Suggestions for a wheat/barley-free mix?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by boysmom, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. boysmom

    boysmom New Egg

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    Mar 9, 2008
    Tennessee
    I have developed a wheat allergy and celiac disease and need to find a way to feed my birds that won't make me sick. All the commercial feeds I've been able to find either plainly say they contain wheat or they contain 'vegetable meals' or something similar that probably do. I've done my own grain mix before. I fed corn, wheat, barley, milo, millet, black oil sunflower seeds, oats, and in winter I added some layer pellets for extra protein when there aren't many bugs available. Now I need to eliminate the wheat and barley. I know I'm being difficult and need to consider the birds' needs as well as my own, but another consideration is that since I can't get organics where I live, I've been trying to limit or eliminate corn and soy as well because of the GMOs.

    My birds all free-range during the day on 21 acres of pasture, so they have access to plenty of bugs and grasses most of the year, but I know in the past they've needed extra help in the winter months, usually December - February. Currently I'm feeding a mix of corn, black oil sunflower, a birdseed mix I picked up at WalMart. [​IMG]

    I have chickens, guineas and a few ducks, and plan to get some turkeys in the spring, so a mix that would be sufficient for all would be ideal.

    Thanks for any direction or links I can use to figure out what to do next!
     
  2. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Oklahoma
  3. coq au vin

    coq au vin Chillin' With My Peeps

    The links posted above are excellent resources. I mix my own feed daily and very much enjoy doing so. But, I use wheat.

    I just have to ask, are you absolutely sure that feeding wheat to your chickens has an effect on you? I don't mean to be a Doubting Thomas, it's just that I would not have thought it would work that way. I understand that we human folk aren't too keen on wheat, some less so than others, but chickens are able to utilize it in ways that we cannot.

    I recently eliminated the barley from my recipe after coming across some information that chickens apparently lack an enzyme necessary to digest barley and that in interferes with nutrient uptake. This was just last week, so in a pinch, I just doubled the oats. Now, I'm going to be going back over the info. in those two links above as well as attra.org.

    It seems awkward to put the period at the end of a sentence when the sentence ends with a url. Like .com. I feel like "dot com dot what???"
     
  4. Chicken Delight

    Chicken Delight Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2010
    Utah
    Good News! Even chickens fed wheat and other grains containing gluten produce GLUTEN-FREE EGGS! I also have Celiac Disease, but did not discover it until we had stored a very large quantity of wheat. I love my chickens as they convert food I cannot eat (wheat, barley etc.) into food I can eat (eggs). Its like magic. [​IMG]

    It may be important to note that I have heard that a very small percentage of Celiacs are so sensitive that they cannot have gluten touch their skin without a reaction. I am not sure, but I think this is really a wheat allergy instead of Celiac.

    For those not familiar with Celiac Disease (everyone should be as it is very common -- about 1 in 130 or so have it and it can be life-threatening if a particular diet is not followed), you can check out: http://www.celiac.org
     
  5. boysmom

    boysmom New Egg

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    Mar 9, 2008
    Tennessee
    I should have been more clear. lol No, eating the eggs is not a problem, they were one of my staples when everything else seemed to be making me sick. [​IMG]

    My biggest problem is dust from the feed, especially with chicks and keets. I have always kept the babies in my house (in rubbermaid tubs) the first few weeks for my convenience. I can easily keep an eye on their food and water, activity level, pasting, piling, etc and adjust quickly to prevent problems. Keets are far worse than chicks about kicking up a dust, but the dust made a distinct difference in my health this year (overall achy joints and exhaustion), so I would like to have a plan in place for next year.

    I also know that if I have an obvious reaction to the dust in the house (concentrated) I'll probably have a smaller reaction to the ones outside too. So far my children have been doing the outside feeding for me this year because I've just been picking back up chores as I'm getting stronger again and hadn't done that one yet. Eventually though, they will grow up and move on with their own lives, so I need to figure this out.

    I do have a wheat allergy as well, which usually has meant that if I inhale any wheat dust/flour I end up with a sinus infection, so the dust gets me two ways at once. [​IMG]

    So what, if anything, is in wheat that is necessary to the chickens, and is there any way to provide that besides wheat?
     
  6. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
    My mother and little sister also have celic (if you want any good recipes PM me I have some great ones) so when the chicks are brooding and are very close to the house I mix my own feed for them.

    We carefully read the protein and vitamin requirements, and weighed each ingredient to get the ratio right, so you can halve it or double it, but you have to keep the ratios. this is a 18% protein mix, with all of the percentages of vitamins and calcium that the Purina chick starter has.

    Here is the recipe:
    8 cups of corn grits
    1/4 cups of cornmeal
    6 TBS of molasses
    7 TBS of brewers yeast
    8 TBS of Cod liver oil
    1 TBS Dolomite powder
    2 cups of milk
    2 cups of water

    I mix it up 1-2 a week and keep it in the fridge, it needs to be changed every 2-3 days otherwise it gets moldy, I also feed this to sick hens.

    ETA: what about a dust mask when you are feeding the hens?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  7. NanaRose

    NanaRose Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2011
    South Alabama
    Did you find a good mix to make for your brand new baby chicks? We are a house of celiacs. I will be carrying for the chicks and don't want exposure to wheat and barley. Thanks.
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba01s20.html
    If you can get some organic roasted soybean meal that would help a lot because that will give you a protein boost...notice if you will my page listed in my signature. With some research you can formulate a diet. Also lionsgrip is good:

    http://www.lionsgrip.com/protein.html

    Pay special attention to protein and offering a variety if possible due to amino acids. Greens are important, too (grass or alfalfa). Lentils can be fed as well, but I prefer cooked to uncooked for them (they say you don't have to cook them for poultry). Split peas don't have to be cooked.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/4477/everyone-post-your-best-homemade-chicken-feed-recipes
    notice this has 16 pages!
     
  9. NanaRose

    NanaRose Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2011
    South Alabama
    Thank you for your quick and knowledgeable reply, and the links. I'll check them all out.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You are welcome. Also note that there are pre-mixes available for sale with vitamins and other things mixed in (fish meal, etc.) for sale.

    I don't use any of those things but they are available to those who like to mix their own feed. Search for nutri-balancer, pre-mix, etc. if interested. Here is another link:
    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Making-Poultry-Feeds-3.html
     

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