Help on unhulled barley and oat

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gal_amy, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. gal_amy

    gal_amy Songster

    Mar 4, 2009
    Yakima Valley WA
    Hi I bought unhulled barley and oats from Azure Standard. I have been using my Vitamix grinder for small amounts, mixed with some kelp and cultured milk for an afternood supplement, along with Magil's premade mix.

    Well, I'm going on a trip, almost out of Magil's till the end of next week. I don't want to wear out my Vitamixer on a whole bunch of grain, so my question is this: If it isn't ground up, does it go through them whole? If it does, I'm going to have to break down and buying some laying feed from the local feed store (Purina )

    Amy from WA

    PS I've tried searching on Google but keep coming up with barley that has already been h ulled.
  2. Stacykins

    Stacykins Crowing

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    I have a bag of unhulled oats for my chickens as treats, and it definitely doesn't go through them whole! It is ground up in their gizzard. Provided yours have access to grit, then the same will happen when your birds eat oats unhulled.

    But I don't think a diet of oats, barely, and cultured milk is a 100% proper diet. I'd suggest feeding some layer feed at least a small portion each day to make sure they are getting all the micro and macro nutrients they need.
  3. extraordinaryfowl

    extraordinaryfowl Songster

    Sep 6, 2011
    Lancaster, PA
    I feed whole oats, whole wheat, occasionally corn (whole) and anything else I can get my hands on as scratch in the morning. It is first softened in their crop, then ground as it passes through their gizzard. How do you think chickens survived before purina? Many people let them free-range with just a handful of whole grain a day, and they found everything else, including seeds, small animals and greens.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I feed only rolled barley (not whole), but I assume yours resembles whole oats (undehulled), which I have fed before. (I have switched to rolled oats.)

    It will be ground in the gizzard as the others have said. You are fine to feed them, as long as the "oats AND barley" together don't exceed about 15% of the diet, I have read. If you are interested I will try to find a link for that.

    I see you are offering it as a supplement on top of your regular feed. It will be good for them- a nice balancing part of the diet. [​IMG]

    One thing to consider is that when feeding whole oats and barley the total weight of the food is affected by the hulls. In other words, it is less nutrient dense than rolled oats/barley. Not that it is a bad thing at all, but it may be something to consider in certain situations.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  5. gal_amy

    gal_amy Songster

    Mar 4, 2009
    Yakima Valley WA
    Thank you for your replys
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    This is something you are leaving for the babysitter to feed while you are gone?

    They can eat whole barley. If you want to, while you are home and doing the feeding yourself, you can pour boiling water over the barley and let it soak until it is cold and feed it that way. But for a babysitter, I'd just feed the whole barley.

    Ask at the feed store if you can purchase rolled barley instead, for the future.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by