Beer Grain as Animal Feed

May 31, 2012

Thanks to a local brewery, we have a great source of nutrition for our animals. We call it beer grain, it also goes by the name brewer’s grains and spent grain  as well as other similar terms.

The beer grain we get is the end result of the brew process. Once the brewer is finished brewing, he has no further use for the grain. Enter the farmer (in this case, that’s us). There are so many ways to use beer grain, and we have only tried a few of the many uses

Here on the farm, our favorite use for beer grain is as chicken feed.

The cows, goats, sheep, and goats all love it, but the chickens get most of it. The pigs are not really fond of it, so we don’t give it to them.

Because the spent grain is moist and warm, it will decay quickly, so once we get the call that the grain is ready for pick up, the race is on, especially when the weather is warm. If it gets too funky, we can always use it as mulch in the garden, so that’s a plus.

Some use spent grain as a culture for growing mushrooms, to make ethanol, or to make bread.

The nutritional content increases when the grain is dried, but putting out tarps and covering them with wet grains to dry in the sun is not terribly practical for us.

We are so thankful to the brewery that keeps our chickens happy!



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