Solely Corn Diet

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WhiteLeghorn2, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. WhiteLeghorn2

    WhiteLeghorn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I've noticed a lot of older folks (70's, early 80's) that I know all tell me that whole corn is a very nutritious diet, and that it makes eggs richer and that a staple of corn with occasional kitchen scraps is the best diet. However, I do not agree at all. But, have any of you tried doing this, and can you actually be successful in raising chickens on corn? I feel that corn as a daily treat is fine (A small amount) but I do not think it is safe to be a staple. Any comments would be great, as I'm just curious. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    i do belive that the elder generation, while saying they only gave corn, also let their chickens free range giving them a wide range of food. so yes, they probably did good, but they found their own food so it was not "solely corn diet".
     
  3. WhiteLeghorn2

    WhiteLeghorn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whoops, I should've included that they also let them free range.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I did meet an older gentleman who fed only corn, but his were cockerels for meat production only. I could never be sure, but I think he meant Cornish cross birds, so only to 2 months or so. He did mention one time he got a batch of red sex link males by mistake and boy was he disappointed at their weight at 2 months!

    My grandmother probably fed her birds like that, ranging and scraps and some corn or scratch grains. Thing is, those birds also weren't expected to churn out an egg a day starting at 5 months for a year + straight like today's hens are.

    No, I've never tried it and I don't think anyone with a decent grasp of nutrition would. Omnivores aren't designed to thrive on any one single food, and "vegetarian fed" claims aside, chickens are definitely omnivores!
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    And when the Sun came up the chickens flew down from what ever limb or farm building they slept on or in last night and started foraging again.

    No one cooked for their chickens or grew insects for their hens. In fact no one took much notice of their chickens' health except for a few farm women who lived on the daily route of the rolling store, a truck or old school buss converted into a commissary. These farm wives often sold or swapped surplus butter, and eggs to the traveling peddlers who resold this hopefully farm fresh food to others or at the produce house in town. A wooden chicken cage or coop like those used to carry chickens to the processing plant was either on top of the store or bolted on the back. Back then an egg would get a farm kid a lollypop, or 3 eggs would buy you an all day sucker.

    http://www.country-magazine.com/short-stories/nostalgia-stories/rolling-stores-in-the-country/

    Any varmint that tried to steal a hen met with an end often so violent that it would make John Gotti turn away. Chicken killing dogs that survived their first re-education attempt would surely not survive a second or third chicken killing re-education class. A dog who sucked eggs was as unwelcome on the farm as a grizzly bear and many a farm families' own dog perished because of robbing hens' nests or killing chickens. I mean a dozen eggs was like 4 all day suckers or enough flour for almost a week's worth of biscuits for the whole family. Sorry Rover.

    [​IMG]
    Check out the little bare foot girl hiding behind the rolling store and the chicken coop on the top.

    Every farm boy out of diapers had a few to a lot of steel traps as well as a gun, and most fancied themselves as 20th Century Jim Bridger's. So the possums, minks, foxes, bobcats, weasels, and raccoons stepped gingerly and they all gave the chickens a wide birth, because it these vermin didn't they soon couldn't step at all.

    As a 6 to 8 year old I remember a neighboring farm woman blowing a hawk out of the sky with her very own double barrel 12 gauge shotgun. I know this because I was standing by her door frantically pointing at the hawk when she fired. I also watched the stricken hawk's glide path, found the body and brought it back so that this proud lady could show it to her family. I earned a fried peach pie for this kindness.

    Yep, all folks did back then was toss a few naked ears of unshelled corn out of the corn crib every morning and all the chickens needed to do was root hog or die.

    Now the rest of the story, in the 20s and 30s almost every egg sold in the late fall was at least 6 months old because the mass year round commercial production of eggs had not yet become feasible. Brokers bought up eggs in the spring and early summer when they were plentiful and cheap, put them into high humidity cold storage until the Fall or Winter when there was more demand for eggs than there were eggs, and did I mention that the price of eggs was high enough in the winter to pay the broker for 6 months or more of cold storage? Eggs went into cold storage as Grade AA eggs and you were lucky if the eggs you got by thanksgiving were Grade B eggs. Some eggs were also stored in lard, water glass, salt, brine, or lime as well as or in addition to cold storage to preserve them for up to a year. now it is against federal law to sell an egg at retail that is over 30 days old. They can only be sold as "breakers."

    [​IMG]


    Then a chicken at the market, like those above could cost a workingman or woman their entire daily salary. This style of chicken is called "New York Dressed" The nice thing about a New York dressed chicken was that you never had to worry about what your store bought chicken had been eating. You could do the soothsayer
    thing like Spurinna when he warned
    Caesar to, "...beware
    the Ides of March." You could slice open your NYD chicken's belly, crop, gizzard, and other parts of its digestive system or read its entrails to your heart's content, because the only thing missing from a NYD chicken was its feathers and most of the blood. Do you really want to go back to living like you have only read about? I suggest that you do your due diligence first.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  6. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    lol, i do remember my grandmothers egg sucking dog. wasnt its fault, it never got feed either. poor thing.
     
  7. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excellent write up CG
     
  8. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Just so you can understand how things use to was, I will do my best to relate an old friend's childhood memory that revolved around a chicken.

    My friend found himself in need of a new front axel and wheel bearings for his bicycle. Money being in short supply on the farm after the World War, my friend's mother gave him one of her prized roosters, with the advice to take the chicken to the produce house in town and sell it.

    My friend took off down a dusty Alabama road in July carrying a live rooster under one arm. It was a 11 mile stroll to town from my friends old home place, not the shortest distance for an 13 year old to walk in June, especially alone and carrying a fidgety live rooster under one arm. About half way to town my friend developed a powerful thirst. He stopped at a country store but not having the 5 cents necessary for a cold drink he asked the store owner if he could get a drink of water from his well. The store owner took pity on him and said, "Sure help yourself." My friend put his rooster under a convenient wash tub and drew a bucket of cold well water. Before my friend left, the store owner tried to buy the rooster. "I'll give you 75 cents for that chicken" he said. As much as my friend was tired of carrying it he knew that he couldn't buy a front bicycle axel and wheel bearings for just 75 cents, he needed 3 more cents for the sales tax, money that the store owner couldn't afford, so again he started off to the produce house.

    When my friend finally reached town he sold his rooster at Mr. B's. produce house for the staggering sum of $1.30. So it must have been a heavy rooster. Next my friend went to the Western Auto store and bought his axel and bearings and he still had enough money left for a hamburger, a Coke, a candy bar and a matinee movie in an air conditioned theater.

    Remember now that this price was at wholesale and the rooster would be marked up at least once to be resold at retail.

    What I find puzzling is that there are people out there today who actually think that they want to go back to living and dying young in this same manner.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  9. WhiteLeghorn2

    WhiteLeghorn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's an awesome story! Thanks for sharing!
    [​IMG]
     

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