Grow Your Own Feed Corn?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Barry Natchitoches, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am wanting to grow some of my own corn -- probably bloody butcher dent corn variety, for my chooks.


    But the truth is I don't have a clue what I should do with the crop after it is harvested.


    What do you do with earns of corn after harvest?


    Do you dry them before grinding?


    Do you get the corn kernels off the ear while it is in the "milk" stage, or do you wait until after it dries?


    Can the chickens peck the corn kernels off the ear after the corn dries?


    Can you feed the corn to the birds in the "milk" stage, like humans eat it?



    I know what to do with (human food) sweet corn, but I don't have clue what to do with dent corn for chickens.
     
  2. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Quote:
     
  4. gallorojo

    gallorojo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What Illia said is right. I would add that Dent corns are typically the most productive, widely adapted, etc.,-therefore good animal feed. They are not the best for human food, true flour corns or flint types are more suited for human food. Flour corns for fine corn flour for baking, flint corn for polenta/grits/mush. You can definetly feed corn in the milk stage, but not sure why you would, they should have plenty of other stuff to eat in the summer! [​IMG]
    Sweet corn is fine fed to chickens in the dry seed stage, it has the benefit of being very very easy to shell off the cob. It will however be more prone to mold, etc, and won't keep like a good dent or flint corn. Chickens have no problems picking dry corn kernels off the cob, if they do seem to have a tough time, break it in half, after that, the kernels to come off easier for some reason. I don't crack any corn myself, it's extra work ,and it won't keep long after you crack it .I also think the whole, live, seed is just more nutritious, if you only crack in small batches, and feed right away, it's probably all the same. Lots of people of course do use cracked corn, it's fine.
     
  5. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tennessee
    Gallorojo,


    Please forgive me, cuz I'm a "city feller," but are you saying that a chicken can eat a whole, dried, dent corn kernel? With no teeth?


    I know that I give them ground granite (grit) to help them digest their food. But are you telling me that granite in the craw can actually break down dried dent corn?
     
  6. gallorojo

    gallorojo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I am saying that a chicken with no teeth can digest a whole corn kernel. No problem for them. When they swallow the corn kernel, it gets soaked in fluids/enzymes in the crop/craw first. This starts the softening process. You can try it yourself, hold a corn kernel in your mouth for 5 or 10 minutes, it will noticeably soften, unless it's a popcorn or similar. Then, the gizzard, which is a very powerful muscle, uses the bits of rock to break up the (now softened, moistened, and warmed) seed. The gizzard functionally acts as jaws and teeth for those animals so equipped. I have cut open enough gizzards to know that the corn gets ground up just fine!! [​IMG] The whole idea behind cracking the corn is that it takes energy for the bird to crack it on its own, and, by doing it for them, you save them energy, and, they grow faster. In theory, anyway.
     
  7. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Quote:People wouldn't give them the stuff unless they couldn't digest it. The grit acts as the teeth, which grounds up most things, whole corn kernels won't be a problem.
     

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