foods and body temp

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by phaethona, May 25, 2010.

  1. phaethona

    phaethona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know that there are some foods that raise body temp in chickens, like corn in scratch. and I dont have anything to back this up, but dairy always made me feel [​IMG] when it's hot out.
    should I lean more toward proteins in the warmer months?
    lately it's been hot and I've mainly been giving them cold fruit from the fridge.
    do you guys change their diet at all based on the weather and their body temp?
     
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    This whole "corn is a hot feed" thing is a misunderstanding of what that phrase means. It does not raise a bird's body temperature any more than it raises ours when we eat it. It only means that it is a rich source of carbohydrates and a bit of fat. Corn is the single most common feed ingredient there in the U.S.

    Now you can unbalance a chicken's diet by feeding too much corn if the rest of their feed is fairly low in protein so you would want to be careful that way. But it's not going to make them too hot any more than any other carbohydrates would and they need them as a major part of their diet.

    Milk makes me feel somewhat the same way in the heat. I don't know why.

    The most important thing to do for your birds in the heat is to make sure they have fresh, plentiful water that is not getting hot in the sun, plenty of shade when they want it, and good airflow in their coop/run areas. They'll handle the rest. I'm in Florida and feed my birds pretty much the same the year around.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. phaethona

    phaethona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for the replies, I had no idea corn feed was such an item of "hot" debate [​IMG]

    maybe I should have added more details, my girls free range all day everyday so the majority of their diet is what they find in the yard. the have layer crumbles available in the coop 24/7 whenever they want it, and I do understand that is is largely corn-based. I don't plan on changing their feed at all throughout the years(barring any special needs that may come up later down the road) they'll always have the same feed, because it's my understanding that consistency is crucial to their overall health.

    In this post, I'm referring more to treats. what got me thinking about it was yesterday I was going to give them yogurt, but I got to thinking "it's too darn hot for yogurt"
    so I opted for some cold grapes instead. which got me wondering if anyone else had foods they avoid or prefer based on hot/cold temps.

    as for keeping them cool, I have 4 waterers here and there that I refresh often, there's plenty of shade spots they go to(I put sand down in some of them too) and when it gets REALLY hot I have 4 milkjugs with frozen water in the deep freeze I bring out for them to snuggle up to, so they should be ok. (but I'm also open to suggestions if you guys have any)

    thanks again for your time and thoughts [​IMG]
     
  5. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    If they're free ranging all day then the corn is fine. Most any halfway-decent range is going to provide plenty of protein, vitamins, some minerals, and a bit of fat. What it is typically short on is carbohydrates which the corn has plenty of. If it were me I'd hang a hopper of oyster shell where they can get at it so they don't have to eat the layer ration just to get calcium. When the range is good they'll only eat a little layer feed. When it's poor they'll eat more.
     

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