which grain(s) to feed in addition to layer pellets? meat birds and layers

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Phoenixxx, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just researched the protein contents of barley and oats. Oats are way higher but I hear chickens don't like them? I know they never ate them the few times I bought scratch mix. Last winter I fermented barley for their supper but last winter I only had layers and one roo... I'm heading into this winter with a more varied flock that has 5 very big, healthy young breeders/chicken dinners :p

    So, my question is, which grain or grains should i get in addition to their breakfast pellets and why? Please note that i will not use corn or soy as my feed store cannot guarantee them to be gmo-free and it's bad enough that the pellets likely contain that garbage.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    They don't need "extra" if you're feeding pellets, and "meat birds" don't need layer feed at all.
    Whole grains will seldom be as high in protien as pelleted feeds due to other additives in the pellets.

    If you don't want "GMO" you need to buy organic feed, or maybe some of the "no corn" PIGEON feeds (that run about $1 per pound)
     
  3. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    If I could afford organic, I totally would go that route! It's about $45/bag plus $20 gas to get it versus pellets at $16/bag and only $7 gas to get. Straight grain is even cheaper, only $8/bag so over winter when their forage is reduced I'd prefer to make that up with a grain or combination of grains, especially since the boys don't need the layer stuff and they eat WAY more.
     
  4. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'll see if I can find that pigeon feed you mentioned, that could be good. Can't say I've ever come across any, though, but I'll ask my feed store and my pet store.
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    In 50# bags we can usually get wheat (10-14% protein, varies, $12.35) and Milo ($16.50), besides the usual corn, oats, barley and soybeans. 50# of no corn pigeon grain mix is $27.50, usually 15-16% protein. How about distillers grains? Usually have to feed it wet but might be something to add to mash with the grains to up the protein%, and have no idea what they GMO status would be, but you might see if your mill carriers any sort of distillers grains, ours usually carriers corn distillers, for about $6.25 for 40# and 26% protein. Alfalfa? Usually pretty high protein, can get it in pellets or cubes ($16 / 50#), wet it, and feed it that way to the birds, not much waste.
     
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Here's the brand I've used

    If it has "NC" in the product number it's "NO Corn"
    I haven't bought any in years, so I have no idea about current pricing, but it's NOT CHEAP!!


    http://www.kaytee.com/products/search.php?animal=&category=&brand=&species=2489
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Try soaking oats for about three days before feeding them oat. They will become much more palatable. I use them in addition to the usual complete ration when temperatures drop to up energy intake and provide a source of moisture that is available all day even when liquid water is not practical to keep available. This requires me to take two passes as applying feed so as to keep soaked and dry separate which keeps you in shape when you have a lot of pens. I also add whole corn at roughly the same rate on a dry weight basis relative to oats but corn may be pricey in your neck of woods. Adding something like sunflower seeds is also something to be considered. During winter my birds get the same amount of quality protein from the complete formulation as they do during summer months but the total feed intake, especially with respect to energy more than doubles when it gets cold. My birds are exposed so to stay alive they must eat more to generate more heat.
     
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  8. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmm, no luck with the store locator search engine. I'll ask my pet store if they can get it. I do like the ingredients ;)
     
  9. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps


    Never heard of milo, I'll look it up and ask my feed store, thanks! As for GMOs, apparently 90% of all corn and soy in north america are made from them. Oats are getting there but not sure where the numbers stand right now. Everything else (grain-wise) is pretty safe, although I'm not sure about wheat. Never thought alfalfa would be high in protein, learn something new everyday!

    Thanks, everyone :)
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Milo is the small round seeds (white, yellow to red) frequently used to make bulk of wild bird seed. It does make for a quality component of a seed mix but it is not available in all areas. I can not get it unless it is already mixed with something else.


    Another possibility is flax seed.
     

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