Hot grains for the winter question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cafrhe, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. cafrhe

    cafrhe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2014
    Western central NJ
    Hi. As we are about to get hammered with a blizzard...I was wondering about something I have been doing for my chickens during the really cold days.

    I have some large bags of oats, ground (not meal, but smaller bits) corn, BOSS and bran (flakes--for my meal worms). I have been mixing some of each, pouring boiling water over them to make a mash of sorts and feeding it to the flock on the really cold days. My theory (besides wanting to use up the grains) was that putting them to bed with something warm with water in it would be good for them. The boiling water would soften everything up and make digestion easier. The additional fluids would be good for them--I dont think they drink as much on the really cold days.

    That is my theory anyway....Any thoughts about the value?

  2. taprock

    taprock Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm sure they love it and it's good for them. The only thing I caution is only put out what can be cleaned up in 15 - 20 minutes or so. Otherwise, speaking from experience, it freezes to the dish and they won't peck at it. On really cold days I give mine a grits, oatmeal breakfast. Not a lot but enough for each bird to get a bit.

    Have fun digging out, hope everyone weathered it ok, I'm very happy the storm missed us this time!
  3. cafrhe

    cafrhe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2014
    Western central NJ
    I have those low black rubber buckets that I put it in. If they dont finish I bring it in and reheat for later or the next day. They have been eating a lot lately. With the snow, they dont venture much, so I dont think they are eating as much. They come out of the coop (I have food in the coop as well as outside) and either huddle under the coop or find a sheltered spot to hang out in. I moved the coop up near the house before our 1st snow, so they are hanging out next to the house under the overhang. They eat a fair amount when I put out the warm food.

    We got 4ish inches last night. Way less than expected (we were in the 12-24+ snow band). Very happy for the miss! And the snow is light and fluffy. Dig out is easier than with the heavy wet 5" we had on Sat.
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 25, 2012
    It will even replace part of the liquid water that may be difficult for you to keep in a liquid state during cold weather.

    However don't feed it so late that their face is still wet from pigging out when they go to roost. Doing so when facing freezing nights could result in frost bite.

    I also like to add shelled or whole corn and sometimes a little corn oil or meat drippings especially when the mercury drops really low.
  5. MsRiderUp

    MsRiderUp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2011
    Canton, Georgia
    I get spent grain from a local brewery and freeze it in portions for the chickens. Gives them some extra grain/carbs in winter, though it doesn't get nearly as cold here in Georgia as it does in the NE/Midwest. Helps with the feed bill too. I give it to them later in the day after they've had plenty of time to eat their regular feed. I don't give it to them in the a.m., as they prefer it to their feed and will fill up on this.

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