Spent brewing grain


In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 7, 2014
I just saw a craigslist ad for a local small brew shop. They said they have 2 or 3 trash cans full of spent brewing grain (malted barley and small amounts of wheat, rye, and oats) free each week. Would I be able to use this for feed? If so, does anyone have a link with information about this? I will need to read up on how long I could store it without hurting the chickens. Thanks in advance for the help.
I don't know that you could completely replace their feed with the brewing grains (not sure about the mix of nutrients), but as a supplemental food, the grains should work great.

I was at a friend's house today brewing and once the spent grains had cooled, we threw them to his chickens, and they went crazy for them!

If you'll be storing the grains long term, they'd likely need to be dried (assuming the brewer didn't dry them before putting them out).
Not enough nutrients left in them to make them a replacement feed. They also sour VERY quickly, so you'll have to think about storage of that much grain to keep it fresh (freeze? I'm not sure...)

Seems like it would be great for treats though!
Thanks for the help. I will pick some up for them to try but not worry about getting a large amount of it.

Busted - I don't have any fruit trees, but what is the logic? Does it sweeten the fruit or for fertilizing?
Spent grain is an excellent fertilizer. They also really can get your compost going. Just watch out - they get very stinky very quickly!

I agree with the others here. I don't think that spent grain would be a good replacement for feed. The process of brewing takes out a lot of the nutrients from the grains. I home brew and plan to start feeding the spent grains to our flock, since we have heard that chickens just love the stuff. Our plan is to freeze the grains in 1 gal ziplocs and thaw as we feed it to the girls. From what I've read, the drying process can be pretty intensive since the grains are so wet to start with.

So it will be more like a supplement/treat.
It has no calcium so you will need to supplement. you can mix with your layer feed to get a good consistency. The weekly pickups will work perfect because it only last about a week. anything your chickens do not use each week can get spread in the garden or around trees as stated. You have a good opportunity to reduce your feed cost quite a bit.

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