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intact seeds in diet for winter

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Winter is approaching and soon the time change will make so the only time I will interact with flock during daylight hours will be during morning. Presently I am feeding with diets that are formulated to be complete as pellets or crumbles and beginning to apply black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) which birds preferentially consume. Rationing enough of formulated diet in morning so enough is left to fill crops just before dark increases likelihood rain will wet excess feed making a mess that will likely attract undesireable nocturnal guest. The BOSS seem to pose no such risk so I am inclined to increase the amount applied upto 25% of ration. What other types of whole grain would be suitable. I know which grains have greatest energy content but do not know which is best for chickens. I do want high energy density because when temperatures get low, I want birds to be able to crank up their thermostats without loosing to much weight each night. Birds are in pens with wind block to north and overhead cover but also must contend with elements where temperature drops to as low as 0 F.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    For this winter supplementation / sparing at rate of 50% total feed applied is goal. A vitamin premix will be mixed into seed mix if needed. I am willing to up the quality of the formulated diet as volume reduced to ensure adequate vitamin and mineral uptake. Next year the complete mixing route may be undertaken. We used to do it with games but mixture was akin to voodoo and we supplemented with lots of vegatable by-products and even fed eggs (boiled) back. This upcoming round want less voodoo, more knowledge about was is needed and actually applied. Thanks for link.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Energy of concern as well. As temperature drops I want to up energy. What is DE of second formulation?
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh, I forgot to say that I just found out that hard red wheat has 14% protein instead of the 17% that I thought so I must fix the recipe that was in that thread.

    Also, I don't feed diatomaceous earth (DE) anymore- I use pumpkin seeds instead as a wormer preventative.

    Cracked corn will keep them warm, but you don't want to give too much because it is only 7% protein.
     
  7. papeine

    papeine Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Hastings
    Quote:the black sunflower seeds..are they in the shell? and what about other bird seed? I've got quite a bit,since I am having trouble attracting birds (I have little protection for them, as my trees are pretty small yet)
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    the black sunflower seeds..are they in the shell? and what about other bird seed? I've got quite a bit,since I am having trouble attracting birds (I have little protection for them, as my trees are pretty small yet).

    My personal preference is for seeds to be intact or in the hull. I want chickens to have to process shell. Source of some roughage needed to keep fermentation in posterior gut going. Hopefully will be moderately cheaper in respect to available nutrients.

    Be carefull about age of seed, some fatty acids and vitamins might degrade over time.​
     

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