suppliments to sprouting wheat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mel83452, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. mel83452

    mel83452 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Nov 20, 2009
    A friend recently recommended sprouting wheat to feed to the chickens. We can get local and organic wheat here cheaply. Everything I read online though about making your own feed has ingredient lists a mile long. Can we just feed our layers the sprouted wheat along with the usual oyster shell or what can we add that would be an economical protein source to get to the 16% recommended protein?
     
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Well, chicken naturally eat bugs and such for their protein. You could possibly grow mealworms? There is a thread on this over at sufficientself.com (link at bottom of page) for naturally raising your chickens. And if you do a search on here, there are posts about making your own chicken feed (search button on top blue bar)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,901
    21
    176
    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    [​IMG]

    If I am understanding you right, you want to make up your own feeding ration? There is a lot more to it than just protein, that is why the recipes you found have so many ingredients. You have to supply ALL the nutrients that they need (in right proportions) and there is a long list of them. I would not feed them only sprouted wheat, but it could be a great addition to their feed. If you don't want to go to the trouble of following a recipe, you are far better off using a good layer feed and supplementing with sprouted wheat, mealworms or other nutritious foods. Oyster shell and grit are staples and should always be available to them.
     
  4. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

    626
    2
    149
    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    I am planning to grow sprouts all winter so my girls can have fresh greens each day. This is in addition to their layer rations which I make using the Fertrell recipe as a guide. So far I have sprouted alfalfa, clover and buckwheat and the chickens love it. If making your own feed is too labor intensive (and it is a pain sometimes!) there are lots of good, well-balanced organic pre-mixed feeds available. My chickens did a lot of free-ranging this summer, but their feed consumption has increased now that the grass isn't growing and there are fewer bugs around.
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    4,654
    27
    251
    Jun 15, 2008
    Homemade feed mixes have long ingredients lists because variety is needed to get all the vitamins and minerals necessary for pretty much any animal to be healthy. Omnivorous animals are even more complicated than complete carnivorous or herbivorous animals. I've fed a lot of animals from common to exotic without commercial feed and it takes effort. There is a lot to keep track of. You can't just give them one food and be done. Take your common guinea pig. To feed them without pellets you need to first have a good grass hay for a basis and then feed a mix of veggies that makes a 2:1 Ca:p ratio, as high of vit c as possible, with a certain level of fiber, and keeping the oxalic acid as low as possible since guinea pigs do not tolerate it. The site for it has a listing of veggies ordered by calcium content, ratio, vit c, and oxalic acid. That's the simplest animal I've fed. Currently I have sugar gliders and you don't even want to know how large my bookmarks have grown for their dietary needs and the level of various vitamins, minerals, protein and fats in vegetables, fruits, feeder insects, poultry meat, honey and other nectar sources... Like other omnivorous animals they need a proper mix of animal/insect proteins along with plants to bring every nutrient within certain ranges or they will eventually suffer health problems. Some numbers are more important than others so that some will result in death in a month and some will only result in illness after several years. If you are going to sacrifice some you have to know which ones those are though.

    Chickens are not really any simpler. They require a full range of vitamins and minerals along with both plant and animal proteins to remain healthy. If you aren't prepared to either use a proven mix with all the ingredients or calculate at least simple things like protein ratios yourself then you best go get a bag of poultry feed. You can use your wheat grass and other things to supplement the poultry feed and cut costs. You cannot use it as a stand alone diet or even with one or 2 other ingredients. They will not get everything they need and you will not see many eggs.
     
  6. save the favs

    save the favs Chillin' With My Peeps

    856
    1
    131
    Jun 14, 2009
    Oregon
    My chickens love sprouted wheat. It's a great green food for them as a side dish, but doesn't cover all of their nutritional needs. It sprouts in about 3-4 days, be sure to rinse it daily so it doesn't sour & don't store it long.
     
  7. mel83452

    mel83452 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Nov 20, 2009
    thanks for all the feedback. the plan is to sprout the wheat as a supplement to their organic feed. i love my chickens, but have too many jobs and am not that mathematically inclined to figure out the ratios for all the ingredients...that and it seems it would cost just as much if not more to make many of the recipes that i found out there.
     
  8. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

  9. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,097
    19
    181
    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal
    Quote:I have been sprouting cereal grasses for my girls for a while now- it's so easy and they love it. I don't have them on pasture, and since the greens in winter are harder to come by (my vegetable garden cuttings) I feel this is essential. I sprout a combination of wheat, barley, oat, rye, triticale,and flax seeds. When the grass is about 6" high I begin cutting it and feeding it to them- they gobble it up. After doing this several times I then chop up the entire plants- seeds/roots and all and they eat the entire thing. When chopping the seeds it creates almost a "milky" substance and they will drink that too. The girls are gorgeous with feathers glossy and full- they are healthy and I love doing it - since I already sprout for my family it's easy to add another container at the same time.

    This is a supplement to their regular diet of layer pellets- plus they get supplemental worm feedings occasionally from my worm bins- they gobble those up too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  10. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

    626
    2
    149
    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    Quote:I've been doing the sprouts in a big jar with a screw-on screen lid. It sounds like you're using a tray... I need to look into that! I think it is a better idea because you can get more mileage by cutting the greens a couple of times. Thanks for the tip!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by