How much is too much cracked corn?

cnicho05

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 22, 2014
145
9
73
Owosso, MI
Hello,

Over the last several weeks I've read about different people supplementing their chicken feed with cracked corn. It was suggested to use it as a treat or for supplementing nutrition to help my flock gain weight. I have Rhode Island Red's, Jersey Giant's and Sebright Bantams which consume a relatively high amount of feed. My thought process behind supplementing feed with crack corn was aimed at saving me some money on the overall cost of feed as cracked corn is about $7.00 cheaper per 50 lbs bag.

The only question I have is if I should limit the amount of cracked corn I feed my hens. While speaking to an older gentleman at my local feed store I was informed not to feed much cracked corn as it can be unhealthy for my flock.

Does anyone know how much cracked corn a flock of ten should have?

Is providing them 2 measuring cups of feed daily too much?
 

foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
They say no more then 10% of their diet. Corn puts on fat so you have to watch it in the summertime. I live in a very hot area so corn is added for a bad winter to give them a layer of fat to stay warm with and I stay away from it as much as possible in the summer to try to fight overheating. Our chickens down here are much more likely to get heat stroke as early as spring then they ever are of being cold.
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,005
1,687
321
Boulder, Colorado
I wouldn't feed any more than that. If you are just looking for ways to decrease your feed costs, I would start with cleaning out the freezer and cupboards and purge. Freeranging decreases my feed usage by 2/3. A nice compost pile will attract lots of bugs that are just delicacies.
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
178
143
Lower Alabama
At 10% you're stretching a 50# bag out to 55#...not much savings. 10 chickens should eat about 2-1/2 # per day. That's only about .72c of layer feed per day. I wouldn't jack with their diet during laying season.
 

foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
Fermenting feed reduces the feed costs from 1/3 to 1/2 depending on ranging options. It is simple to do and if you would like I can give you directions for it. The fermentation allows them to absorb more nutrients from the feed itself so they require less of it.
 

cnicho05

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 22, 2014
145
9
73
Owosso, MI
Fermenting feed reduces the feed costs from 1/3 to 1/2 depending on ranging options. It is simple to do and if you would like I can give you directions for it. The fermentation allows them to absorb more nutrients from the feed itself so they require less of it.
Thanks,

I'm always looking at ways to cut down on feed....
 

farnorth

Songster
6 Years
Jul 6, 2013
362
37
103
Upper Michigan
I keep wondering about the recommendation not to feed much corn.

The number one ingredient in most bags of chicken feed is ......corn
 

foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
I keep wondering about the recommendation not to feed much corn.

The number one ingredient in most bags of chicken feed is ......corn
That is true. Some brands use it as a filler and add a ton of "additives for the nutrition". I could never make heads or tails of what was in the additives even when looking at a site that sold them directly. You will also notice the hens on that feed that are penned up tend to be more overweight then free range hens. Free range hens don't eat nearly as much of the feed and you can certainly tell during processing. Some feed mills are better at making a good feed then others. My feed mill doesn't use much corn in their feed but the one right across the street uses at least 50% corn in their mix.
 

foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
Quote: 5 gallon bucket, feed, water, and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar are what is needed. Put about 5 days worth of feed in the bucket, add twice as much water and stir. Pour 2 glugs or 4 splashes of up/acv in and stir again (no exact measuring required). Loosely cover with lid and let sit for an hour. After an hour add enough water to cover the feed by 1" stir and loosely cover again. This is the start of the feed and the hardest part. After the first day you just add more water and feed as you take some out. No more up/acv required as it would be a continuing batch. Make sure it is stirred at least once a day. You may get a white/grey bubbly film on top after a while, just stir it in it is a sign of great fermination not mold. It should smell like a sourdough starter batch (light slightly sweet after vomit smell).
 

tantricdragon13

Songster
5 Years
Mar 26, 2014
159
27
106
Nashville
5 gallon bucket, feed, water, and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar are what is needed. Put about 5 days worth of feed in the bucket, add twice as much water and stir. Pour 2 glugs or 4 splashes of up/acv in and stir again (no exact measuring required). Loosely cover with lid and let sit for an hour. After an hour add enough water to cover the feed by 1" stir and loosely cover again. This is the start of the feed and the hardest part. After the first day you just add more water and feed as you take some out. No more up/acv required as it would be a continuing batch. Make sure it is stirred at least once a day. You may get a white/grey bubbly film on top after a while, just stir it in it is a sign of great fermination not mold. It should smell like a sourdough starter batch (light slightly sweet after vomit smell).
Wow! That is easier than I thought it would be.
 

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