My whole grain feed experiment

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chookchick, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I'm switching my flock to whole grain (plus meal and supplements) food. Just picked up the food yesterday and they seem to like it. My idea was that I would be able to put the food down in their run, like scratch and make them work all day to find it. They seem to enjoy this much more than just eating out of a feeder. I also hope to get them out of the coop more on these rainy days (the run is covered, for pete's sake!). Approximately 1/3 of the feed is a finer, more powdery texture (fish meal, alfalfa meal, supplements)--this I am thinking I will sift out and mix with either yogurt or a layer crumble. I won't feed more than they can eat in a day, and keep the layer feed out as a back-up. I hope at some point to be able to mix my own feed--having a hard time getting small amounts of what I need.

    I'm curious if anyone else has switched to a whole grain feed completely, and how that has worked out for them? I'd like to post the link for the supplier of my feed if that is okay with BYC (Seattle area supplier). This is definitely for those of us who like to spoil our chickens....
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I haven't tried this but have known a few Seattle city folk who can't give treats/feed directly on the soil because they ended up feeding the rats and mice with the little bits left behind. Their solution was to feed on top of a tarp and take it in/pick it up in the evening.
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I like the idea, but I get worried about feed spoiling (molding) on the ground. I am so concerned about this that I put my birds' feeder inside a big plastic saucer so I can clean out the leftovers daily.

    I figure seeds are not as likely to mold on the ground (if they escape the sharp eyes of my chickens, they'll just sprout, right?) so I don't worry about throwing seeds in the run.
  4. Warthog

    Warthog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2009
    My goat food is mainly whole grain (oats, corn, milo mixed with soyameal and a small amount of wheat bran and molasses).

    A few days ago I put what the goats had left on top of the chicken layer food and they went wild for it, in preference to the layer food.

    With regard to feeding on the ground, I haven't done that, but I have thrown a few seeds onto the ground and yes they did sprout.
  5. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    grains are seeds too so they should start to grow as well. i have read that feeding whole grains is the most economical because they require less actual food and whatever is dropped grows a plant, which the chickens will also eat. i'm hoping to switch in the Spring, but finding organic grain that doesn't cost a fortune is nearly impossible in the South.

    if you are mixing your own, i have a lot of resources on my BYC page about formulas and nutritional balance, if you are interested. it's been really helpful for me.
  6. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    My chickens love the sprouted plants of lentils & peas that roll out of the run & sprout on the edge. I feed pigeon mix (4 kinds of peas, oats, wheat, millet, canary seed & other stuff 16%) and split peas & lentils, along with sunflower seed and they gobble it up. This is not a cheap thing to feed, but I like them eating less soy layer food. They have chicken food 24/7 and the grains keep them busy, so it works for me!

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