1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

% of wheat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by the_damsel, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. the_damsel

    the_damsel Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Sep 9, 2011
    I've read here in our wonderful forums that whole wheat kernels is good for chickens. Yay, because I was given a boatload of it. I'm wondering if it is appropriate to make it only a percentage of what I feed them, and if so, how much wheat vs. the crumbles I normally feed? (I've been giving them scratch as a treat.) In other words, would the wheat replace some of the crumbles I feed, or would it be a treat like the scratch is? Does that even make sense? Or just throw all three out and let them go at it?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,681
    2,617
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I use it for scratch in the winter along with some BOSS.
    It could make up about 10% of the diet. You can sprout it too.
     
  3. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    In addition to free choice pellets,and free choice calcium, I give my chickens scratch grains, which consist of 1/3 whole oats, 1/3 cracked corn, and 1/3 whole wheat. They love it and do fine. Buying the bags of grains and mixing it yourself is much cheaper than buying scratch grains pre-mixed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,681
    2,617
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Buying individual grains and seeds and mixing it myself is my preference also. I leave the corn out to eliminate the GMO factor.
     
  5. the_damsel

    the_damsel Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Sep 9, 2011
    So I think I'm hearing that using straight wheat instead of the mixed scratch isn't the best idea?
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,681
    2,617
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I wouldn't say that. In summer my scratch is oats alone as it is a little higher in protein but low energy so doesn't generate heat.
    In winter I give wheat.
    I often add sunflower.
    In any case, those things don't normally make up more than 10% of the diet.
     
  7. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    I cut down on the corn during the summer, and up the oats as well.
     
  8. ChickenJerk

    ChickenJerk Chillin' With My Peeps

    274
    30
    113
    Jan 6, 2012
    Complete layer rations never include more than 10% wheat for nutritional reasons.

    At 7% or so a decrease in the intensity of the yolk color is also noticed.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,681
    2,617
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Wheat can be a very high percentage of the diet. Additionally, wheat is on a par with corn in energy but other nutrients are higher in wheat, especially protein.
    My comment was that if giving a complete feed, I wouldn't give more than 10% of wheat or anything else in addition to the feed.

    A summary of the effects of replacing corn with wheat in feed manufacture.
    http://www.al.gov.bc.ca/poultry/publications/documents/wheat.pdf

    http://www.perennia.ca/Fact Sheets/...Reducing Feed Costs with Whole Wheat 2012.pdf

    Another interesting study using wheat.
    http://www.poultryindustrycouncil.ca/pdfs/factsheets/fs_79.pdf

    Other studies indicate that up to 50% of the total diet can be wheat if formulas were adjusted to compensate.

    Corn's effect on the egg yolk color is due to the carotene that chickens can't assimilate and ends up in the yolk. As it would with any plant product high in carotene.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  10. ChickenJerk

    ChickenJerk Chillin' With My Peeps

    274
    30
    113
    Jan 6, 2012
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by