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Hemp Seed as "Treat" for Chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KCNC06, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

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    I know that soy is, for lack of a better term, frowned upon as a protein source for chickens...at least that's the impression I get from reading online. The reason I commonly see is all the pesticides that are used on soy plants.

    So I've been reading about hemp again. I've known about other uses for hemp (paper, cloth, yarn, rope, bio diesel, etc) for years but never really considered the nutritional benefits of hemp until recently. It sounds like it would be a great snack/treat for chickens because it's a great source of protein and growers don't use pesticides or fungicides on it. The only thing I was a little concerned about is the omega-6/omega-3's.... It doesn't sound like hemp has anymore fats than other protein sources, I'm just not sure how much "fats" chickens are supposed to have and whether or not hemp seed has too much. Of course, it's also pretty expensive so I can't imagine actually offering it as anything other than a treat anyway.

    Has anyone read anything about feeding hemp seed to chickens, or have you given it to your chickens? (Unsalted obviously, not the same lightly salted seeds I'd eat.)
     
  2. Organics North

    Organics North Songster

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    Is not growing industrial hemp still illegal in the US?

    I believe industrial hemp has a high oil content. But have never seen anything on the nutritional value or omega 3 omega 6 values. It might be best to look at the agricultural feed uses of industrial hemp in reports from other countries... Personally it is down right silly that industrial hemp is illegal in this country... Not like it would give any one that tried to smoke it more than a bad headache...

    On soy:
    Roasted or expelled soy is a widely used ingredient in poultry feed. It is high in protein (34%), and is recommended as a feed quite often. I would say that it is the minority of people who "frown" on the use of soy...................
    Many people including my self like to avoid soy for a multitude of reasons. My personal opinion is the following. First off many many of the processed foods we eat today contain components of soy. So for me avoiding it in MY chickens diet is a way for me to reduce "secondary" soy in my families diet. (From the meat and eggs of the chickens.) Secondly some are apposed to soy because the vast majority of non organic soy is a genetically modified organism. (GMO), which one company holds the patent on is vigorous defending it, so some appose soy because they appose Monsanto corporation or have concerns about environmental and health effects of GMO's. Thirdly some people have concerns about herbicides and pesticides used on non organic soy. Lastly, their are reports starting to show up that may link consumption of soy with hormonal effects and changes on the body! (Remember Asian cultures have been eating soy for hundreds if not thousands of years, BUT they mostly eat fermented soy products, which do not seem to raise the same potential issues.

    The Pro-soy folks will say it is just a few "nut cases" like my self that make all the noise on the evils of soy... This may be true but ... Indeed are numbers are growing...[​IMG]

    Be well

    ON
     
  3. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

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    Yes, growing hemp is still illegal in the US but it isn't illegal to import hemp seed products from other countries (Canada for example) as long as the seeds have been "cooked" to prevent germination. I'm guessing that's one of the reasons that hemp seed products are a bit on the pricey side. I agree, it's quite silly that it's still illegal to crow hemp in the US especially considering our desire to look for alternative fuel sources and....well...now I'm heading towards getting off topic. That's another discussion for someone else somewhere else. [​IMG]

    I've found a few sites/sources that talk about the nutritional benefits of hemp for humans and animals alike. This site <https://www.miraclesource.com/pets.php> gives a very brief explanation of how/why hemp is beneficial for all animals. They also say that you should discuss adding hemp seed to your animals diet before doing so. My experiences with discussing anything outside of the "norm" with my animals' vets has been more frustrating than productive. For example any herbal or aromatherapy treatment for stress/anxiety in dogs. Apparently if they didn't learn about it in vet school they can't have an opinion...I'm not sure. Besides not knowing of a vet that approves of anything outside of the "norm", I don't know of a vet in the area that treats poultry. Okay, that's not entirely true. I do have access to one of the State's official "chicken doctor's" but she's more of a big poultry farm kind of chicken doctor, not a small backyard flock doc.

    But it does sound like hemp seed was used for animal feed, including birds, for a long time before it became illegal to grow it in the US.
     
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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  5. Organics North

    Organics North Songster

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    Chris09's link in the first post says it is high in omega 6.... It does not mention the 3's so I assume it is not a source such as flax.
    here is the link again:
    https://www.miraclesource.com/pets.php

    If it were available I would give it a try, at say 10% of a feed mix. With the high oil content and small size like flax, I would not grind it in my feed mix, but feed it whole like I do the flax.
    (I guess I can see cooking part.. I feed flax, and when clean up I compost or scatter the uneaten seed in the yard. I have pretty little flax plants everywhere! In the yard in the garden nice blue purple flowers and little flax seed pots.) Now... if those were hemp seeds that sprouted in my yard.. The Feds would be raiding the place...[​IMG]

    ON
     
  6. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

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    I am not a fan of soy products. Even though soy contains protein, components of its chemical makeup can interfere with protein uptake. In humans, hemp seeds would be a much better choice IF the seeds were not 'cooked' before they were allowed into the U.S. Don't get me started on that; it makes me furious. Did you know that earlier in the 20th century, farmers were PAID by the U.S. government to grow hemp?

    Anyway, soy is a legume, hemp makes a seed and I have no idea what either one does or doesn't do to/for a chicken.
     
  7. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

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    Quote:Honestly, I didn't realize until very recently that there were SO many things that can be made from hemp. Like most of the "stuff" you need to build and furnish a home. I didn't realize they make hemp plywood, cement, insulation, carpeting... Besides the fact that farmer's were paid to grow hemp, it thrived pretty much everywhere...kind of sounds like an extremely useful version of kudzu. [​IMG] You sound like me and my mom noodleroo, don't get us started unless you want an ear full. [​IMG]

    This site gives a nice "sciencey" breakdown of hemp nutritional content: <http://www.drbronner.com/pdf/hempnutrition.pdf>
     
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:Here is a little more I found on it..
    It has a high concentration of amino acids in the fatty oil.that are mostly common in meat and fish. in also contains beta carotine and omega proteins. this does help promote better
    feather quality but also helps in time of moulting. and in the winter for an occasional high calorie booster. the protein content is 20% to 33% so if you want to also built weight. this would be a good source to mix into your mix.
    you might see a difference if you only feed hemp for three days straight. (This info found in siegals pigeon supplies.)

    From another site. -
    Hemp is a nutritionally complex grain that boasts many health benefits. It is an excellent source of protein and contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, most notably the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linoleic acid (omega-3). Hemp has the optimal ratio of these fatty acids, 3:1. Hemp has become increasingly popular with human consumers because of its health benefits, particularly its healthy fatty acid content. In humans, essential fatty acids lower cholesterol levels, improve immune system and hormone function and nourish brain cells. Deficiency in essential fatty acids can result in arthritis, PMS, osteoporosis and depression.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  9. rrgrassi

    rrgrassi Chirping

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    For the SOY lovers, and haters like me, google "Soy Dangers". There is a lot of info out there.

    The GMO factor and the fact I cannot stand the taste of soy means I do not eat it or give it to the chickens.
     
  10. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

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    Quote:I'm generally an "If 'x' doesn't kill you 'y' will" kind of girl, but I do try to stay on the healthier side of some things. I do laugh at myself sometimes though. For example, my husband and I haven't used any chemical pesticides in our gardens or lawn since we got our chickens last year and they started free-ranging. I don't want to put anything out that might harm the chickens. I also used organic fertilizer and compost in the garden this year instead of standard "miracle grow" type stuff for the sake of the chickens. I try to only use "earth friendly" dish soap and laundry detergent because we have a septic system and well water...I don't want to poison my yard. And I'd really like to find ways to keep chemicals off of and out of my dogs and cat...though the vet we were originally taking our puppy to last year told us that we'd be stupid to use any product with Pyrethrins in it because they are extremely toxic and we'd most likely kill our dogs by using them. I'd rather use a product like "Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick" but the fleas and ticks are so bad where we live I'm not sure it would really work as well as we need it to. I guess it can't hurt to try.

    Anyway. The point is, in many ways I do make an effort to not poison my land, my animals or my human family. At the same time my favorite activity this summer has been rubbing on the tanning lotion (not sunscreen) and laying out on the boat waiting for my next turn on the wakeboard. I use real butter and drink shots of heavy whipping cream after a long day. I'm not a big fan of alcohol, it burns my stomach and makes me sleepy. [​IMG] And I do occasionally enjoy some soy products. I love chocolate soymilk, for some reason it tastes better than chocolate milk to me, and I also like lightly salted toasted soy nuts every so often.

    Okay...I'm way off topic now I think. I should probably force myself to get back to work. [​IMG]
     

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