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For domestic chickens to stay healthy and carry on well, they need a nutritious and balanced diet. The basis of the bird's diet is cereals. Experienced poultry farmers advise using sprouted grain for feeding birds. This product contains many nutrients that are required for the development of chickens. So how can you sprout chicken grain yourself?
What are the benefits and harms of sprouted grains?
Sprouting grain improves the nutritional characteristics of the product. Thanks to this procedure, it is possible to achieve the following results:
- soften food and make it easier to digest;
- stimulate poultry weight gain;
- improve the quality characteristics of eggs;
- to increase the parameters of egg production;
- strengthen the bird's immune system.
With the wrong dosage or an excessive amount of sprouted grains in the diet of chickens, there is a risk of various problems. An increased amount of the product provokes a supersaturation of the body with minerals - primarily iron. This disrupts the work of important organs.
Problems also arise in the absence of other important elements in the diet. Even with a high nutritional value, sprouted grains are considered a dietary product that is quickly absorbed and does not lead to full saturation. Therefore, the body of birds can be weakened due to a deficiency of carbohydrates.
In the long term, excessive consumption of the product can lead to impaired digestive functions in birds.
What grain is best for chickens to germinate?
Sprouted grains can be used to prepare special mixtures. They are used whole or crushed. For this, wheat, oats, millet are used. Also, chickens can be given sunflower, barley, corn, buckwheat.
The introduction of grains into the diet of chickens has a beneficial effect on the parameters of their egg production, supplying the body with valuable substances and microelements. Each of the cultures has certain advantages:
- Sunflower - provides birds with energy and helps to increase egg production. Experienced experts advise using these grains in the winter. They help to strengthen the immune system.
- Barley is primarily used for feeding meat breeds of chickens. The product can be used all year round. It should be borne in mind that grains have sharp tips that can provoke damage to the digestive system. Therefore, barley is mixed with other feeds.
- Millet - it contains a large amount of fiber. Therefore, the product is suitable for young birds. Millet chicken is given in combination with a boiled egg. Grown chicks need a composition based on millet, herbs and eggs.
- Wheat is considered a very high-calorie cereal. It contains proteins that are easy to digest. Experienced experts advise giving wheat bran to birds. In summer, they should make up a maximum of 80% of the diet. In winter, this figure is reduced to 40%.
- Oats - this product contains many vitamins that are required for the full development and increase of egg production in birds. Also in the cereal there is a large amount of fiber. It takes a lot of energy to digest oats. Therefore, its volume should not exceed 10% of all food.
In order for chickens to develop normally, gain weight and give a lot of eggs, it is necessary to provide them with a varied diet.
In winter, birds need a lot of energy. Fat will help prevent birds from freezing. Therefore, it is recommended to feed the birds with grain mixtures. They are sold ready-made.
You can also make the composition yourself. It is important that it is balanced. To do this, you should focus on the optimal ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. To prepare 30 kilograms of classic feed, use the following components:
- 11 kilograms of crushed wheat;
- 3 kilograms of oats;
- 3 kilograms of barley;
- 3 kilograms of crushed corn;
- 1 kilogram of shale sand;
- 600 grams of sediment after sunflower oil production;
- 10 grams of granular flavoring;
- 2 kilograms of crushed pea seeds;
- 3 kilograms of bone meal;
- 3.5 kilograms of cake.
All components should be mixed well. The finished composition is used for feeding chickens twice a day.
The composition of the grain mixture directly depends on the goal pursued by the owner of the chickens. In any case, they all help to increase egg production, improve poultry health and improve meat quality.
A mash must be present in the diet of chickens. It is very important when formulating the diet of chickens that cannot eat grains. The mash contains the following ingredients:
- food waste;
- bone flour.
A portion of this product is selected so that the chickens eat it immediately. The remaining mash must be disposed of, and the feeders must be washed.
It is permissible to feed chicks with a mash on 4-5 days of life. For adult chickens, yeast ingredients should be added to the composition. They provide the body with protein, B vitamins and enzymes. Yeast improves the digestive process and facilitates the decomposition of ingredients.
How to germinate grain for chickens?
To germinate grains for chickens, you should follow these steps:
- Choose quality raw materials. It doesn't have to be old or old.
- Pick up a container for soaking grain. For this, glass or ceramic dishes are suitable.
- Place the cereals in a container and cover with warm water. Its temperature should be + 35-40 degrees. The liquid should cover the grains by 2-3 centimeters.
- After the end of the specified time, the excess liquid should be drained, and the grain should be scattered over a clean oilcloth. Germination of cereals should be carried out in a room with low air humidity and no drafts.
- Cover the grain with a damp cloth. As it dries, it must be moistened.
- After 2-3 days, strong shoots will appear.
Do not sprout many grains at once. The finished product has a short shelf life. If mold appears on the surface, the cereals will have to be thrown away.
How to make a cereal mix at home?
To make 1 kilogram of a cereal-based composition, it is worth mixing the following components:
- 500 grams of wheat;
- 150 grams of corn;
- 100 grams of barley;
- 100 grams of meal;
- 140 grams of meat and bone meal;
- 50 grams of hay flour;
- 50 grams of yeast;
- 40 grams of peas;
- 15 grams of vitamin complex;
- 3 grams of salt.
Feeding chickens with grain in winter and summer
The diet of birds may vary slightly depending on the season. In summer, the birds are free-range, so they have the opportunity to find food on their own. Therefore, experts do not include feathered barley and corn in the menu.
Signs of overfeeding with sprouted wheat
Cereal sprouts contain a lot of iron. An excess amount of the substance accumulates in the body and can provoke poisoning. An increased amount of iron prevents the normal absorption of important elements - zinc, calcium, vitamin E, manganese.
Sprouted grains have a high nutritional value and are of great benefit to chickens.
To achieve good results in the preparation of the diet, it is important to choose the right ingredients and follow the technology for germinating cereals.