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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2 Responses to Beer Grain as Animal Feed

  1. Sam
    May 20, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I am just wondering what the going rate is in your area for spent grains. I hadn’t thought of going to a micro brewer as most of the cattlemen in the area get sweet bran trucks from the ethanol plant (60%) of the use is as feed from what is left from this i liar process…i just can not justify that scale. Thank you for the idea!

  2. admin
    May 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    We are no longer farming, but we got our grain from a small micro brewery where we lived. They gave them to us, but we had to be able to pick up whenever they had grain, even if we didn’t need any at that time. We used almost all of it for animal feed. Very rarely, we had some leftover, and we used it for mulch.

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