CW, My ancestors lived for a few years in Greene County Kentucky.
I grow my own corn and milo. Chickens love Milo. Unfortunately, i dont think chickens care much for whole kernel corn, unless they are hungry,they're big enough to get it down their throat, or you own, or know someone who owns a grinder/mixer. They eat cracked corn very readily, but the whole kernel they will eat it, but not like you want them to. Harvesting by hand is fine for something fun to do, but if you're looking at a bigger scale, you will want to go to an old farm sale and buy you a corn sheller. Look at them on e-bay maybe. They are hand operated. You spin the wheel, feed in a whole ear of corn. Kernels come out one hole and an empty cob the other.
In this modern age, there are 3 different genetic lines of corn that I know of. I do not mean varieties. Let me splain!(I will give the scary ones first)
There is modern GMO. That means "genetically modified organism".Through science so called "scientists" have introduced genes into the corn DNA, which are not of corn genetics. They have put in the genes of certain bacteria to create what is known as the 3 following......Round up ready, which is able to withstand glyphosate, which is a non-discriminate vegetation killer.
Then you have" rootworm resistant", and "corn borer resistant".
It is my understanding that "they" have introduced a gene into the corn DNA, which produces a "natural pesticide" that will kill any corn borer larvae, which happens to hatch in the whirl of the corn plant. The next is basically the same idea, but kills root worm beetle larvae.
Next you have what is called "conventional hybrid". It is a hybridized plant, that insures vigorous growth and seed production. The seed from these plants is considered "sterile". Do not confuse that with being disease free. Consider it as if it has been to the vet, and been "spayed or nuetered".
The seed from conventional hybrids, if planted in the soil, will produce a plant, but but that plant, also known as volunteer corn will produce no "offspring".
Scientific research shows that this seed, will provide calories and some nutrients, but a "dead" seed can have very little benefit.
Soybeans are much the same way. Now, as far as I know as of june 10 2009, milo, wheat, barley, buckwheat, have not been genetically altered in any way.
Do what you want, But in my opinion, this science is Pandoras Box.
Now....the stuff you were asking about. The seed that you can save seed from.. This is know as "open pollenated corn" Seed catalogues that offer it, will refer to it as "op".
Two companies that I know of that sell a variety of OP corn seed is R.L. Shumways, and Morgan County seed. I know that Shumway's has an internet site. Morgan County I'm not sure about, but can find their number if you let me know you want it.
I would not be too terribly afraid of the "conventional hybrid corn". I would recommend that you go to the coffee shop in a rural town, and talk to some guys wearing seed corn caps, and drive 4 wheel drive pickups. They probably can send you in the right direction. Most generally dairy farmers and hog farmers have a grinder mixer. If you become their friend, I would say they will peobably gring you some corn!!
If you have the means to grow a garden, grow some sweet corn, freeze the ears whole. Throw the whole cob to the chickens, they'll pick her clean!!!
Hope I have not given you too much info here!!
p.s., if you want to give your birds some food forage, I highly recommend red clover. They eat the dickens outta that stuff! Very high in nutrients! It sends a rooot down to the bedrock. I mean the BEDROCK! (bedrock can be over 60 feet bloew the surface here) It will draw trace minerals to the leaf. It is high in protein, and calcium too!
Just sow some on the bare ground, on top the snow if you ever have it. If notI would say in your locale, probably in January. Let nature do the rest!
i am lookin for a way to grow feed corn and save some seeds for next years planting, and grind to use for feed, what vierty would be best for this? i am also wonderin which grais could be easlity harvested by hand, like sunflowers etc
I grow sun flowers and little wheat. The sunflowers are kinda sticky, maybe Im just doing it a little early. But to grind up the stuff I used a blender. It worked great... I hope thats what you were asking. I also have a hay field and they love to peck at the grasses I have in there...clover, timothy, alfalfa...
After we're done harvesting our field corn I go out and gather the ears that the combine missed. I throw it in the runs...whole on the cob as a treat for the chickens and ducks. I've never ground it and they can eat it just fine. My ducks are small call ducks too and they don't have any problems swallowing it.