Mixing your own grain

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by QuoVadis, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. QuoVadis

    QuoVadis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A little background: I have (15) bantam chickens and (20) pigeons, both of which are pets and a hobby. I am looking for ways to save money on feed and just be more efficient with what I put into them.

    I don't really want to venture into sprouting my own grains yet, though it sounds like a great idea- just not yet. I think I will start growing duckweed because I already have aquariums.

    I used to ferment the chickens mash when they were little, but it gets to be a pain int he winter in WI because the bucket has to be inside to keep it from freezing. But I want to start doing that again soon. I think initially I'll just try it with the pigeon grain, but eventually I think if like to mix some grains that would be good for both the chickens and the pigeons, and then supplement as need with layer mash and pigeon grain. Any suggestions? Or any wisdom on making sure the protein and fat percentage is right.

    For example I figure if I were to mix 75lbs of oats (12% protien) with 25lbs of sunflower seeds (26%) is equals about 15.5% protein. Is that correct? I figured that number by multiplying 12x3portions and adding 26 and then dividing back by 4. And I understand that fermenting increases protein by 12%, which would put the final protein content at 17.36%. Is all of that correct?

    Anyone have any insight into which grains are both the most nutritious and cost effective?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Grain and seeds don't provide complete nutrition for omnivores.

    Fermenting doesn't really increase protein, it just makes it more bioavailable. I wouldn't attribute a 12% boost to it.

    Additionally, what you are missing with a grain diet is some essential amino acids. Crude protein percentage is only part of the story. Grains are deficient in several amino acids like lysine, methionine, threonine and tryptophan.
    Unless you provide an animal protein source you'll eventually have problems. Chicken feed manufacturers get around this problem by blending grains and legumes and then supplementing with synthetic lysine and methionine.

    Are you talking about dehulled sunflower seed? If not, whole seeds are only 14-16% protein,
    Lysine is also a problem with sunflower seed.
    http://www.wattagnet.com/articles/15449-sunflower-products-in-poultry-pig-feeds

    The following is about pigs but as monogastric animals, they have similar dietary needs to chickens.
    http://nationalhogfarmer.com/mag/farming_amino_acids_limitations

    http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informa...rmationmodule=1017786502&topicorder=3&maxto=7


    http://www.mofga.org/Publications/M...r/Summer2003/Chickens/tabid/1481/Default.aspx

    You'll also eventually have problems with vitamin and mineral deficiencies if you're only figuring crude protein with a seed and grain diet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  4. QuoVadis

    QuoVadis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I don't know at this point if I'm going to completely replace their layer ration - just supplement with cheap fermented grains. Or just ferment the layer mash. The long tread on fermenting said that fermenting increases protein availability (by converting to amino acids) by about 12%
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    As I said, it improves bioavailability of protein. You can't make amino acids out of air. Amino acids can't be created.

    The improvement of digestibility may be that high but it seems pretty optimistic. I certainly wouldn't take a base crude protein percentage, ferment and then imagine there were suddenly 12% more amino acids in the blend.
    And it certainly wouldn't create deficient essential amino acids where they didn't exist before.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  6. DrPatrickBiggs

    DrPatrickBiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We don't recommend mixing your own chicken feed. Mixing your own feeds seems easy enough, but crafting the right nutritional profile to meet the needs of your birds takes years to perfect. The main reason is that there are essential micronutrients that birds need that often get overlooked by many DIY chicken feed operations. Over time, too much or too little of these nutrients can negatively influence the health and performance of your birds. If you do choose to make your own feeds, we highly recommend consulting your local feed dealer or animal nutritionist.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That and it is much more expensive to mix one's own feed than just buying a complete ration. It is the economy of scale.
     
  8. a704

    a704 Out Of The Brooder

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    What is the price difference for mix grains vs premixed feed?
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Grains will vary widely depending on the type of grain and your region. Off the top of my head, I'd say 50# bags of grain will range from $9 to $18 depending on where you live.
    50# bags of complete feeds range from $12-$17. So it isn't worth shorting your birds on nutrition.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016

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