1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Ever used course cracked corn to keep your chickens warm at night?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NHchicks, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    3
    141
    May 13, 2010
    Because the chicken expert at the feed store today said if you feed them a few handfuls of course cracked corn before bedtime, it warms their stomachs, he said it was kind of similar to how whiskey (supposedly) warms you up. Something about their gizzards working on it all night or something, made them feel warm.

    I tried it tonight. I don't know if they'll be warmer, but they sure did love it. [​IMG]

    Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else had heard that before.
     
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,873
    14
    191
    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    I do it when we have really cold weather. I don't think it heats them up the way the feed store guy said, but they love the darn stuff so much that I know they go to roost with a super full crop and digesting it alone will up their temp a bit.

    Mostly I just feel better knowing they're good and full before bed and have the extra calories in them that they need to mantain body heat through the cold winter nights.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  3. Dunkopf

    Dunkopf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2010
    Kiowa, Colorado
    I think it's the same as feeding a horse grain at dusk during the winter. Makes their metabolism burn hotter. Unless you live in a really cold climate you shouldn't have to worry about the cold as long as your coop is well ventilated at the top to draw moisture out and no direct breezes on the birds.
     
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,168
    26
    201
    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    In the winter I always toss a few handfuls of scratch into the birds when I close them up for the night which is an hr or two before the lights go out. In theory, at least, the corn plus their picking it up should help keep them warm for the night.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    47
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    They'll eat what they need of their regular layer feed to keep warm regardless. They don't need the extra protein and mineral intake though. Layer feeds are formulated to give the correct amount of protein and mineral intake at an average caloric intake. If it's very cold outside they eat more and more feed to fulfill their energy requirements. By giving a little corn you can help them meet the increased energy requirement without taking in excess protein and minerals.
     
  7. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Columbia,SC
    Quote:Well said. [​IMG]
     
  8. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    3
    141
    May 13, 2010
    I'm super impressed with the knowledge on this website. I guess that's why everyone loves it so much.

    So while feeding corn doesn't exactly raise body temperature or make them feel warmer, it keeps their calories high enough to allow their metabolism to fight the cold without losing weight, in a way that doesn't add too much protein to their diets.

    I think I get that. And on cold nights I'll keep throwing them some cracked corn to keep their internal heat generators going, and plump them up so they stay cute. [​IMG] Oh, and because they seem to absolutely love it. A happy chicken makes a happy chicken owner, I always say.
     
  9. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,168
    26
    201
    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Corn is about 41% carbohydrates and 14% fat both can be burned for energy to keep the birds warm. If not burned it can be stored as fat and burned later. In those areas where it gets cold--i.e. below zero--and with the shorter daylight/active period this will be an asset to your birds.
     
  10. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    What about whole corn kernals?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by