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?
I found this
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.
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.
i have the same questions as you, what did you end up doing?
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.
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)
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...
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.