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 Post subject: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:53 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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I am sprouting some wheat for my girls, the wheat has little tails on it and a tiny green stalk I presume, how big does it need to be, before I feed it to them, and how much?

Wendy

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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:56 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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They'll enjoy it at any stage. So its up to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:47 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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It makes no difference, once it has sprouted thats where the protien rises.
If you let it grow to high then the sprouted grain is less a feed for them and its more like a grass snack, as they won't eat the wheat.

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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Great Game
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rule of thumb, feed after 3 days of sprouting if your only doing single batches.

we do the following;

(you will need 4x bread crates and about 7m shade cloth)

*soak 40kg bag wheat for 24hrs
*spread 10kg per bread crate with shade cloth on bottom & sides
* 4 crates @ 10kg = 40kg wheat
* after 24hrs of 'sprouting' feed the first crate
* feed 1 crate per day each day thereafter

that way you are feeding them an ever increasing protein ration and giving them a range as they get some less sprouted on day 1 of feeding to more protein by day 4.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:59 am 
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Prime Pekin
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Lacy wrote:
It makes no difference, once it has sprouted thats where the protien rises.
If you let it grow to high then the sprouted grain is less a feed for them and its more like a grass snack, as they won't eat the wheat.


Sorry, protein and digestibility both fall with sprouting relative to dry grain. There is a scientific publication on this matter that gets quoted by those selling sprouting set-ups, however the quotes don't tell the full story.

If wanting to maximise nutrient use efficiency in chickens from grain, you are best off feeding ground or cracked grain - dry and unsprouted. If you want to maximise chicken enjoyment, then yes they will enjoy some sprouts.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:02 am 
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Great Game
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andrewschooks wrote:
Lacy wrote:
It makes no difference, once it has sprouted thats where the protien rises.
If you let it grow to high then the sprouted grain is less a feed for them and its more like a grass snack, as they won't eat the wheat.


Sorry, protein and digestibility both fall with sprouting relative to dry grain. There is a scientific publication on this matter that gets quoted by those selling sprouting set-ups, however the quotes don't tell the full story..



So are you saying that sprouted grain has less protein than dry grain?


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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:09 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Thats interesting andrew, it goes against what is commonly said, but I am no expert on grain, sprouted or un sprouted, so I am in no position to disagree.

I have always been led to believe that a sprouted grain significantly raises the protien content, do you have a link for any of that research ?

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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:14 am 
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Prime Pekin
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Relative to dry grain, dry weight to dry weight. Yes digestibility and protein fall, so you are actually costing yourself more in feed costs by sprouting it first.

You see what happens in sprouting is that energy gets used to get the plant growing and leaf material is less digestible for chickens than grain. So after a few days you might only have 80% of the dry weight left that you started with and that material is less digestible than what you started with. However, chickens do very much enjoy it.

Chickens are very well adapted to consumption of seeds, they can digest them very well. Grass is less digestible as it has more fibre.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:23 am 
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Original discussion on that 'paper'.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7994627

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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:24 am 
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Prime Pekin
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Cathy beat me to it, I was just looking for that!


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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:25 am 
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Great Game
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who feeds out grain with green shoots on it?

your right its used up its reserves to push out the shoot.

we feed while they have the little white claws on them, the beginnings of their roots so to speak.

do you have any info on that?


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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:27 am 
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Moving away from efficiency, would sprouted grains be a lighter feed and more suitable to hot weather for fowls? I know a lot of people believe corn to be a poor summer feed. I don't think it makes much difference personally, but the idea of feeding less in the hottest weather seems to be valid.

I tried feeding older sprouts (so greener) to see if it could help yellow up legs. It doesn't. It's not significant enough to make an obvious difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:29 am 
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we have to make the distinction that we are not talking about 'fodder solutions' style of sprouting to give herbivores access to green-pick etc...

we are here talking about the soaking (to turn the seed 'on') and feeding within a few days of that soaking where it has only little white tails/claws.

once it goes to leaf stage you have lost your protein.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:30 am 
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Prime Pekin
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Any amount of sprouting reduces digestibility unfortunately. The data in the paper is from day 4 I think.

I dont know about the hot-weather-lighter feed hypothesis. If it was real I imagine the commercial producers would be onto it like a rat up a drainpipe!


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 Post subject: Re: Sprouted Wheat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:33 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Our whole run ended up being a big wheat sprout, from all the wheat that was dropped out of the feeders, we had sprouted wheat everywhere, up to 4-5 inches high at times, they just ignored it.
I would have thought they would have hoed it down, but no.
To get them to eat it, I used to cut it into small clippings and place it in a bowl.

They did like it when it had just sprouted, like in the first couple of days though.

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