Can I feed my chicken just whole corn.

deeducks

In the Brooder
Oct 9, 2020
39
32
33
Can i feed my chicken just whole corn. I free range them and I have a lot of land and a river. Is that enough?
Yes, but in moderation. Do not feed them too much, that's comparable to only eating fast food daily and adding the pickle! Give them primarily pellets but give them a few kernels as a treat every so often. If you are planning on slaughtering them, however, corn is good to fatten them up, but feeding it to them if not, under those circumstances, can produce some really bad side effects. Egg production can decline, or have clear egg and other weird effects.

Feed them pellets but give them a few kernels once every so often, it is very much a treat. It shouldn't be their full diet.

Have fun :)
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
2,039
3,199
291
Lincolnton, NC
Yes, but in moderation. Do not feed them too much, that's comparable to only eating fast food daily and adding the pickle! Give them primarily pellets but give them a few kernels as a treat every so often. If you are planning on slaughtering them, however, corn is good to fatten them up, but feeding it to them if not, under those circumstances, can produce some really bad side effects. Egg production can decline, or have clear egg and other weird effects.

Feed them pellets but give them a few kernels once every so often, it is very much a treat. It shouldn't be their full diet.

Have fun :)
The OP asked if he could feed ONLY corn since they forage.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
22,496
93,684
1,592
Northern Colorado
Several years ago we took in 6 hens that were 1 year old. For that year they were fed 80% corn to 20% formulated feed.
Even with the better diet and clean environment here zero lived past 3. All but 2 died at around 2 years old.
I would say their diet prior to me getting them greatly reduced their lifespan.

Birds I have raised from chick to old age myself on formulated feed tend to live well past 6-8 years old.

Is it a cost thing that is making you ask about the corn since it is only about $6 for 50#?

Just so you know 90% of chicken keepers do not have decent forage available AND those that do the seasons affect what is out there. That means that forage alone cannot provide the protein they require. Corn is only around 9% protein and does not provide the other amino acids vitamins, minerals etc they need to be healthy.
 

cooingdove

Songster
Jul 30, 2020
520
1,763
143
finger lakes NY
Can i feed my chicken just whole corn. I free range them and I have a lot of land and a river. Is that enough?
It is ok to feed them a little bit of hole corn, but is good to supplement that with pellets or other whole grains. also if you do go with the whole grain aproch wich can actually work, you must soak the grain overnight in milk, skim milk, fermented milk, way, or water or else it can be hard to digest.
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
2,115
6,814
427
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
Can i feed my chicken just whole corn. I free range them and I have a lot of land and a river. Is that enough?
Welcome the BYC forum :welcome

Some breeds of chickens are better at foraging for food than other breeds. If you have lots of land with a great variety of types of food to eat, that may work to your advantage. If you have lots of land but it's all just lawn grass, then it's probably not so good for foraging. There are people on YouTube that raise their chickens totally on waste food from restaurants. There are people who mainly free range their chickens but also have daily rations of commercial food. There are many ways to care for a flock.

Whole corn may be cheap, but it's like feeding sugar to the hens. My chickens don't care much for whole corn, but they do eat cracked corn. I only use corn in their chicken scratch as a treat. I do, however, feed almost all our kitchen scraps to our birds, and they love it. Chickens are omnivores, and will eat just about anything. I especially like to give them leftover meat bones and they will pick them clean. There are many ways to cut down feed costs, if that is your goal. Check out any number of YouTube videos on that topic.

In the summertime, I have my chicken run full of grass clippings, leaves, compost etc... and the chickens will spend most of the day outside scratching and pecking for food. Their commercial feed consumption goes down about half of winter rations. They prefer to find their own food if they can, but I still have commercial feed available 24/7 in their coop. My chickens seemed to be happy and healthy, but I did notice that egg production was down, also about half of what I got in the winter.

Summer is long over here in northern Minnesota, and my hens are once again mainly eating only commercial layer feed and a daily half bin of barely fodder. Egg production is going up again. So, in my limited experience, the commercial layer feed offers a well balanced diet that will be better for my chickens which I see in egg production output.

In the end, this is your backyard flock and you can do what you think works for you. If you notice that your chickens are not getting enough good food from foraging, then you can always change the way you feed them. Commercial feed is mixed to provide everything a chicken needs in a healthy diet. Corn is a nice treat, but does not offer much in nutrition.
 

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