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Can chickens self-feed on ancient 'covered wheats' like Einkorn or Emmer?

 
Dave Beta
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Location: Wanaka, New Zealand
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Hello, the answer to this may be on one of these forums somewhere but I haven't been able to find it. I know chickens can tear apart and eat modern 'naked wheats' if you toss them a few heads but can they get into the husked ancient grains? From my research the old grains are quite difficult to process due to their husks. This makes them very resistant to wild birds or insect attack. They also tend to have higher protein than any modern wheat, and can grow in a 'gravel pit' (einkorn in particular). However, sourcing the seed is quite tough in this part of the world so it would be good to know if chickens can 'do the job' on them.
 
wayne stephen
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Can't they just eat the husks?
 
John Polk
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From my experience, chickens are pretty efficient 'threshers'.

If the older varieties do present a problem, perhaps a quick trip through the clothes wringer will crack them enough to give the chooks a fighting chance. If nothing else, the entertainment value of watching their frustration would make it worth a try.

 
Kelly Smitherson
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I am thinking it depends on what you were asking the chickens to return to you? Just keep themselves feathered, make lots of eggs, flesh out a nice carcass? Protein and digestible protein are two different things in plants. So, just because the plant has a certain level, does not mean the animal can use it all in every state. I use whole grains when I do use grains- the other livestock get a whack at them, and pass undigested bits out- and the chickens get them at that stage- but I do not use those strains of wheat specifically

I would be interested in hearing how it goes

I hear turkeys do really well with threshing too
 
Ken Peavey
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With access to grit, their gizzards are employed to further reduce their food.
 
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