No-Cost Grain

wheat-for-storage


Remember me digging chicken fodder from a neighbor’s bin? I wasn’t the best because it was a little musty, but good enough for chickens.

Today I took my annual trip to the Seed Cleaners. Yah, not the Dry Cleaners.  I called them in February to make sure that their stock of seed grain samples weren’t getting burdensome for them. Since I was making the trip for other reasons I’m counting this as a no-cost escapade (wahoo!).

grain-samples

The grain samples on the elevator’s shelves

The Seed Plant keeps samples of grain that the local farmers get cleaned for seed. They keep the stock for 2-3 years and then need to clean out the shelves. The seed is usually the most top-notch grain that the farmers have – full and plump. Chickens are the ‘pickiest’ eaters. When you give them a mixed variety of seed grades they will swiftly peck up the number 1 grade seeds. They have an eye for value. I make them eat it all except the spoiled seeds, but I know what turns their heads.

PS: Let me emphasize that the elevator manage I talked to was happy to have me clean things up for him. I not only took away the grain, but I disposed of any that had leaked. I swept and cleaned the shelves for him. Be careful how you approach the situation in your own scenario. Don’t act desperate (heh)…demanding.

Today’s take home included 7 bags of wheat, 4 of barley and 3 of oats, along with a small portion of peas. This is about the same as I usually get, but I didn’t find any rye in the batch this time.

I’ve checked with the manager and know that none of the seed he has cleaned has treating on  it. I could technically use it for my own use too. I’ve ground some of it into flour once already.

grain-loaded-in-the-pick-up

The small bags were put into large bags, sewn and tossed in.

Wheat keeps its goodness locked inside its outer shell for many years as long as it isn’t damaged or cracked. If things got tough I would be better off to eat the wheat than feed it to the chickens for a minimal return of meat. The energy conversion says so. I can’t eat wheat because of my sensitivity, but recommend its goodness to others who can. I can eat oats and barley, but not these with the hulls still on. I’m ok with Rye and Peas (especially if I can make Hummus).

Chickens have a hard time digesting barley, so I soak it with some peas for a special treat. Sometimes it starts brewing and it’s probably more stimulation than they really need. Some oats goes in the wheat when I mix their rations.The rest of the oats is good for horses.

Most of my barley is being saved in barrels for the piggys we are dreaming of getting. Horses can have 20-30% barley depending on how hard they are working. It is a hot feed thought and can make a horse too flighty. The best for horses is oats and they love it.

Of course Chickens don’t need cleaned grain. In fact the variety in weed and oil seeds would be beneficial. Now I’m on the look-out for some oil seeds to add to the ration. Canola or something. The ‘big companies’ sell the rights to most of the Canola produced so farmers don’t generally get their own Canola cleaned for re-use. That bothers me, but is a whole different story.

 

PS: The manager I aproached let me have it for free. Not all managers might feel that way. I also offered to clean up any spilt grain or shelves that needed it.

More on another post….

 

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