Why do we need another chicken blog or forum?

Many chicken forums are moderated to sell commercial feed, chemicals and ideology.
I prefer to find my own balance between nature, welfare and cost in raising happy chickens.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

extruded lupins for poultry

I just came across a new product at my local feed store yesterday, intended for horses: extruded lupins.

Given that several of my meat hybrids had some liver streakiness at dispatch, I feel it may be worth trying the pre-cooked product.

However I don't know if the lupins have been treated with anything else or if they're suitable in terms of piece-size for poultry to eat, so I'm not sure if I'll invest in them just yet... Nevertheless I thought I'd mention it in case other people want to give it a try.

By the way, lupins (not lupini beans or 'lupin beans') are very similar to soya beans in terms of amino acid content and crude protein. Where Americans grow soya beans Australians tend to grow sweet lupins. Unlike soya beans they don't have high levels of anti-nutritional compounds/toxins, but they still do have a small percentage that probably varies per crop. Given that I'm using legumes as a staple, I think it makes sense to start cooking them to reduce those small percentages to as low as possible.

In light of this idea I'm starting all my birds on a new modification: all the lupins I feed will have been cooked first. Again I simply boil them up (simmer for 45mins-1hr) and store them in the fridge over the next 4-5 days as they get used. It's not a chore at all, or at least it's a good chore: there's something enormously satisfying about knowing it's good for the birds. And unlike the extruded product I'll know how old the home-boiled lupins are before they make it into the feed containers.

As you're probably aware if you looked at my feed recipe on other posts, it's basically sprouted wheat, corn and peas mixed with lupins, black sunflower seeds, molasses-water-soaked lucerne chaff, yeast, seaweed meal and salt to make about 18% crude protein. This is their all-day feed while in the evening they get steamed rolled oats (human grade, i.e. porridge) soaked in kefir made out of powdered skim milk, sometimes with added cooked lupins or mince. However lately all the birds have been a bit fussy about the lupins, so I feel supplying them pre-cooked will bring back some of that appetite.

I may go for the extruded variety at some point, supposing I get tired of cooking the things. After all, it's a fair bet they're safer long-term than whole raw legumes. Anyhow, it's all part of the experiment. :)

No comments: