Questions about Proso grow-it-yourself bird food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jamie_Dog_Trainer, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    I've been doing my homework in prep for my birds next year. I came across this item called Proso in my McMurray catalog:

    Proso is a grain (?) type of food you grown yourself for your birds. It gives little information other than it's easy to grow (does that mean invasive?) and its high protein. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with this product, good, bad? What exactly is it?

    Thanks for reading. [​IMG]
  2. Justabiker

    Justabiker New Egg

    Sep 20, 2007
    Here is a breakdown as well as a blurb about feeding to livestock:

    Producers planning to utilize proso millet in livestock rations should contact their nutritionist. Proso millet is low in calcium, several B-complex vitamins and essential amino acids. Fortification of diets containing proso millet will be required for adequate livestock growth and performance.

    The primary nutrient deficiency is its low lysine content. Lysine is an essential amino acid. Nonruminants (swine and poultry) cannot manufacture their own lysine, so their diets must be formulated to meet all their needs. Failure to supply adequate lysine reduces the growth of swine and poultry. Rations for nonruminants always will require lysine supplementation.

    The phosphorus in proso millet is approximately 50 percent for nonruminants. Supplementary inorganic or other highly available phosphorus is required. Also, as with other cereal grains, additional calcium will be required to meet calcium requirements and provide a proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.

    Average composition of proso (on as-fed basis).

    Nutrient Content
    Crude protein 12.0 percent
    Crude fiber 8.0 percent
    thiamine 3.0 milligrams/lb
    Ether extract (fat) 4.0 percent
    niacin (nicotinic acid) 10.5 mg/lb
    Total digestible nutrients 75 percent
    riboflavin 1.7 mg/lb
    Digestible energy 1500 kilocalories/lb
    pantothenic acid 5.0 mg/lb
    Calcium 0.05 percent
    Choline 200.0 mg/lb
    Phosphorus 0.30 percent

    Lysine 0.23%
    Vitamin D none
    Methionine 0.29%
    Vitamin B12 none
    Threonine 0.40%
    Carotene none
    Vitamin D none
    Vitamin B12 noneT
    ryptophan 0.17%
  3. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    thanks very much for the information. I would not feed this exclusively by any means but might try it as a fun forage food for my rangers. I also wonder if it's invasive, but now that I know its millet I can look that up myself. thanks again.
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Quote:Not feeding it exclusively or any single feed exclusively is wise, Jamie. Even farmers of a century ago who fed chickens only corn or only wheat were not giving feed from only one source since the chickens had the run of the barnyard and pasture, usually. The birds were able to pick up quite a bit of other food.

    Here's the link to the info Justabiker provided. I often do searches with a "site:edu" so that the university websites show up. Darn, we are paying these guys enuf to provide public information on all sorts of subjects. It makes sense to go to them for most everything.

    Here are the concluding sentences on that page, "Farmers who feed millet most successfully ordinarily use it in combination with other cereal grains at not more than half the grain mix. Oats and barley are used most commonly. Properly supplemented, millet can be an economical and fully satisfactory source of energy for livestock on North Dakota farms." NDSU compares millet to corn.

    Millet is an annual it shouldn't be as invasive as some things, like quack grass. I've grown foxtail millet for it's ornamental value (yet to see what my birds think of it) for the last few years. It has never reseeded and shown up on its own a following year.

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  5. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State

    Thank you very much for the added information [​IMG]

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