cracked corn & the winter

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by moparchicken, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. moparchicken

    moparchicken Hatching

    Jan 9, 2017
    Harriman NY
    I just ran out of scratch & need to replenish,I give as a treat but also for the cracked corn in winter for a source of warmth as mentioned here but they don't eat the cracked corn the birds in the area eat it,so what the sense of it,what else should I feed them a mix of grains that would only be a treat now,will they survive without the CC apparently they are,what else can be used as a source of body heat generation.
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    Welcome to BYC @moparchicken.

    I have a lot of training in nutrition so will give you my take based on that. Corn is highly palatable so the birds like to eat it. Generally, even when they are satiated (full and not interested in eating more) on a typical chicken feed, they will still consume corn to pack more into their crop that will be depleted / emptied later where the energy is extracted to keep the bird warm through the bird's metabolism. The corn is relatively energy dense in that it contains a lot of calories relative to the space it occupies in the crop. When you have birds meet their nutritional needs by consuming feed, you can then follow up with some corn to pack in more calories. This can be particularly important on long cold winter nights when the crop is depleted well before birds begin feeding again the following morning. The intake associated with the corn makes so the crop has more calories to release for energy extraction for the duration of the night.

    I use shell corn rather that cracked corn even for 3 week old chicks. They can handle particle size with ease. Make certain adequate grit is available.

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