Is it true that all chickens really need to eat is corn and supplements

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by flowerbug, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. flowerbug

    flowerbug Chirping

    Apr 22, 2016
    Palmer Alaska
    So I've heard that chickens can eat just corn with calcium and grit and I've heard they absoulutly need to have pellets
    I'm looking for some advice here ??

    At Lili Lee's sunshine Homestead
    Breeding the best and eating the rest
    rjohns39 likes this.
  2. chippy99th

    chippy99th Chirping

    Dec 17, 2016
    I wouldn't feed just corn, calcium and grit. In fact, when it's mixed in with other seeds and grains, corn tends to be one of my chickens' least favorite foods. Also, it really warms them up. I give them more corn in the winter to help them keep warm, but if I fed them exclusively corn in the summer here in Arizona, they'd overheat fast!

    Pellets are a great balance between good health and convenience, IMO. Our birds get good-quality pellets. BUT they also get lots of table scraps and are let out to free-range regularly. (Most outdoor flocks with a run don't need grit provided, by the way.)

    Almost all animals do better on a varied diet. Veggies and grass, bugs, pellets, ground oystershell or eggshell for calcium, and table scraps are all part of a great diet for chickens. You can also give them dried mealworms or chicken scratch as a treat (NOT as a main course! For dessert!).

    Alternatively, there are recipes out there for homemade chicken feed. Usually it is a mix of different kinds of grains -wheat, corn, barley, etc. -maybe with lentils, ground oystershell, and supplements mixed in. This is very tricky though, as you need to make sure your birds are getting the right amounts of protein, fat, and different nutrients. Sometimes we mix up some for our birds as a treat. I have also heard of different grains being sprouted as fodder for farm animals, including poultry. I've never done this. I'd imagine you'd still have to supplement with other foods for protein and calcium.

    No matter what, the diet of the chickens should not be suddenly changed. For example, if you're giving pellets and want to switch to homemade, do your research on the best recipe and then switch over SLOWLY, over a period of weeks.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under flowerbug [​IMG] Welcome!

    chippy99th has given you some great advice which I can not top so I will just add that I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]

    You might want to say hello on your local thread: ‘Find your State’s thread.

    There are a couple of feeding articles in the Learning Centre:

    And lots of posts in the Feeding and Watering Forum:
  4. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Teila has given you some good links to check out. I'd just like to add watch the table scraps, don't let that be more than 10% of their total diet. Chickens will be better off with their nutritionally sound feed and table scraps can be more like too much candy to a kid.

    It's nice to have you here, make yourself at home!
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice and links already so I'll just say hello!

    All the best
  6. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Welcome! Great advice given to check out.
    I wouldn't just feed them corn and calcium. They need some protein in there somewhere. Think about how they eat while free ranging. Bugs..mice..worms. List goes on. :)
    KikisGirls, rjohns39 and ronott1 like this.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    rjohns39 and 007Sean like this.
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, flower bug, and :welcome! Pleased you joined our community! You've already received a lot of great advice so I'll just say best wishes and thanks for joining BYC! :)
    rjohns39, ronott1 and 007Sean like this.
  9. flowerbug

    flowerbug Chirping

    Apr 22, 2016
    Palmer Alaska
    thank you guys,
    rjohns39 likes this.
  10. 007Sean

    007Sean Crossing the Road Premium Member

    Oct 25, 2015
    South Central Texas
    Howdy flowerbug and:welcome:frow Glad you joined the family. As already stated, you've gotten some good advice, I can't add to it so....Enjoy your time here
    KikisGirls, rjohns39 and ronott1 like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by