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Grow Your Own Feed Corn?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am wanting to grow some of my own corn -- probably bloody butcher dent corn variety, for my chooks.


But the truth is I don't have a clue what I should do with the crop after it is harvested.   


What do you do with earns of corn after harvest?


Do you dry them before grinding?   


Do you get the corn kernels off the ear while it is in the "milk" stage, or do you wait until after it dries?


Can the chickens peck the corn kernels off the ear after the corn dries?


Can you feed the corn to the birds in the "milk" stage, like humans eat it?



I know what to do with (human food) sweet corn, but I don't have clue what to do with dent corn for chickens.

Barry is father to 21 hens, 3 cockerels, 2 cats and a currently unknown number of babies born today, Nov 10, 2011!
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Barry is father to 21 hens, 3 cockerels, 2 cats and a currently unknown number of babies born today, Nov 10, 2011!
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post #2 of 7

The grandparents had a "CornCrib" which is just an elevated big round wooden bin with wooden slats for air which the whole dried cob was stored in till use. Modern ones are wire.

http://www.gunderfriend.com/calendars/images/iowa-c/jpg_lg/wire-cribs-winter.jpg

Just a old coot with some backyard chickens and a garden.
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Just a old coot with some backyard chickens and a garden.
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Natchitoches 

I am wanting to grow some of my own corn -- probably bloody butcher dent corn variety, for my chooks.

Personally I prefer other dent varieties, ones good for flour, such as Oaxacan Green Dent, Earth Tones Dent, Anasazi Flour, Mandan Red, Hopi Red, Blue, Pink, & Purple, etc. But Bloody Butcher is a beautiful one!

- What do you do with earns of corn after harvest?

Hang them, let them dry, then use them as you need. Or you can feed some directly to the chickens.

- Do you dry them before grinding?   

Yes. Otherwise you'll just get a soupy pulpy mess. wink

- Do you get the corn kernels off the ear while it is in the "milk" stage, or do you wait until after it dries?

Wait til it dries.

- Can the chickens peck the corn kernels off the ear after the corn dries?

I usually, if feeding a whole cob to the chickens, offer it fresh. Otherwise if I give dry kernels, they're off the ear and often cracked.

Can you feed the corn to the birds in the "milk" stage, like humans eat it?

I believe so, but am not entirely sure.

- I know what to do with (human food) sweet corn, but I don't have clue what to do with dent corn for chickens.

Sweet corn is fine too, just as long as it is not the hybridized "super sweet" white and yellow types. I prefer to grow and harvest heirloom types like Hookers. (a great variety for my short seasoned area) They're not like what you are used to, but are still good.

currently breeding Araucanas, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos --- occasionally Olive Eggers
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currently breeding Araucanas, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos --- occasionally Olive Eggers
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post #4 of 7

What Illia said is right. I would add that Dent corns are typically the most productive, widely adapted, etc.,-therefore good animal feed. They are not the best for human food, true flour corns or flint types are more suited for human food. Flour corns for fine corn flour for baking, flint corn for polenta/grits/mush.  You can definetly feed corn in the milk stage, but not sure why you would, they should have plenty of other stuff to eat in the summer! tongue
Sweet corn is fine fed to chickens in the dry seed stage, it has the benefit of being very very easy to shell off the cob. It will however be more prone to mold, etc, and won't keep like a good dent or flint corn.  Chickens have no problems picking dry corn kernels off the cob, if they do seem to have a tough time, break it in half, after that, the kernels  to come off easier for some reason.   I don't crack any corn myself, it's extra work ,and it won't keep long after you crack it .I also think the whole, live, seed is just more nutritious, if you only crack in small batches, and feed right away, it's probably all the same.  Lots of people of course do use cracked corn, it's fine.

DON'T HATCH IF YOU CAN'T DISPATCH !!

"Duos insequens lepores neutrum capit."
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DON'T HATCH IF YOU CAN'T DISPATCH !!

"Duos insequens lepores neutrum capit."
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Gallorojo,


Please forgive me, cuz I'm a "city feller,"  but are you saying that a chicken can eat a whole, dried, dent corn kernel?   With no teeth?


I know that I give them ground granite (grit) to help them digest their food.   But are you telling me that granite in the craw can actually break down dried dent corn?

Barry is father to 21 hens, 3 cockerels, 2 cats and a currently unknown number of babies born today, Nov 10, 2011!
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Barry is father to 21 hens, 3 cockerels, 2 cats and a currently unknown number of babies born today, Nov 10, 2011!
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post #6 of 7

Yes, I am saying that a chicken with no teeth can digest a whole corn kernel. No problem for them. When they swallow the corn kernel, it gets soaked in fluids/enzymes in the crop/craw first. This starts the softening process. You can try it yourself, hold a corn kernel in your mouth for 5 or 10 minutes, it will noticeably soften, unless it's a popcorn or similar. Then, the gizzard, which is a very powerful muscle, uses the bits of rock to break up the (now softened, moistened, and warmed) seed.   The gizzard functionally acts as jaws and teeth for those animals so equipped. I have cut open enough gizzards to know that the corn gets ground up just fine!! wink The whole idea behind cracking the corn is that it takes energy for the bird to crack it on its own, and, by doing it for them, you save them energy, and, they grow faster. In theory, anyway.

DON'T HATCH IF YOU CAN'T DISPATCH !!

"Duos insequens lepores neutrum capit."
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DON'T HATCH IF YOU CAN'T DISPATCH !!

"Duos insequens lepores neutrum capit."
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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Natchitoches 

Gallorojo,


Please forgive me, cuz I'm a "city feller,"  but are you saying that a chicken can eat a whole, dried, dent corn kernel?   With no teeth?


I know that I give them ground granite (grit) to help them digest their food.   But are you telling me that granite in the craw can actually break down dried dent corn?


People wouldn't give them the stuff unless they couldn't digest it. The grit acts as the teeth, which grounds up most things, whole corn kernels won't be a problem.

Ducks rule, but so do chickens. Proud owner of one female pekin named Sunny.
3 RIR/PRs and 2 EEs. 5 hens 28+ weeks old and almost full size! Please visit my dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/Pet_Duck_Boy114
I'm the Cocky Cockeral of BYC!
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Ducks rule, but so do chickens. Proud owner of one female pekin named Sunny.
3 RIR/PRs and 2 EEs. 5 hens 28+ weeks old and almost full size! Please visit my dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/Pet_Duck_Boy114
I'm the Cocky Cockeral of BYC!
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