Corn & Heat

DCMuffin

Chirping
Jul 11, 2016
80
7
58
Maryland
So someone told me that feeding cracked corn to your chickens makes them overheat. I've looked but have not found anything to substantiate this. However...the ducks LOVE cracked corn, but I've purposely not fed it because a) they are together and b) it's like death valley in MD right now and the heat index has been around 105 for the past week or so. It's brutal.

Would love your input :) Thank you!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
Staff member
Premium member
Jul 16, 2015
37,742
58,921
1,312
central Wisconsin
I feed corn year round and haven't noticed any difference. It does get digested more slowly than a ration, so it's a good thing to feed in the evening in winter so your hens have something digesting through the long cold nights. The act of digestion is said to give off heat, but I don't think I'm any hotter after supper, so it doesn't make sense that a chicken would be.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,614
26,795
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
I find the whole corn and heating up thing to be a head shaker. Makes no sense. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It doesn't matter what the source. It's still a calorie. For that matter, have you noticed that after a big meal, you get cold? That's b/c a lot of your circulation is diverted to your digestive system to process that food. In the winter, during the cold months, we tend to eat more. Staying warm burns calories. So, in a sense, your chickens may need less calories in the summer, and can get a lot of their feed on range if that is an option for them. And, one might want to limit corn so that they will eat more of their balanced ration. But to say that they can't have corn in the summer does not compute for me. What is the main ingredient in chicken feed???? Usually corn.
 

DCMuffin

Chirping
Jul 11, 2016
80
7
58
Maryland
I find the whole corn and heating up thing to be a head shaker. Makes no sense. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It doesn't matter what the source. It's still a calorie. For that matter, have you noticed that after a big meal, you get cold? That's b/c a lot of your circulation is diverted to your digestive system to process that food. In the winter, during the cold months, we tend to eat more. Staying warm burns calories. So, in a sense, your chickens may need less calories in the summer, and can get a lot of their feed on range if that is an option for them. And, one might want to limit corn so that they will eat more of their balanced ration. But to say that they can't have corn in the summer does not compute for me. What is the main ingredient in chicken feed???? Usually corn.
Thanks for this. To be honest, when I had chickens 20 years ago, they were fed corn (as well as feed - with corn in it), all the time. But, we didn't have Google back then so I couldn't find all of life's answers
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,614
26,795
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
When I find cracked corn on sale, I buy a bag of it. It is the cheapest grain here: corn @ $8.50. Whole wheat and barley @ $26.00! Scratch is the same price if not higher than good layer feed.
 

Mac in Wisco

Antagonist
12 Years
May 25, 2007
3,479
72
256
SW Wisconsin
When I find cracked corn on sale, I buy a bag of it. It is the cheapest grain here: corn @ $8.50. Whole wheat and barley @ $26.00! Scratch is the same price if not higher than good layer feed.
Layer is normally cheaper because there are 4-5 pounds of minerals in each 50 bag. You are getting 45 lbs of grain and high protein meal and 5 lbs of very inexpensive limestone.

That brings to mind another thought, misconceptions that I see sometimes. The percentages of protein on layer feed versus grower feed do not directly correlate with hens' protein intake. A 20% grower feed will result in almost the same protein intake as an 18% layer feed. It doesn't matter if hen eats .25 lbs of 18% layer feed or is she eats .22 of a 20% grower and then eats .03 lbs of oyster shell, the protein and mineral intake is about the same.
 
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