Whole Oats as chicken feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by OrChickenFarmer, Jul 25, 2012.

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  1. Can you just solely feed laying chickens whole oats? I just bought a 50 pound bag thinking I would use it as feed without evening knowing if it's ok. I would also feed them crushed egg shells as a calcium supplement.
  2. SouthernAlberta

    SouthernAlberta Songster

    Mar 30, 2012
    Canada - Garden Zone 3
    What is the percentage of protein in whole oats? I suspect it isn't high enough and that you'll need to add something else. Brewer's yeast? Quinoa? Soy? Seeds?
  3. Protein is like 17%
  4. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    We offer whole oats (to the free rangers) along with BOSS and their layer feed. I keep a current feed list on our farms web site. It covers the chickens, ducks and geese.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You wouldn't want to JUST feed oats. But it makes a great addition!


    here is an expert's view

    I feed oats mixed in to my mix.
    here's another link
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
    2 people like this.
  6. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    No, you cannot feed solely oats. Protein content might be high enough, but it cannot possibly be a balanced diet. That's why chicken feeds contain multiple ingredients. Like people, chickens are omnivores and like people, they need a varied diet to meet all their nutritional requirements. You wouldn't feed a person a single type of food just because the protein content met the minimum daily protein requirement for a human. Beef for example, has more than enough protein for a person, but do you think a person would be healthy eating nothing but beef? Commercial chicken pellets might look as monotonous as a bag of oats, but they are not -- they contain multiple ingredients combined to meet all the bird's nutritional requirements, not just the protein requirements.
  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I was told from an avian vet about what to feed chickens. He said once they start laying feed the laying pellets & some greens thats it. He said as you mentioned the feed has it all.
  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    No, whole oats will not do as a sole feed. Regardless of the protein content it is not balanced as a sole feed and the oat hulls contribute far more fiber than a hen needs.

    I used them for years as a scratch feed and mixed with corn and wheat when I was using the grain & mash feeding system. The birds will eat only so many of them due to the fibrous hulls.

    For what it's worth there is NO single grain or combination of grains that can be made to work as a sole feed for layer hens They need more than that.
  9. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Check out the article from the head of the SPPA in this months Backyard Poultry. He starts chicks at 6 weeks on 50% oats and claims they will learn to eat them & they don't make them fat. I know my feed guy says chickens won't eat a lot of oats, but mine seem to like them.
  10. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    Yes, Cindy, they definitely like them, but the point is that a diet of oats only is not sufficient. I, too, feed them in a mix of bird seed and scratch grains as a treat, but this is part of a varied, balanced diet.
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