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Question about corn and moulting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenchickenbulkbulk, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read that corn is a hot food. Not like oats, wheat, etc. If a chicken is only given corn in the summer months(keep in mind these are also free range chicken) would this make there molt last all summer? My neighbor gives her chickens cracked and whole corn. Is there any nutrition in this diet? I wouldn't think so. Her chickens starting molting in the spring and they still don't have any feathers on their backs. Is this normal? I have never seen chickens go this long in a molt or what ever it is they are doing. Any suggestions? DJ
     
  2. miron28

    miron28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i give my chickens whole corn too, plus laying pelts. that is a good question any one know?
     
  3. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Corn is simply not a complete feed. It doesn't have all a layer needs to be healthy. In that way it could affect the moult by making it harder for them to grow new healthy feathers. I very much doubt it would unnaturally extend the molt though.

    The hens you're describing sound like they have rooster damage. When there are too few hens or an especially clumsy rooster, he will tear the feathers off the hens back while mating. If they don't get a chance to rest away from the rooster the feathers will not grow back until molting time.

    Bottom line: corn is fine as a feed additive even in summer, but shouldn't be the sole feed avaliable. [​IMG]
     
  4. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Ella, this is what I was thinking. Do you know how to much proteins can give cats and dogs hot spots?! I was wondering if to much corn could also give chickens hot spots. But it isn't a protein it is just a filler. But..it is considered a hot food. As far as the rooster. There is only one rooster to 10 hens..he does have very long spurs. All I know is some thing is not right. That is what I am trying to figure out. Maybe I should stop thinking so much about it, huh?[​IMG] DJ
     
  5. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's nice you care, even if you can't do too much about it. [​IMG] That's a good ratio, a couple things could be going on, if it's just a few hens that are bald backed they may be his favorites. Not much you can do in that case except get them jackets.

    Or if it's a lot of the hens they may be picking off the new feathers as they grow in. That would be a bigger possibility with a poor diet. Stressful, crowded situations will bring that on too.

    There are others who know far more than I do about the effects of corn. There are quite a few topics on it in the feeding section of BYC, I'm sure if you did a search here you will learn more than you ever wanted to know about it. [​IMG]
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Hot spots are usually a sign of allergies. An animal can be allergic to a food, something in the air that it inhales or to something it touches. They're not from too much protein, but if an animal eats a protein or any other food, like a grain, that it's allergic to, it could develop hot spots from eating it. Ear infections are also common with allergies in dogs. Allergic reactions cause changes in the skin.

    Straight corn is a terrible diet for chickens. They need so much more than that. If they're free ranging, they're probably finding some of what they need in their environment. Chickens can really pick over an area, though. It's better to give them a balanced diet, even when you free range.
     
  7. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The biggest problem with feeding corn is that it is low in protein, and the protein is low in some essential amino acids that chickens need. Corn in itself is fine, but it needs to be balanced with the correct proteins. I would suggest that you feed a small amount of cat food along with the corn, if you don't want to feed layer pellets.
    The animal proteins in the cat food will come fairly close to balancing the ration, and the extra fat in the cat food will help the chickens to have more energy.

    When your hens are molting, corn is an excellent source of the yellow substance called carotenoids. While hens are laying eggs, the carotenoids gradually are leached out of the hen's beak and legs. It is the substance that causes egg yolks to be yellow. If you notice, pullet eggs have a deeper yellow than the yolks from a hen that has been laying for a year.

    When hens molt, the yellow color gradually comes back into their legs and beaks. When the molt is over, the hen will usually have a nice yellow beak and legs, and when she begins to lay eggs again, the yellow gradually disappears again.

    My show chickens are fed corn every day. It helps them to keep their legs a nice yellow color. I also feed several other feeds, and try to keep their diet in balance.
     
  8. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all of the help. I will let my mother-n-law know that they need more of a variety to eat. I give mine game bird feed with cracked corn. The game bird had oats, wheat,corn and other stuff in it. My chickens and pheasant love it. Your input has been very helpful. Thanks DJ
     

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