What is the "safe" amount of corn/scratch to give?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bawkbawkbawk, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

  2. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just my opinion: Alot of people feed there birds some scratch or boss. The key is to keep it as a treat....not start giving alot of it more often just because the birds flock to it. If given too much it decreases the amount of total protein that is in your birds diet. This can cause some issues. It is hepful to give birds some in late afternoon on really cold nights. The cracked corn in scratch or the boss can help keep the bird warm for overnight. I give a coop/run of about 15 birds a cup or so.

    Not sure how much others give, but we shall see.

    Dave [​IMG]
     
  3. grendel

    grendel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the winter 30 degrees and under I give cracked corn every other day about a half to a quarter coffee can full.that is for 12 birds.Then twice a week scratch grains.(one full coffee can per feeding)Of cuorse the every other day is layer mash.Then in the summer it is cracked corn twice a week and layer mash the rest.
     
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    If the weather is really cold a handful of corn per bird per day can be beneficial. If the weather isn't cold then no more than about a half a handful per bird per day is not going to hurt anything. This is if you're feeding a typical 16% protein layer ration.

    I feed a 20% protein ration and hang a feeder of whole corn/wheat/alfalfa pellets and let the birds choose for themselves. This time of year they'll eat about 40% mash, 60% grain mix and they do well on it.
     
  5. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I have black pet-food scoops from Walmart that I guess are about 2 cups each. I give my birds (19 guineas and 10 chickens) two scoops of feed wheat and one scoop of cracked corn in the eveing (about 30 minutes before sundown.) I scatter it out well in the area in front of the entrance to their sleeping quarters. It helps to gather them from far and wide (we have 23 acres) and I like to see their crops nice and full before they go in to roost. I also provide layer pellets and starter at all times and they free range during the day most of the time. We also get pictures of them at the deer feeders that DH has out for his deer. These dispense whole corn twice a day, and it is enjoyed by many deer, racoons, rabbits, crows, and other birds besides mine! There are many people who feed corn almost exclusively and seem to have no trouble. There are people who say corn is a no-no. My birds do fine. I say, if it works, why fix it?
     
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Am I wrong to feed scratch to my hens?

    No,
    I think it will take a whole lot more than giving Corn as a treat to give chickens Fatty Liver Disease. Here is what I posted on the link you posted. Please note that it says -
    it is thought to be an excessive calorie intake, but it may also be related to exposure to the mycotoxin aflatoxin, calcium deficiency and stress. An incorrect protein: energy balance may be to blame. Some strains of laying hen appear to be more susceptible.

    Condition that affects only hens, primarily caged layers, it is thought to be an excessive calorie intake, but it may also be related to exposure to the mycotoxin aflatoxin, calcium deficiency and stress. An incorrect protein: energy balance may be to blame. Some strains of laying hen appear to be more susceptible. Birds within a flock that are most affected tend to be the higher producing hens. Fatty liver syndrome has been seen in conjunction with cage layer fatigue.

    Fatty liver syndrome is a condition that affects only hens, primarily caged layers. It is a metabolic or nutritional disease and is characterised by general obesity with an enlarged, fatty liver that becomes soft and easily damaged. Mortality rates vary with death often caused by internal haemorrhage due to rupture of the liver.

    What causes fatty liver syndrome?
    The principal cause is thought to be an excessive calorie intake, but it may also be related to exposure to the mycotoxin aflatoxin, calcium deficiency and stress. An incorrect protein: energy balance may be to blame. Some strains of laying hen appear to be more susceptible. Birds within a flock that are most affected tend to be the higher producing hens. Fatty liver syndrome has been seen in conjunction with cage layer fatigue.

    Prevention and treatment of fatty liver syndrome.
    he principal causes of fatty liver syndrome are related to feed ingredient quality or inappropriate feed formulation. Unless caused by aflatoxin or calcium deficiency, the main treatment for this condition is to reduce the amount of dietary energy consumed. If a complete layer ration is being fed, addition of vitamins can be of benefit. However, control of body fat is the only successful remedy for this condition and is best accomplished by regulation and reduction of total energy intake. If aflatoxin is involved, the contaminated feed must be replaced. If a calcium deficiency is suspected, adding large particle calcium to the diet is recommended, as this allows the hen to select an increased calcium intake without over-consuming the energy component of the diet. Some farmers add choline chloride to feed as a treatment, effects are variable however.

    Poultry Health Handbook 4th Ed, 1994. L. D. Schwartz, Pennsylvania State University.
    http://www.poultryhub.org/index.php/Fatty_liver_syndrome

    And here is another

    Fatty liver syndrome was first described in the 1950s as excessive fat in the liver associated with varying degress of hemorrhage. The condition is almost universally confined to caged birds fed high-energy diets, and is most often seen in summer months. The liver is usually enlarged, yellow or putty colored, and very friable. The abdominal cavity contains large amounts of fat. Fatty liver syndrome without excessive body fat is thought to be associated with mycotoxins (eg, aflatoxins) in feed. See mycotoxicoses, Mycotoxicoses: Introduction . The affected birds may also have pale combs. The ovary is usually active and the metabolic and physical stress associated with oviposition may be factors that induce the fatal hemorrhage, although mortality generally is <5%.
    Because fatty liver syndrome seems to occur only when birds are in a positive energy balance, the monitoring of body weight is a good diagnostic tool. Through force-feeding techniques, it has been shown that fatty liver syndrome is caused by an oversupply of energy rather than by an excess of any specific nutrient, such as fat or carbohydrate. The condition can be induced experimentally in layers and even male birds by the administration of estrogen, reinforcing the concept that it occurs more frequently in high-producing birds that presumably are producing estrogen from very active ovaries.
    The condition is easy to recognize at necropsy due to the liver hemorrhage and also the fact that the liver is often enlarged and engorged with fat. This makes the liver friable, and it is difficult to remove each lobe in one piece. The pale yellow color of the liver, while characteristic, is not always specific to this condition. Normal layers fed appreciable quantities of yellow corn will also have a yellow liver. Also, liver color may be indicative of dietary xanthophylls rather than fatty liver syndrome, because the condition can be induced by force-feeding semi-purified diets devoid of pigment; these birds lack the characteristic yellow liver. Birds with fatty liver syndrome have 40-70% fat in the liver dry matter. In many studies, the degree of fatty liver syndrome is described via a liver hemorrhage score, which is usually based on a scale from 1-5, in which 1 = no hemorrhage, 2 = 1-5 hemorrhages, 3 = 6-15 hemorrhages, 4 = 16-25 hemorrhages, and 5 = >25 hemorrhages, including a massive, usually fatal, hemorrhage.
    Attempts have been made to prevent or treat the condition through diet modification. Substituting carbohydrate with supplemental fat, while not increasing the energy content of the dietary, seems to be beneficial. Presumably such modification means that the liver needs to synthesize less fat for yolk. Replacement of corn with other cereals, such as wheat and barley, is often beneficial. However, this substitution may involve a reduction in dietary energy level or may necessitate the use of additional fat to maintain isoenergetic conditions, and these 2 factors are known to influence fatty liver syndrome. The syndrome has reportedly been reduced through the use of various byproduct feeds such as distiller’s grains and solubles, fish meal, and alfalfa meal. Although the mode of action is unclear, unintentional supplementation of selenium may be involved. Addition of 6% oat hulls to the feed has been successful at times. Fatty liver syndrome is best prevented by not allowing an excessive positive energy balance in older birds. Body weight can be monitored and when potential problems are seen, remedial action taken to limit energy intake through the use of lower energy diets and/or change in feed management. A wide energy:protein ratio in the diet will aggravate fatty liver syndrome. On farms with history of fatty liver syndrome, the diet should be supplemented with 0.3 ppm selenium, up to 100 IU vitamin E/kg diet, and appropriate levels of an antioxidant such as ethoxyquin.

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/202400.htm


    Chris​
     
  7. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow. Thanks for the thorough reply! My chickens will be grateful to have their treats restored. (in moderation, of course...)
     

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