corn causing feather loss?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jojo54, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. jojo54

    jojo54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2009
    BC Canada
    I am new to chickens (got day olds end of June) and one of the girls started laying last week. I needed to get feed so at the feed store told the clerk and she said to get layer pellets instead of grower pellets. She also said to give them some corn because they need more than what is in the layer pellets. She said though that I shouldn't give them too much because it would cause them to lose feathers and we don't want that this time of year because they will get too cold. I tried to ask why this would happen but she just said something about them heating up and left it at that. Does this happen? I have been feeding them a fair bit of corn because we had lots left that got too old for us and they seem to really love it. I got the old corn from my neighbour, dried it out and removed it from the cobs so I have a fair bit of corn to last the winter. There are alot of feathers laying around but I do have 31 birds and none of them look bald or anything. Have I been giving them too much? We live in BC, Canada and it does get cold here in the winter but not for another month or so. They stay outside all day, lately even when it rains and seem to be very healthy. They only go into the coop to roost at night and of course, the one girl to lay her egg. Does anyone know about this? Thanks in advance. [​IMG]
  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    They're molting. Corn does not affect how many feathers they have. You shouldn't give them much corn because laying feed has what they need.
    Have fun raising chickens!
  3. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    That "feed store lady" is an idiot!

    Switch to the layer feed and your pullets will be in good shape.

  4. Big C

    Big C J & C Farms

    Dec 15, 2008
    Vernon Texas
    We feed whole corn year round.
    This person need sto do some research, or have some practical experience before she expounds her "knowledge of raising chickens" to her customers.
  5. dsedler

    dsedler Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I think they are too young to be molting, but there will always be some feathers laying around. I have 16 chicks and I swear I could have made a large feather pillow by now with all the feathers laying around. I throw a few cups of cracked corn out to them a couple times a day. They love it and it should not hurt them at all. I sure wouldn't feed nothing but corn, but I think it's the perfect treat.
  6. yellowchickensmomma

    yellowchickensmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    I've wondered the same thing. I have feathers everywhere even to the point I had to do a head count to make sure the barn cat didn't get a little crazy.
  7. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay :

    That "feed store lady" is an idiot!

    Switch to the layer feed and your pullets will be in good shape.


  8. Shannon's Chix

    Shannon's Chix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    N.E. Florida
    I keep seeing on these boards really bad advice from people at feed stores! Beware![​IMG]

    They certainly don't "need" the corn, however, it does raise their body temp because it takes more to metabolize corn so it is good in cold weather. I give mine a couple handfulls in the morning and at night especially since it just started getting cold here.

    I concur it has nothing to do with the feather loss. Except that corn has no protein and feathers are mostly made from protein so if they are filling up with corn they will not get the amount of protein needed from their feed.

    When I see more feathers around than usual, I usually give some high protein treats such as meat, eggs, cheese...

    Good luck!
  9. jojo54

    jojo54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2009
    BC Canada
    Thanks, that makes more sense that what the "feed lady" said. [​IMG]
  10. TheMatador

    TheMatador Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2009
    Upstate, NY
    Quote:I don't mean to call out your post specificaly ConservaChick, but I think the continued confusion on this topic is due to how we choose to word the "corn issue". Please correct me if I'm wrong but corn does NOT actually raise a chickens body temperature in any weather. It provides them with a lot of sugars and carbs with which to keep themselves warm but it will not raise their temp above where it needs to be. To clarify: it will help to keep them warm in cold weather, but will not (as the wives tale goes) overheat them in warm weather.

    That said, the feed store lady must really be nuts to think that corn makes chickens start shedding feathers to keep cool. I don't know why people think chickens are such mysterious creatures. Can you think of any other animal that sheds fur or feathers or overheats do to its last meal? Sometimes when I drink too much I shed all my clothes, but that's a totally different situation. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by