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consequences of feeding whole corn

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jessejames, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. jessejames

    jessejames In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2009
    forest ontario canada
    so after the corn feilds that i rent out were combined this fall i managed to glean about 500lbs of whole corn both on the cob and kernels from over filling the trailers. and i had been feeding it to the birds as a treat but then over the holidays the person who was feeding my birds ended up just feeding them corn for a cpl weeks now they have been on a whole corn diet for over 7 weeks and they are laying fine and seem to be quite healthy active and all that their poo is normal etc. i am just wondering if there are long term affect this might have on them i wont be feeding them all corn an longer for now but am wondering about the viability of growing and feeding whole grain diet it seems it would make life at lot easier for those of us wanting to supplement our feed costs

  2. newchickengirl

    newchickengirl Chirping

    Nov 19, 2009
    Im not a chicken expert by any means but Ive read on other forums that corn has no real benefit except warmth. I feed mine whole corn in the evenings a few hours before they head in. Hopefully someone with more expertise will chime in on this.
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Every time I'm out of town. My chicken sitter feeds all scratch. The chickens have asked me to not come back. [​IMG]

    I don't think there's any long term risk from a corn diet for a few weeks.

  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Corn alone is less than 10% protien
  5. greathorse

    greathorse Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    given the low protein you will likely sooner or later have a drop in egg production. I am sure there are some other nutritional deficiencies as well. If you have a very inexpensive source of feed it is your choice as to whether or not you want to trade cost for production. There are many people on here that know a lot about nutrition that can tell you more about what you will be trading off in the long run.

    some consider corn to be nearly nutrionless and I dont beleive that at all. It is low in protein however

    I think I would try to PM the guy from Lazy J you wont have much trouble finding him on here.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  6. elem

    elem In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2009
    If you are asking about feeding whole grains instead of ground or pelleted food yes it is possible but you need to find a mix of grains/seeds that will provide enough protein. If you search for threads on growing chicken food or making your own mix there is a lot of good information. Here are some sites that I have used for ideas: http://www.greenerpasturesfarm.com/ChickenFeedRecipe.html
  7. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    It makes a huge difference if they are allowed to free range most of the time. When they free-range, they can supplement their diet with bugs, greens, seeds, etc.. so they are much less likely to be malnourished. If the cannot free-range, they will become malnourished. In that case their diet must be balanced, and you are much better off with a manufactured layer feed. Making a balanced feed yourself would require some research (post above has good links) and ingredients besides grain.

  8. jessejames

    jessejames In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2009
    forest ontario canada
    so yes my birds have free range always but as we are just now losing about a foot or more oof snow they have been pretty confined by their own choice. also they are getting fresh wheat and oat straw that has some grains left in for bedding. i wouldnt ever think of having them on corn always but have been thinkin off growing an assortment of grains for them and most i have read has said that whole grains arent great but as i say with just a wee drop in egg production they seem to be quite happy.
    thanks for your replys
  9. saladin

    saladin Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Whole grains are better than cracked grains be that oats, wheat, or even corn.
  10. RM44

    RM44 Songster

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    Sorry to hijack, but to the original poster, when you say "whole corn", do you mean the entire kernel, not cracked at all?

    Also, to saladin, when you say whole grains are better than cracked grains, do you mean the whole kernels are better than kernels that have been broken up a bit, or is there something they "do" to the grain in order to consider it cracked (like chemical or water treatment?).

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