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Cracked Corn Question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WhiteLeghorn2, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. WhiteLeghorn2

    WhiteLeghorn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I have heard some people give their chickens a staple of cracked corn + anything their chickens find in the yard. Cracked corn seems okay, but why would people use it as a staple? It doesn't seem very healthy as a staple to me. Anyways, I've read that if you give them a 50/50 ratio of layer crumbles (or pellets) and cracked corn that it will be good for them. Would that be a good diet for our chickens? We currently are just giving them layer crumbles, and anything else they find while free ranging. Anyways, thanks for the help! [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Better to give a feed such as layer as their only feed, and give the cracked corn occasionally as a treat -- maybe a handful once a day. Makes a good bribe to teach them to follow you, come when called, go in at night, etc. If you mix it in their feed, they will most likely eat the corn first and leave the pellets, eating them only when they get hungry enough. Think of corn as their ice cream.

    In the "old days" around here, chickens got table scraps, cracked corn once or twice a day, and whatever they could forage - and they free ranged around the farm. They survived but often were not as healthy -- depending on the quality of forage and scraps, of course. Studies have been done feeding corn as feed that make it clear they don't grow as well, are smaller and less healthy as adults, and more prone to disease. Corn isn't a bad thing in itself it's just a bad thing if given as the only feed -- or mixed so that they eat out all the corn before eating the fortified feed.
     
  3. LoneOak

    LoneOak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Flockwatcher types what is correct, so what he said is the way to go for a healthy flock![​IMG]
     
  4. tniron

    tniron Out Of The Brooder

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    I suppose scratch grains are the same?
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Most scratch formulas are mostly corn, so yes. Some are more nutritious than just corn -- but they are still not a formulated feed with vitamins and minerals, etc.
     
  6. WhiteLeghorn2

    WhiteLeghorn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! You definitely know what you are talking about. A lot of people were saying that cracked corn is amazing for them and I knew they were not correct, but wasn't sure if it is ok as a treat. Thank you, you definitely answered my question.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Also, would you happen to know if scratch feed is ok to give as about 10% of their diet? I heard it is cheaper than regular layer crumbles, and I was reading from someone on this website to mix it in with the crumbles, but am not sure if they are correct. Thanks!
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Corn or scratch is fine as a treat. It's great to get your flock friendly, or teach them to come when you call, things like that.

    My grandmother raised her birds on cracked corn and scraps and free range. The did well for her, but her production was no where near mine. She was amazed to hear I have birds that will lay eggs 6-7 days a week, hers were more like 4-5, even for young birds. I'm sure the difference is the nutrition. Well, and all the production hatchery breeding [​IMG]
     

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