Thoughts on corn in poultry feeds.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by GreenMountainEric, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. GreenMountainEric

    GreenMountainEric Songster

    Dec 23, 2010
    Hi BYCers!

    I am a feed manufacturer, and I have been active here (Off and on) for about 7 or 8 years. Over the years, I have noticed an increasing opinion that corn is not a good ingredient for poultry feeds. I often see posts that point out corn as a “filler”, or that it is only used because it is cheap.

    I am very honestly curious about the basis for these thoughts, and I am very interested in opinions, and data that supports it. As a manufacturer, I want to be as informed as possible, so that I can make appropriate decisions for future formulations. I am curious if I should be looking at offering a corn free option or not. We do currently offer some soy free options, but the advantages to that were easy to identify. There is a lot of science behind the advantages and disadvantages of using soy. I saw good reason to offer an option excluding soy products.

    From my perspective- We use corn, because it actually has one of the best nutrient profiles that align with the energy needs of poultry. We definitely don’t use it as a filler. It is actually used as the complete opposite of a filler. It is actually one of the most energy nutrient dense ingredients available for livestock feeds. It’s also far from being the cheapest ingredient available for use as the energy portion of the rations. Small grains are much cheaper to use, with the exception of milling wheat (Milling wheat wouldn’t be used by a feed mill anyway. They would only be using wheat that didn’t make food grade). Barley, oats, rye, spelt, soft red wheat, etc., are typically cheaper.

    I appreciate any input that can be provided! And thank you in advance for all of your views!

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I try to explain that corn is the primary ingredient in most poultry feeds in North America, Brazil, parts of Asia and Africa. I believe barley and wheat are a more common ingredient in Europe and Australia.
    Whichever grain is used, it satisfies the essential energy nutritional component in feed as well as providing B complex and other vitamins/minerals.
    Perhaps one reason some avoid feeds containing corn is the GMO aspect of US grown corn.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  3. Matt119911

    Matt119911 Songster

    May 4, 2018
    I feed my chickens scratch which is corn and grains
  4. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    I think in the US that there has been a lot of discussion in recent years about whether or not GMO feeds are safe, better, or worse than non-GMO ingredients. Many consumers are uninformed or perhaps over-informed by media and internet sites. Whether supported by science or not (right or wrong), many people like to think that opting for corn-free/GMO free feed is somehow safer and healthier for their hens and therefore for their families as consumers of the meat and eggs.
  5. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Crowing

    Oct 20, 2014
    I don't have a problem with corn in chicken feed.

    I think where the "corn is a filler" = bad ... comes from is the dog food world! Where cheap dog food has lots of corn, and sometimes no meat, just "flavoring! ;)

    As you know dogs and chickens are two very different critters, and have vastly different nutritional needs.
    m1chelle1, Susan Dye, Trux and 9 others like this.
  6. GreenMountainEric

    GreenMountainEric Songster

    Dec 23, 2010
    Just as an FYI, I am an organic and non-gmo conventional manufacturer. So both types of feed that I manufacture are non-gmo.

    Ironically, I don’t have particularly strong views on GMO’s, but do understand the concerns of others.
    m1chelle1, Susan Dye, Trux and 15 others like this.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Thanks for asking. I'm going to post just so I will see updates to this thread. I also would be interested in why the grain that helped fuel the Mesomerican civilizations is so bad for chickens.
  8. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

    Jan 19, 2018
    SE Wisconsin
    My Coop
    What is your company, may I ask?
    Susan Dye, rjohns39, puffypoo and 2 others like this.
  9. GreenMountainEric

    GreenMountainEric Songster

    Dec 23, 2010
    Green Mountain Feeds inc.
    Susan Dye, Miss Lydia, lcwmt and 5 others like this.
  10. Al Capon

    Al Capon Songster

    Dec 12, 2017
    Central OK
    I'm gonna take a shot every time "Organic" is thrown out there, should be fun.

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