~ December 6th, 2015 ~

Winter Rye (Secale cereal)

I like weeds. And what I like even more, are clever weeds. Winter rye is one such weed. Thousands of years ago it grew among the wheat and barley being grown for grain. It evolved along with them and is now recognized as very useful grain itself. Not only as a grain, but the plant can be used as hay or as a soil amendment as a cover crop.

The best value I get for my flock is as a green forage, which they love to eat. I sow this seed late in the Fall to have one last offering from my poultry garden. It is usually the last green food my poultry will eat on range before winter. It is easily grown and can also be grown in trays or pots if you have a smaller flock. What kind of nutrients does it offer poultry? Letís take a look:

  • Fiber - Improves intestinal microflora and intestinal health.

  • Magesium - Good for bone and eggshell formation. Aids metabolic and muscle function.

  • Carbohydrates - Energy, energy, energy!

  • Vitamin B6 - For overall body growth.

  • Potassium - Good for egg production and for building healthy shell thickness. It can help boost any general weakness in your poultry.

  • Iron - Aids oxygen transporation in the body.

Rye - Purdue University

The Chicken Health Handbook, Author Gail Damerow.

Basic Poultry Nutrition

Dietary Fibre? The Forgotten Nutrient?


Moonlight Mile Herb Farm © 2015 Susan Burek