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Anyone feeding new-born chicks uncooked brown rice?

 
Kevin MacBearach
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Location: Beavercreek, Oregon
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Saw people doing this on a Korean Natural Farming video. They say it elongates the chicks intestinal track, which is good for them I guess.

 
John Polk
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I see nothing wrong with it as a supplement. Like any grain, it by itself, will not supply a complete nutritional base.
It would need (at the very least) to have Vitamin A added, as well as a protein source.

 
Kevin MacBearach
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Yes, those would be my concerns as well. I don't know why the KNF enthusiasts would be recommending it. Maybe they're using as a supplement with other foods. I'll have to watch those videos again to make sure.
 
John Polk
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"Supply" is a key factor in sourcing livestock feeds.
Corn is the most widely used chicken feed here in the U.S. Research has shown wheat to be a superior feed. However, wheat is also a better human feed than corn, so it is more costly due to supply/demand. The chickens end up with the cheaper product.

In wheat growing regions, wheat is often the feed of choice for poultry, as the lower grades are cheaper, and more readily available than corn which must be trucked in.

Perhaps, in Korea, brown rice is not a food of choice for humans, therefore it becomes the logical chicken feed.
I would imagine that corn would be a very high price commodity in Korea.
Price and availability will sway most people's decisions.

 
Kevin MacBearach
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Well Korean Natural Farming is all the rage in Hawaii. The people there in the islands are touting that uncooked brown rice fed to chicks solely during the first two weeks creates a healthier chick. After two weeks other foods are introduced.
 
Su Ba
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I attended Dr Cho's seminar/workshop in Hilo. Although getting the information via a translator may have not be totally accurate, it is my understanding that he advocated feeding newly hatched chicks only finely chopped bamboo leaves the first 3 days before introducing soft or ground feed. Well, that's what my notes indicate. The reasoning being that the chick survives mainly on the yet unabsorbed yolk, so the coarse food promotes intestine growth.

The only problem I see with this line of reasoning is that the intestinal changes don't necessarily remain. In veterinary medicine I was aware that the digestive tract changed on the cellular level in relation to fasting and starvation. Not only do the cell numbers and types change, but also the length of the intestinal tract. But the intestines returned to status quo within a few days to several weeks (depending upon the degree of damage/change) once normal feeding was re-initiated. But these animals seemed to have physiologically changed in some fashion so that they needed less food to maintain their body weight afterwards. I hold by the belief that science/medicine does not fully understand the workings of gastrointestinal function and microorganisms, so I don't believe anyone truely knows what exactly is going on or why.

Apparently chicks raised this way survive ok. Since feral chicks eat very little food the first few days, often consuming mainly soil, perhaps feeding brown rice triggers some intestinal changes that the soil normally would. Who knows. Perhaps chicks raised Dr Cho's way require less feed over their lifetimes. Interesting aspects to ponder.

I start my own chicks on cooked foods, a wide assortment. They also have access to fresh garden soil each day. They go nuts over bugs and meat. I've never tried Dr Cho's recommendation of chopped bamboo since my birds appear robust and productive. Since my birds are never subjected to starvation, I don't see the need to precondition them for it.

...Su Ba
www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
 
David Hartley
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I'll be growing some strains of hulless oats and barley for supplimental livestock feed. There are several strains that have 17~20%+ protein

If on the west coast, check out Sustainable Seed Company, based out of California.
 
Landon Sunrich
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No, but I did feed my chicks on myciliated winter rye. They Loved it. I was using it as a substrate for oyster mushroom spawn and it got infected with a blue/grey mold. Off topic slightly. But that's mostly what I fed my chicks
 
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