What's the deal with people only feeding corn????

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cjdmashley, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. cjdmashley

    cjdmashley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm very confused, I've heard a bunch of people (and actually had 2 people talk to husband in T.S. who said that after a couple of weeks they only feed their meat birds cracked corn (or whole) and move them daily. A couple of friends have said the same thing. I can't wrap my head around this and really confused that if it is really so bad to do, why would people offer that advise to someone they don't even know? I understand that the corn is $5.00+ cheaper than the protein feed but wouldn't an only-corn-diet affect taste, size, and over-all health of the bird? Have I really been wasting alot of money? The girls get a mix of protein feed (about 20% or so) some layer pellets (for calcium) and cracked corn. What does everyone else think? any thoughts would be great

    thanks!!
     
  2. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know a lot of farmers that feed only cracked corn to their chickens because that's what they have on hand. Do they get the best production they could have? I couldn't vouch for that, but the birds seem fine:/
     
  3. Swampwood

    Swampwood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a FIL thats always on my case about buying chicken food.. Back in the day..He only fed his chickens whole corn when he was raising hundreds of them.. He can't remember egg production numbers though. Now I keep a feeder box with corn in the run and, my (nonsense chicken)food in the coop..just to make him happy [​IMG] I love old people [​IMG], I'll probably be just like him when I grow up..hehe
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  4. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My take is that with about 9% protein ration, it will take 2x the feed to get the birds to butcher weight. So, IMO you are not saving money, but rather just spreading the money over time. The chickens 'may' get enough nutrients from the ground/bugs etc-- but more likely needing the tractor to be moved 3-4 times per day to provide any chance of proper nutrition.

    Secondly, the weight that is put on will be more fatty- vs lean protein built muscle.

    The flip-side? if we are talking about birds that are alive 1-2 years, this is a horrible plan since they are not getting a wide-range of vitamins/nutrition needed. For an 8-week bird? Again, not considering structural development, they will probably be 'ok' as long as they are moved constantly for this short period of time.

    MOST HUMANS are fed a heavy-corn diet and we are perfectly healthy right? (sarcasm) - I think our heavy corn diet in long term hurts Americans, but we are still enjoying our high fructose corn syrup frosted over a huge bowl of corn-flakes as we drink high-fructose corn-syrup/chocolate milk for breakfast.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  5. cjdmashley

    cjdmashley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I should add that this was what they fed the cornish X's
     
  6. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That was my first thought on reading the original post. Corn is in almost every processed food we buy, and in almost every piece of meat you get at the store. And MOST corn in this country is genetically modified. (I do feed some corn to my chickens, but it is organic corn. I want to work towards growing food for my chickens so they get a well-rounded, healthy diet.)
     
  7. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And - truth be know is it is in MOST of the commercial feeds we buy at the store. When buying chicken feed from the feed-mill..they use a base feed with proper nutrition and then 'dumb' it down with corn to reduce protein. Too much protein causes protein poisoning. Lesson learned is balance indeed... but I am NOT saying that balance cannot be achieved in the method of feeding corn+grass+bugs. I finished a batch in August and realize that I want to grow more 'stuff' in the garden next year to supplement. I fed them EVERY ear of sweet corn that turned hard this year, and it was easy-- but I also feed them a 20% ration of feed also. I also learned that they LOVE Okra- and it seems to be an easy plant to grow and have good yield.


    Quote:That was my first thought on reading the original post. Corn is in almost every processed food we buy, and in almost every piece of meat you get at the store. And MOST corn in this country is genetically modified. (I do feed some corn to my chickens, but it is organic corn. I want to work towards growing food for my chickens so they get a well-rounded, healthy diet.)
     
  8. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    okra hmmmm . . . wonder what the protien content is there? did you know that turnip greens are 20%, the chickens love them and super easy to grow!
     
  9. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens are omnivores, they cannot express their chicken-ness on just corn.
     
  10. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Corn is about 9% protein. A lot of people used to feed just corn to their meat animals because that is what they had. They also didn't know any better. I remember seeing an agricultural extension bulletin published in the '40's showing some pigs that were fed just corn compared with some that were fed a balanced diet with a protein supplement. You wouldn't believe the difference. Back in the day when chickens were fed a lot of home grown feeds, in addition to corn and other grains they were also fed skim milk and greens.

    Corn is not used to "dumb" down feeds to reduce protein. It is used for energy. Corn and barley are the grains with the highest energy content.
     

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