls need but without the gluten of the wheat, barley or rye? Can I simply buy a wild bird seed mix (as long as it doesn't have the offending ingredients)?
You are really going to be hitting a wall in this quest. My first thought was to hunt down a mill and have them grind you up a special order of soy bean meal. However, a quick search produced some very discouraging information. This is what I discovered.

Starting in the fields where soy beans are grown, cross contamination with wheat and rye and barley is extremely common, and it doesn't end there. At the mill, further cross contamination occurs, and there is almost no way to find a pure soy meal that hasn't been tainted by these other gluten containing grains.

Scratch grains themselves have many seeds and it's likely they also have been cross contamination or contain seeds with gluten.

I'm afraid you would need to grow the soy beans yourself and dry and grind them into meal yourself in order to get a gluten free product. Your other alternative is to free range your chickens, but you'd need to make sure there's no rye grass are barley grasses around your property, but these are so common, good luck with that. You could supplement their diet with animal protein from animals that haven't been fed gluten grains, so that leaves hunting wild game, but they also graze on rye and barley grasses.

You may conclude eating eggs isn't worth all this trouble.
It's very likely that handling and inhaling the dust from the feed, in the coop, and on the chickens, is the problem here. Wearing a Hasmat suit isn't practical either. Would wearing a good dust mask and long sleeves, etc, help?
Handling feed doesn't normally cause a problem for me....possibly because I'm RABID about washing after feeding the cows, horses or chickens...and don't touch my eyes, nose or mouth until I do so. This is very definitely coming from EATING the eggs. As I've started having symptoms, it's dawned on me exactly WHEN they're happening & I can very specifically tell you that I get stomach pain not long after eating the eggs and it progresses on to severe much so that my normally trim waistline looks like I'm 6+ months pregnant....and then on to, well, "bathroom issues".

Before I blamed it on the eggs, I stopped eating eggs for several days & noted that the stomach pains didn't occur & the bloating had all but resolved. I've dealt with the same symptoms when eating bread, cake, cookies, etc for so long that I know the signs of "getting glutened" very well. Until I can investigate other feed options, I'm going to cut back on the total number of eggs that I eat per day & see if the symptoms abate. Maybe it's not so much that the gluten protein transfers through as much as it is how MUCH transfers through to the eggs. Might be on to something with that because I always ate 2 commercially-produced eggs for breakfast each morning, without problems, and I certainly couldn't control what those chickens were being fed.

I still would like to find a non-wheat "recipe" for chicken feed, though. Even if the grains are somewhat cross-contaminated they still contain less gluten proteins than the actual wheat, itself, and, theoretically, that means much less gluten proteins to transfer across to the eggs.
Have you googled it? Called feed companies? Home made feed is difficult, at best, but contact your university poultry science department, or the same at one of the big universities. Or contact feed companies or your local feed mills. Good luck! Mary
The point about anything grown in a field being exposed to cross contamination is a good one, but I assume you are already eating food grown outside somewhere and managing not to have reactions.
Buckwheat groats are gluten free, and excellent source of lysine and 11% protein.

You could TRY this recipe, with the disclaimer that it is not the recipe I feed my healthy thriving chickens.

12 cups buckwheat groats
2 cups soybean meal
1 cup pumpkin seeds, ground
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup flax
1 cup millet
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp cod liver oil
1/2- 3/4 tsp salt
2 cups alfalfa pellets
Ferment for best results

I would also cook them a little fish (whole fish like smelts) and offer a small dish daily.
Best of luck. It is a tremendous challenge you face but many cultures who eat no wheat keep chickens successfully.

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