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Feeding whole corn to chickens

Feeding whole kernels of corn to chickensAs you know, I'm on a quest to find out cheaper ways to keep our chickens fed.  Robert Plamondon provides unlimited access to whole corn kernels, and finds that the cheap corn cuts down on chicken feed costs.  While corn isn't a well-rounded diet for chickens, feeding corn can definitely cut costs if your chickens have access to plenty of range.  They should get enough protein in their diets by catching bugs and scratching up worms, with the corn acting as a carbohydrate boost.

Plamondon notes:

As usual with feeding trials, the results [of a comparison between chickens provided with unlimited pellets verus those provided with unlimited corn] are inconclusive, with the hens eating only the balanced ration sometimes being more profitable than the ones with free-choice grain, and sometimes not. But that’s only if the grain costs the same whether you feed it separately or use it in the layer ration. If you have a source of cheap whole corn that costs a lot less than your layer ration, feeding separate corn is a hands-down win.

Sounds like I should plant a bit of field corn along with buckwheat in the grain portion of our forest pasture.

Looking for other innovative ways of keeping your chickens healthy?  Our homemade chicken waterer provides unlimited clean water and prevents chicken pecking.

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Anna, what do you plant for chicken feed?
Comment by Tina terribly early Saturday morning, March 17th, 2012
Tina --- We've played around with planting various feeds, of which sunflowers gave us the most palatable food for the time investment. However, I've decided that it makes more sense to work on producing a perennial pasture that provides as much food for the chickens as possible. So we're instead turning our attention to planting things like nanking cherries, mulberries, and persimmons in the pasture. It'll be several years before we know how that experiment pans out.
Comment by anna Tuesday afternoon, March 20th, 2012

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