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Nutritional breakdown of grass?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chocobo, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Chocobo

    Chocobo Chirping

    May 27, 2011
    I have seen large amounts of info on EXACTLY what nutrients, carbs, and proteins are found in various feeds but never this information on grass.
    I have read that even when provided free choice layer feed a chicken will get up to 30% of its calories from fresh grass if available.
    So I am curious what the nutritional breakdown of grass actually is. Does it vary much depending on species?

  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:It would be hard to give a exact nutritional value on grass as it is in a yard because most bagged seed mixes have a mixture of grasses cover weeds and they all would have a different nutritional value.

  3. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Songster

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    If you do some Google searches for nutritional information on livestock forage you will find some answers for common species like Kentucky Bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass, e.g., at the agricultural university websites like Purdue University.

    Nutrition varies greatly by species, minerals in soil, and even current weather when grass is harvested. Sunshine increases sugars and starches. In general, grass is high in those, but does offer some protein, while legumes like alfalfa and clover have even more protein.

    I would guess my tractored chickens are getting a surprising amount, possibly 30%, of their feed from Bluegrass, with lots of white dutch clover and weeds in it. They have free access to layer feed and are laying fine, but I'm new at this so have little to compare.
  4. pawsplus

    pawsplus Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
  5. saladin

    saladin Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    What is not factor with any of these analysis is what is IN the grass ie BUGS.

    While grass is great for chickens, it is the BUGS in that grass that gives the real protein punch. That's rather hard to factor.

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