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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:34 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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Found this post on the net on the above topic and read with skepticism - how could a such a nutritious grain for humans be bad for chooks? So I did my own research - and despite the plethora of Google results claiming how great oatmeal is for our feathered friends research does in fact indicate otherwise.

The beta-glucans found in oats and barley which are good for us folk cannot be digested by chickens without special enzymes to aid digestion being added - which is what the feed producers who include oats in the chook food do. The article goes into detail about how it affects chickens.

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2018/0 ... f-oatmeal/


This link is to another study from the American Society of Immunology on how good beta-glucans CAN be for chickens when those enzymes are added, potentially replacing the need for antibiotics.

It is complex! http://thescipub.com/PDF/ajisp.2017.45.49.pdf

There goes the oatmeal winter brekkie my girls used to get! (and yes I did lose a lot of chickens mysteriously - I actually
fed warm oats mixed garlic as a special treat for sick chooks !)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:23 am 
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Kathi who is The Chicken chick is a very knowledgeable poultry keeper, and really does know her stuff, she has an amazing web page, facebook videos, and about to release her second book.
I too used to give my hens warm oats but no longer do.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:53 am 
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Thanks, I'm new to keeping chickens. I haven't given oats. I was thinking of trying it when it cools down. I'm not going to now.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:58 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Interesting - thanks Took Took


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:20 pm 
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Thanks for sharing that information, TookTook. We have been trying different things with our chickens, some they like, some they don't. I too was thinking about making porridge for myself in the cooler months, and making extra for the chooks.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:47 pm 
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feeding oats to hens with laying issues was used to stop them laying and get them into a moult so not surprised that its not the best feed.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:50 am 
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Great Game
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I'm not convinced, or at best I think it is part factual but slanted/misleading. When did a pet food manufacturer give advice that was not in the best interest of their product. Maybe if it was a govt. agricultural department opinion I wouldn't have the 2.00am bloody fox again suspicion turned full volume.

Who feeds oats or any grain alone (let alone processed stuff like porridge alone) to chooks? Most feed-bag lists of contents include oats in a whole list of various grains with the rider "all or some of the above depending on seasonal availability" or similar.

My basic feed mix is equal wheat-barley-oats-lupins hammer-milled fairly fine and fed dry or mash. So one-quarter roughly by weight or volume is oats (low protein) and one quarter is lupins (high protein). Chooks seem to do okay on it, as do the ducks and geese - and they don't fall down with mystery illnesses. I wouldn't take the oats or barley out of my mix based on Purina's flawed infomercial.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:17 am 
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Written by: Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky

Oats (Avena sativa) are grown primarily in cool, wet regions of the world. The composition of the grain varies widely depending on the variety, climate, and fertilizer practices.

The composition of the hull can vary by 20% to 45%, resulting in a wide range of nutrient contents across different types of oats. The amino acid profile of the protein present in oats is similar to that of wheat. Oat grain contains significantly higher levels of lysine, methionine, and cystine than other cereals.

In the past, oats were used sparingly in poultry diets primarily because, aside from having a high fiber content, oats contain beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are antinutritional factors that reduce nutrient availability. The availability of feed enzymes has led to renewed interest in "alternative" grains, including oats. Enzyme supplementation of oats has been shown to compensate for the antinutritional factors and improve growth performance in broilers.

Whole oats have a high fiber content. Poultry are not able to digest fiber very well, so the inclusion of oat grain in poultry diets reduces the availability of dietary energy and other nutrients. Because of this combination of high fiber and low energy, oats are better suited for use in pullet developers and breeder diets. Inclusion of oats in diets for replacement pullets has been shown to reduce mortality and cannibalism and to make the birds more resistant to the effects of heat stress. Feather pecking is a common problem in systems where the birds are not caged, and the addition of low levels of oat hulls, composing approximately 3% of the diet, during the rearing period has been shown to reduce feather pecking in flocks of laying hens. Inclusion of small amounts of oat hulls negatively impacts pellet quality.

Oats contain more oil than other cereals. The oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acid linoleic acid. Because of this oil content, feeding poultry diets composed of more than 25% oats is reported to cause off flavors in chicken meat.

Nutrient Content of Oats
(from Feedstuffs Ingredient Analysis Table: 2011 Edition, by Amy Batal and Nick Dale, University of Georgia)

Dry matter: 90%
Metabolizable energy: 2550 kcal/kg (1160 kcal/lb.)
Crude protein: 11.5%
Methionine: 0.20%
Cysteine: 0.21%
Lysine: 0.40%
Tryptophan: 0.18%
Threonine: 0.28%
Crude fat: 4.0%
Crude fiber: 10.5%
Ash: 4%
Calcium: 0.10%
Total phosphorus: 0.35%
Nonphytate phosphorus: 0.14%

Naked Oats

Unlike oat groats, which are whole oats that have had the hull removed through mechanical means, naked oats (Avena nuda; also called hull-less oats) lose their hulls during the harvesting process. Because they have no hulls, naked oats are lower in fiber than regular oats. They are also higher in protein, fat, and energy content. Naked oats contain the same beta-glucans as whole oats. Canadian research indicates that naked oats can compose up to 60% of the diet of laying hens, replacing the corn, soybean meal, and oil. At this level, there is no loss in production, but feed efficiency is reduced. Using diets composed of 30% naked oats had no negative effect on feed efficiency.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:39 am 
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Thanks Ricky Bobby, that is the paper I'd put my money on. I'm prejudiced for Uni of Kentucky because they have come out with so much good research on horse nutrition.

I'm not a porridge for chooks person, but I think your notes would suggest that it is more than okay, as part only of their wider diet - all things in balance/moderation etc.

On another nutrition subject, does anyone have any strong ideas for or against feeding tomatoes to poultry?

While the tomato season has been in full swing for the summer I've had access to field-grown tomatoes in absolute bulk from a producer. So my chooks and geese are starting to run about with joy every time my car comes in the gate. They have been consuming like buckets of tomatoes daily between 20 geese and +50-odd chooks, some ducks, and up to 20 free-loading magpies.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:52 pm 
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We've fed our girls tomatoes while we were growing them, not excessively though. As far as I have read, tomatoes are ok, but definitely not the plants.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:41 pm 
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Tomatoes are fine for your chickens. The leaves & green tomatoes are what should be avoided. Like most things......moderation.
As for the oats......I meant to add, i feed soaked (fermented) oats regularly. Not so much during the hotter months.
I add oats, ACV, brown sugar, Cinnamon, Blood booster (vitamin) cover with water, top up water every 24hrs till they stop soaking up water, place lid on container for 5-7 days before feeding.
I add the fermented oats to my reg. feed (grain) each day.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:26 pm 
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Great Game
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My only add to the mix is Anitone - big fan, it was formulated for camelids as a vitamin/mineral supplement - is good for all animals and birds so all my lot have it added: alpacas, ponies, sheep, poultry - even the dog. But I haven't started fermenting feed. I know a lot of people swear by it, so I've stopped saying what a waste of time - (maybe next year). I'm not confident in recognising the differences between fermented, going rancid or beyond mouldy.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:17 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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"In the past, oats were used sparingly in poultry diets primarily because, aside from having a high fiber content, oats contain beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are antinutritional factors that reduce nutrient availability. The availability of feed enzymes has led to renewed interest in "alternative" grains, including oats. Enzyme supplementation of oats has been shown to compensate for the antinutritional factors and improve growth performance in broilers"


I think the above (thank you Ricky Bobby) says it quite clearly and succintly unless enzyme supplements are employed, oats are not the best stuff to feed your chooks as they are not able to digest them well and this reduces nutrient access.

Co-oincidence perhaps, but I fed my flock oatmeal with cooked egg and garlic for breakfast (during winter esp and esp for sick ones) for approx 3 years past and as of the last 8 months I now have 5 birds instead of 15.

*shrug* I personally am going to go "zero tolerance" on extra oat treats and see how I go.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:20 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Call it luck if you will..... I have never had a bird die on me from illness etc, lost 2 young males because they decided to fight each other earlier than expected.
Other than that, nothing. They get plenty soaked oats..........I think you should look else where for the problem.


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Looks healthy to me.


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