Nutritional value of wheat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bheila, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. bheila

    bheila Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    Hi ya'll, I am wondering what the nutritional value of wheat is. My husband works for the Department of Agr and we get about 200lbs to 500lbs of free wheat a month. So I'm wondering how much I should really be feeding. I don't want to be throwing a whole bunch out to the birds just because it's free if it's not doing much for them nutritionally.

    We also get free ground up corn. Well it's more like cornmeal. The corn is great for the chicks because it's so small. I was thinking that I could almost use that for making suet blocks for the birds but I don't know if I want to go through the trouble.

    Thanks in advance for any advice [​IMG]
  2. seedcorn

    seedcorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
  3. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    Wheat is part of my local mill's scratch, along with milo and cracked corn. I tried to buy just wheat, as my birds wont eat milo, but they didnt carry it. Its got to be good stuff, doesnt it?
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Given your location, perhaps your husband is working with the soft white spring wheat from eastern Washington. That wheat has less protein than durum by quite a bit.

    I would like to feed more wheat but I'm a little apprehensive to do so. Years ago, mostly on the advice of an old family friend, I switched my laying hens to 100% wheat. It took a few weeks as I cut down on their layer feed but shortly after they were on an all-wheat diet, they completely quit laying. That really shouldn't have surprised me.

    Whole grain can be fed in a "choice program" outlined by a Manitoba poultry specialist. The problem is that the supplement recommended would probably have to be specially formulated since something like it is not available in my area. I don't believe. Perhaps (?) a gamebird feed with a 28% protein rating would "fill the bill" but I really don't know.

    Scratch is often recommended to either NOT be fed or to be fed at 12% to 15% of a layer's diet. I wouldn't be very concerned about feeding wheat rather than scratch at that rate.

    Take a look at this University West Virginia information (pdf) on feeding scratch grain. I think it would really be pushing it to go very far with soft Spring wheat as a major component of a layer diet but a high-protein supplement may be available to you.

  5. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    how about a mix of wheat to layer crumbles? I can get 75 lbs of cracked wheat for less than 50 lbs of layer crumbles, so I thought maybe i could mix them 75lbs to 50 lbs. What do you think?
  6. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Wheat is the staple grain over in England and the Brittish Isles. Most oriental gamefowl breeders feed wheat in addition to free ranging as the wheat gives the orientals good hard feathering (feathering is close to the body, not fluffy).

    I would say feed it in addition to what else you feed, no sense in letting it go to waste. [​IMG] You might could also give away or sell any excess. One of the gamecock feeds I use has wheat in it and the chickens prefer to pick the wheat out rather than eat the corn that's in it.

    You're lucky, I'd love to be able to buy wheat where I am and you get it for free!
  7. bheila

    bheila Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    digitS' :

    Given your location, perhaps your husband is working with the soft white spring wheat from eastern Washington. That wheat has less protein than durum by quit a bit.

    We do get some of that kind of wheat but not much. There are 3 other kinds from the midwest, but of coarse I don't have the list in front of me.​
  8. bheila

    bheila Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    Quote:I wish I could sell the excess. It's too risky, we would risk my husband loosing his job. Not worth it. You can also buy super sacks (2000lbs) of grain there for $0.07 a pound. Wheat at my feedstore sells $22.00 for 50lbs. It's ridiculous. They say the only people that buy it are the Russians for baking. I can understand why at that price I wouldn't buy it to feed my animals. It does pay to have a husband who works for the Agricultural Dept. I feed it to the goats too.
  9. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    I feed wheat free choice to our guineas and goats. We have an excess around here as we live right up the road from a grain elevator and on the weekends when it's closed I go and gather up about 25 gallons of wheat that has spilled from the augers while loading trucks. [​IMG]

    Sometimes I get rye, too LOL

    ETA: I have thrown a handful to the chickens on occasion, but they get so much already I save this treat for my other babies.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  10. poltroon

    poltroon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2008
    California (North Coast)
    I have a friend with an egg operation; she soaks and sprouts the wheat before feeding it to her layers. She quite likes it as a feed.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by