corn for feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickencutie, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. chickencutie

    chickencutie Songster 8 Years

    Jul 22, 2010
    My chickens like to eat whole corn kernels stright from the field but I was told they have a hard time digesting corn this way. Should I keep they out of the field.

  2. Corn is like candy for fowl. The problem with corn is that it`s only about 10-12 % protein and cracked corn is even less at 7-9 %. Free range birds get lots more stuff than just corn, so it shouldn`t be a problem.........Pop
  3. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Free ranging birds will certainly have enough grit to handle full corn seed but too much corn builds fat. It's good for finishing meat birds but shouldn't be a total diet for layers, either pullets or hens. I only feed scratch with corn in the winter to help the birds build fat to stay warm.
  4. Chicken Lass

    Chicken Lass In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2009
    Can hens develop egg-laying issues from being fed too much corn when they were young? I'm trying to puzzle out why mine have stopped laying for such a long time and I've lost a few to either internal laying and/or egg binding. I didn't know better and fed them an equal amount of scratch with their other feed when they were young. I thought things might get better now that I've chilled with the scratch and upped the calcium. Any thoughts?

  5. Quote:Perhaps your birds are overweight. Turn a couple of them over and look at the skin below the vent. The skin is nearly transpearant and you can see the yellow fat under the skin on excessively fat birds. you would be hard pressed to improve on the commercial layer rations available today. Cut out the corn, treats, etc. and see if things improve. Please be aware that many birds slow or stop laying at this time of year due to a moult. If they are obeese, add a few black oil sunflower seeds per bird to their diet. Chances are this will help with eggs sticking. Good luck with them.......Pop
  6. Chicken Lass

    Chicken Lass In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2009
    Thanks Lollipop!
    They don't look overweight, but I'll check like you said. They haven't been laying regularly for a looong time.
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They can eat the corn just fine as long as they are getting grit that you provide or from the dirt.

    Corn is only about 7% protein, and if they are layers they need at least 16%-20% protein as their total diet. Corn should be a snack, a treat. It is nice that you have a good supply of it!

  8. vatterpa

    vatterpa Songster

    May 4, 2010
    Indiana, PA
    I just heard at the MEN fair that if you gently squeeze either side of one of their pelvic bones you can tell if the are too fat or thin. too thin and it will feel like just bone and too fat it will be hard to feel the bones. guess what I thought my chooks were just fine, but they are all too thin. Guess I'll be getting corn for them [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by