can chickens eat barley? - Mothering Forums

can chickens eat barley?

acu-mom (Jessica)'s Avatar acu-mom (Jessica) (TS)
06:05 PM Liked: 0
#1 of 9
12-20-2010 | Posts: 187
Joined: Feb 2005

I want to use a local source for chicken  feed because it has no soy. But I just read in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens that they shouldn't eat barley. I called them and the person I spoke to couldn't tell me much because the owner is out of town. He did say it is rolled barley. I wonder if that would make it okay. Storey's guide doesn't specify.

Would anybody have the scoop on barley for me?

Thanks!


lucyem's Avatar lucyem
11:03 AM Liked: 13
#2 of 9
12-21-2010 | Posts: 2,254
Joined: Apr 2005

I found this 

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/ansci/swine/eb73w.htm

 

 

Feed Additives

Poultry, particularly growing chickens, are sensitive to the beta-glucans in barley. Beta-glucans form gels in the digestive tract of birds that are not broken down because of the lack of appropriate enzymes and the rapid rate of passage in poultry. Without addition of beta-glucanases to the feed, barley-based diets have been associated with reduced levels of available energy and with wet droppings, pasty vents, and wet litter.

However, adding beta-glucanases to diets fed to poultry can effectively eliminate the problems with wet, gummy droppings while increasing the availability of dietary energy and reducing the effective variation in energy content.

The discussions that follow assume that enzymes have been added to the diet at levels recommended by the manufacturer of the appropriate product.


acu-mom (Jessica)'s Avatar acu-mom (Jessica) (TS)
06:17 PM Liked: 0
#3 of 9
12-23-2010 | Posts: 187
Joined: Feb 2005

Thanks!

So, I'm curious, because I see barley mentioned a lot on this forum for feeding chickens. Has this been a concern for anyone else?

I have no idea how I would add beta glucanases to my feed???? Or if its worth it.


1love4ever's Avatar 1love4ever
12:50 AM Liked: 51
#4 of 9
02-08-2012 | Posts: 1,126
Joined: Jan 2011

i have the same questions as you, what did you end up doing?


FarmerBeth's Avatar FarmerBeth
07:54 PM Liked: 105
#5 of 9
02-10-2012 | Posts: 803
Joined: Mar 2011

Hope I'm not too off topic.  I've always been told no barley, too.  Can you get local sourced oat based feed?  Around here, the farm supply stores have hulless oat seed specifically meant for growing feed for chickens and pigs.  It's very high protein (so can help replace soy) and has the lower fiber content that is more suitable for chickens.  I'm planning to grow some of my own this year.


talia rose's Avatar talia rose
10:00 AM Liked: 17
#6 of 9
02-12-2012 | Posts: 1,163
Joined: Sep 2004

We raise gluten (and soy) free chickens. I also have a few friends who do...they feed them just green peas....I feed mine peas and rice which I cook...I know... crazy.....I also mix in ground eggshells and kelp.......


FarmerBeth's Avatar FarmerBeth
05:58 AM Liked: 105
#7 of 9
02-13-2012 | Posts: 803
Joined: Mar 2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by talia rose View Post

We raise gluten (and soy) free chickens. I also have a few friends who do...they feed them just green peas....I feed mine peas and rice which I cook...I know... crazy.....I also mix in ground eggshells and kelp.......



Not that crazy.  I cook mine rice, too, and hot oatmeal and sometimes their own pasta with fresh tomato sauce (not gluten free, just fresh, and sometimes it just makes sense to cook for the chickens at the same time as everyone else)


talia rose's Avatar talia rose
03:58 PM Liked: 17
#8 of 9
03-02-2012 | Posts: 1,163
Joined: Sep 2004

chickens sure love pasta, don't they? we feed them our leftovers and nothing makes them happier!

 

good to know i'm not the only one cooking for chickens...


NikonMama's Avatar NikonMama
04:04 PM Liked: 12
#9 of 9
03-02-2012 | Posts: 237
Joined: Jan 2008

My chickens LOVE pasta, and so do the ducklings!  I cook my ducks penne for treats, and they know what the container looks like that I keep it in, and when they see it they go nuts!  LOL 

 

I'm not sure about the barley, but Tractor Supply sells bags of chicken scratch that has cracked corn and barley in it.  shrug.gif


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