Scratch grains - Protein

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AlanW, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. AlanW

    AlanW Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 21, 2013
    Newbie question.

    Riddle me this:

    The bag of scratch I have claims a minimum of 7.5% protein. It is made of three grains; cracked corn, red wheat, and milo.

    Wheat is about 12-13% crude protein. Cracked corn is 8-9%. And milo is about 10%.

    What proportions of these three grains would you have to mix to arrive at a protein level of 7.5%?
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Hmm, good question. Maybe when grains are ground they tend to loose some of the germ portion of the seed that has more protein.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    1 person likes this.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Perhaps the corn has been cracked so long that the protein is breaking down.
    I don't really know but I make my own scratch grains depending on the season.
    No corn. Wheat, barley, field peas and sunflower in winter. Oats, sunflower and buckwheat in summer. I then sprout them all. I imaging a bag of straight wheat may be cheaper than scratch grains, maybe not but you know what they're getting. Whole grains hold their nutritional value longer than cracked.
  5. AlanW

    AlanW Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 21, 2013
    The mix looks to be roughly 50% cracked corn, 25% milo, and 25% wheat.

    Maybe the maker hunts down the worst quality grains that they can find, with the lowest protein content?

    Or, maybe they understate the protein content. It does say "minimum" level is 7.5%. Does anyone have any insight as to how far above these minimums the actual protein levels could be? If they varied wildly, it sure does screw up all of my math.

    And the scholarly articles addressing the subject of protein levels in feed; do you think they are talking minimum stated levels, or actual lab-measured levels of protein? I would think measured, but hell if I really know.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Clay Mudd

    Clay Mudd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    South MS swamps

    And wheat can be as low as 9%. I've seen it as low as 10. So yes, the levels vary widely. I wouldn't stress over the math. Published nutritional needs are approximate and average and labeled nutritional content of feed is ALSO approximate. On top of that, if the chickens forage very much, all the math really goes to Houston in a handbasket. ;) So the math gets us in the ballpark, but there's a margin for error and experimentation.

    Same thing goes for human nutrition, but that's a whole other soapbox.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by