Cracked Corn

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by rosyposyosy, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    My chickens have lost some weight now that there's less day light and it's getting colder. There's less time to eat. They are cold! Everytime I hold them, I hold them close to help keep them warm. It isn't that cold, but now there's a heat lamp in the coop. Anywho, the only organic cracked corn is in 50 pound bags. Do you think 3 chickens can go through that during winter? Do I mix it in with their food, or JUST give them cracked corn?
  2. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    we could here, but it might be diffeent for you. i share it with the chicknes, duck, geese and goats. if i remember, cracked corn is aobut five bucks for a bag that big, surely the cheapest of any of the feeds. so i wouldn't worry about it either way.
  3. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Give it to them as a treat or throw an hand full in with their food and get out of the way!

    They can go through that much over the winter.
  4. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    This weekend I am starting to mix cracked corn with the layer pellets. I have metal barrels that will hold 100 lbs of feed each and what I do is put 50 layer and 50 cracked corn and mix it all up. They love the corn but only get it in the winter. They are only free ranging on the weekend when I am home because this time of year is serious hawk time when the leaves are off the trees so they are stuck in their pens from Sunday night until Saturday morning which means they are not foraging or moving around as much as they would. When I let them out this morning it was like I was letting a bunch of convicts out of jail. They went nuts.
    I also buy a bag of scratch for a treat and for just that, to scratch and give them something to do in the pens. Some added corn will do wonders for them and help to keep them warm.
  5. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Standard Hen, a question.... I thought that it was the corn in scratch that was really the "treat"..... I may be misreading your post but it seems you consider it the other way around i.e. that the corn is better to add to the feed and the other ingredients in thescratch are the stuff to give less frequently, is that correct?

    I bought organic scratch and here's the info:

    Scratch Feed

    Guaranteed Analysis
    CRUDE PROTEIN not less than 9 %
    CRUDE FAT not less than 1.8 %
    CRUDE FIBER not more than 3.2 %
    Feed Description:
    Natures Best 9% Organic Scratch Feed is designed to be fed in feeders or on the ground. The feed consists of coarse cracked corn, whole barley and whole wheat. It contains no added minerals, trace minerals or vitamins, so it should be fed only to free-range mature poultry that are receiving these
    nutrients from other sources, including the pasture.
    How Much to Feed:
    Feed either free choice or vary the amount depending upon other additional feed fed.

    After reading that, it looks to me as though the main concern of feeding too much scratch is the lack of trace minerals, vitamins, etc. And that those of us who cannot allow the birds to completely free range really need to ensure they are getting enough of the layer pellets to provide those. Is that correct? I just wonder how much they're getting from the table scraps.

    I'm only concerned because since our girls started laying they are all thinner and more ravenous. They don't seem to eat very much pellet feed and I want them to fatten up in the this cold weather, so I wonder if I can feed more scratch for a while...

  6. What I do to make it go further is mix cracked corn, oats, and layer feed together. That way the feed goes further and they are getting what they need and love.
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Quote:Definitely not JUST cracked corn. Does not have the spectrum of nutrition they need.
  8. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Hi Stacey,,,I add cracked corn to their pellets for warmth and fuel in the winter which of course they have access to 24/7. The scratch I just throw sparingly and not even every day ( I leave my house in the dark for work and when I get home there really is not much time) and that is why I add he cracked corn to their regular laying pellets to ensure they are getting that fuel for the cold weather.
    It also is as chickenranchwife says it makes the feed go further even though I paid the same price for a bag of cracked corn as my layer pellets! Mine get table scraps also but not everyday, I usually save them in the fridge until a I have a good amount so everyone will have their share.
    In winter the green grass and bugs are gone so there goes their extra vitamins and minerals when foraging which are in the layer feed. They NEED the layer pellets for that as corn is basically nothing. I call it a fattening and fuel tool.
    I have read your post and I know you give alot of healthy treats, seeing as you already have the bag of scratch you could try mixing some in with their layer or get some straight cracked corn to add to their pellets and save the scratch to throw so that they think treats are falling from heaven. That's all it is,,,,I do not even need to buy the scratch but they also like the wheat & oats or whatever happens to be in it with the brand which for me is Poulin.
    A little cracked corn I have found does alot for them in the cold of winter! [​IMG]
  9. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    wow you pay the same for cracked corn? that is the one thing here i actually think is cheap. wmart has it in the rural stores here for five bucks.
  10. Jemjoop

    Jemjoop In the Brooder

    Oct 18, 2007
    Caledonia, IL
    oh good question, now that is about to get freezing cold here too

    I thought cracked corn was free choice like oyster shell and grit. Is that wrong?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: