Can chickens eat wheat berries?

Wheat berries contain a great source of nutrients necessary for the growth of poultries. There are now a wide variety of wheat berries so that you can select for your poultry meal.

In general, chickens are not picky and they can eat almost all types of food. But which wheat berries are the best choice for them? Can chickens eat wheat berries?

Can chickens eat wheat berries?

Wheat berries are good food for chickens. Chickens of all ages can eat wheat berries. The sprouting process of wheat berries is a common way to make it ready for chickens.

It has different types of wheat berries including hard red wheat berries, hard white wheat berries, soft red wheat berries, and soft white wheat berries. Here’s more information about using wheat berries as your chicken feed:

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Benefits of wheat berries

Wheat berry is known as the whole grain form of wheat. It integrates all parts of the wheat kernel including wheat germ, bran, and endosperm. Therefore, wheat berries can offer a high level of nutrition value for your chickens. Here’s how:

  • Better digestive system: It would protect your chickens from many diseases related to digestion.
  • Balance blood sugar level: Wheat berries in the diet can help to slow down the absorption of sugar in the chicken bloodstream.
  • Strengthen bones: A large amount of vitamins and minerals inside wheat berries can build and improve the bones of your chickens.
  • Boost Iron absorption: Your chickens are able to digest Iron nutrients easier due to a high level of vitamin C from wheat berries.
Wheat berries
Wheat berries

According to Nutrition Data, the nutrition benefits of a quarter wheat berry cup are as follows:

  • 158 calories and 33g carbs
  • 7g protein and 1g fat
  • 6g dietary fiber
  • 25mg thiamine (16%DV)
  • 159mg phosphorus (16% DV)
  • 60mg magnesium (15% DV)
  • 7mg Iron (10% DV)
  • 2mg vitamin B6 (8% DV)
  • 21mg folate (5% DV)

The way to prepare wheat berries for chickens

It is useful for you to sprout your wheat berries and then give them to your chickens. Here’s the detail about the method:

Depending on the number of your chickens, you should prepare the equivalent amount of wheat berries. They are available in many online stores as well as local stores in your hometown.

Then follow the steps as below:

  • Step 1: Soak your wheat berries

Put your wheat berries into a jar or any other suitable container you have. Make sure that you do not fill the jar with wheat berries because it needs enough space to expand when they sprout.

Cover your jar or container with clean water. Then let your wheat berries soak in water from 8 to 12 hours.

Soak wheat berries
Soak wheat berries
  • Step 2: Rinse and soak again

After the afore-mentioned period, dump the water from your jar/ container. Then pour clean water into the wheat berries jar and stir them well to rinse. The next step is to dump the water inside and drain your jar as much as possible.

You should keep doing these two steps twice per day to create a suitable condition for your wheat berries to sprout. After 2 or 4 days from its first soak, your wheat berries inside the jar are able to sprout completely.

Rinse and soak wheat berries several times
Rinse and soak wheat berries several times
  • Step 3: Feed your chickens sprouted wheat berries

You should not offer all of your sprouts at one time. Instead, you would feed them part of your jar and keep the remainder in your fridge. Therefore, they can be fresh for a long time and stop their growth process.

Feed sprout to chickens
Feed sprout to chickens

Why should you sprout wheat berries before feeding your chickens?

The sprouting process will be able to activate and increase the enzymes from your wheat berries. Therefore, it can give more benefits compared to raw seeds.

In particular, the sprout can offer up to 4000 times the concentration of enzymes and antioxidants than non-sprouted wheat berries. Besides, it contains a higher level of some nutrients including protein, vitamins, minerals or digestible fiber.

Therefore, this process is widely used to help your chickens absorb more nutrients and get better health. To optimize its benefits, the sprout with ⅛ or 2-inch length is highly recommended for your feeding.

Some questions related to the usage of wheat berries as chicken feed

Which types of seeds should you sprout for chickens besides wheat berries?

  • Barley
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Red clover
  • Alfalfa
  • The mixture of radish, mung bean, broccoli, alfalfa, and green lentils

Can chickens eat hard red wheat berries?

Both young and adult chickens are able to eat the hard red wheat berries. For the full-grown chickens, they can eat it whole easily. However, with the smaller chickens, you should turn it into smaller pieces to be digestible for them.

Can you mix wheat berries with other foods for chickens?

In the mentioned sprouting process, you can add some other types of edible seeds to your wheat berries. A combination of seeds like this can help your chickens to achieve much more nutrients arising from those sprouts. Only wheat berries might not meet all your chicken demands.

Further reading: Sprouted Seeds: A Healthy Treat for Your Backyard Chickens… or You!

Final thoughts

Wheat berries are considered a good food for your chicken feeding. All chickens can eat wheat berries.

In terms of nutrition value, wheat berries can offer your chickens different types of nutrients. Thus, they can have many positive effects on your chicken health.

To prepare wheat berries for chickens, it is possible for you to sprout them before feeding. The sprouting process is not only simple to make but also gives a lot of health benefits.