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Growing corn for chicken feed

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

In the past, I've read about people growing their own chicken feed, but it was generally never cost effective.  But with feed prices skyrocketing now, I'm starting to think about this a little more.

Ok, for me, I'm not going to grow it all.  I'll just start with some corn.  Corn is easy to grow and otherwise deal with.  But, I don't know what type and/or variety to get.  I've grown popcorn in the past, and when the mice got in it, I threw it out this year.  Well, my chickens found it and loved it. 

But what is the best type of corn to grow for chicken feed?  Some type of Flint corn?

I'm the type of person who, if I had the time, would like to grow their own corn from their own seed to make their own masa to make their own tortillas.  But I've never done that.  It just sounds like fun.  smile

Currently raising 75 meaties, 16 hens, and one rooster.
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Currently raising 75 meaties, 16 hens, and one rooster.
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post #2 of 8

http://www.theeasygarden.com/forum/index.php

Try
the easy garden forum.

+1 point for Wildsky! gig

I'm growing a bunch of stuff - mostly for us human folk who live here - but the chickens will get a lot!
Also if you try Sandhill Preservation - they sell chickens AND seeds, and they have special mix's of seeds just to grow stuff for your birds....

Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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post #3 of 8

The hard part with corn is harvesting and subsequent milling.  And remember that corn alone has nowhere near the protein you need for proper growth and laying. 

I'm growing winter Rye and oats in hopes of feeding some to my pigs next year (if you think chickens eat a long, get pigs).  I plan to let the birds into the aftermath to forage all the wasted seeds.  Or, if I don't find a harvester by then, I may let chickens eat it right in the field.

post #4 of 8

I would think anything edible to humans is also edible to poultry, but I don't know.

I'm going to try an indian corn 
It's decorative, edible, can be ground into flour, and best of all is supposed to be widely adapted.  It is also open-pollinated, so you can save the seed.

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. --Michael Caine
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Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. --Michael Caine
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok, just to clarify.  Right.  I'm not planning to just feed the chickens corn, but more for a snack/supplement/scratch during the winter.  If, overall, it saves me a few bucks, and gives them more variety, I'm happy.

Right now, in the winter, they're not getting much variety, so anything that I could grow and keep in a bag to throw around during the winter would be neat. 

Any other ideas?  Anyone ever grow broom corn?

Currently raising 75 meaties, 16 hens, and one rooster.
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Currently raising 75 meaties, 16 hens, and one rooster.
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post #6 of 8

A would assume you would just want any kind of field corn (or dent) you could get your hands on.  Ideally, it would be open pollinated, but that may be hard to find outside of organic circles.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleHoot 

Ok, just to clarify.  Right.  I'm not planning to just feed the chickens corn, but more for a snack/supplement/scratch during the winter.  If, overall, it saves me a few bucks, and gives them more variety, I'm happy.

Right now, in the winter, they're not getting much variety, so anything that I could grow and keep in a bag to throw around during the winter would be neat. 

Any other ideas?  Anyone ever grow broom corn?


I once grew broom corn sorghum but it wasn't for the chickens -  just as an ornamental. Even in my short-season part of the world, it grew very tall and I think the grain matured.

Every year I have a foxtail millet and a durum wheat in the garden. Once again, I haven't grown them for the hens - just a little for making Fall wreathes. There is little question that the chickens would eat the wheat and the millet. It is all I can do to harvest the millet before the wild birds move in on it . . .

This year will be different. I intend to grow crops especially to feed the hens.

I've saved the wheat & millet seed year to year but they, and the broom corn, originally came from Johnny's Seeds.

Other ideas - how 'bout field peas, for one?? smile

Steve

TheEasyGarden - Gardening Forum

Easy - Fun - Fulfilling... How Gardening Should Be

www.theeasygarden.com

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TheEasyGarden - Gardening Forum

Easy - Fun - Fulfilling... How Gardening Should Be

www.theeasygarden.com

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post #8 of 8

Corn is a VERY heavy feeder, I like the field peas better - they will add nutrients (Nitrogen) to the soil instead of depleting like the corn will....JMHO

My brother thinks he's a chicken - we don't talk him out of it because we need the eggs.
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My brother thinks he's a chicken - we don't talk him out of it because we need the eggs.
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