Can chickens eat whole corn? Does your concern lie with regard to feeding chickens whole corn? If you are wondering whether chicken feeds on whole corn or if it will be the right thing, you have come to the right place.
Chickens are the dearest creatures of their owners, and when it comes to providing them with the proper nutrition, every owner stumbles a bit. This is because of some common myths that do their rounds and bewilder the chicken owners. Do note that commercial diet forms an integral part of its diet. Take due care to check if it is eating scratch too.
You have likely heard people saying that corn heats the body of the chicken. Though there is slight truth in it, people mostly make incorrect meanings of this statement. Eager to know what it means for the health of your chicken? Well, just wait a bit patiently! We will soon be discussing every bad and promising aspect of corn for your chicken.
Whole corn comes with quite an excellent nutritional value. So, you can offer corn to chickens as treats occasionally. You can even provide them with cracked corn which is just broken and dried versions of whole corn.
Gear up to immerse into the world of a chicken balanced diet as we will share with you everything you need to know to feed whole corn to these chicks.
Is Corn A Healthy Option For Chickens?
Corn is a pretty good option for chickens to feed on because it offers the amalgamated health benefits of both a vegetable and a grain. Feeding your chickens corn can also aid in giving a bright yellow color to the egg yolk.
Being a chicken owner, you probably know that the more profound the yellow hue of the yolk is, the healthier the baby chicken will be.
Therefore, corn automatically becomes a healthy option for your chicken. But, yes, there is a ‘but’ here! Corn should be considered a treat for your chickens. Make sure that the chickens feed on corn at a moderate rate.
If the chickens are fed with too much corn, they gain weight due to the accumulation of fats in their bodies. Overweight chickens get prone to several diseases and may face quite complications at the time of laying eggs.
The benefits of corn in fuelling the energy of the chickens and keeping it warm in the cold winter days can not be denied. Corn aids in accelerating the chicken’s rate of metabolism. So, chickens can eat whole corn but only in small amounts.
Chickens can digest corn with ease. It has low fiber content. For the poultry chickens, corn alone does not offer any significant benefits.
However, if you provide your chickens a mixed food by combining corn with soybean, it will be a great source of protein for your pet. Add the enzyme called phytase so that the element of phosphorus present in the corn gets entirely utilized by the hens.
Remember that just because corn is a good source of carbohydrates and carotene, you cannot make the chickens eat corn pellets every day. Consider the corn kernels as a treat and feed them these only occasionally.
Nutrition For Hens
You must cater to the dietary requirements of your chickens. Before feeding them with corn, note that they need a balanced diet to stay fit and healthy.
About 90% of their diet has to come from commercial feed; the other 10% may have its source in the scraps and little treats like corn.
A majority of the chickens’ diet has to contain fruits, grains, and vegetables. You can offer them scraps at night so that they don’t feel saturated by these heavy food items they feed on an entire day. You can introduce the treats to them either once every two weeks or monthly.
Types of Corns That You Can Feed Your Hens
- Sweet Corn
Sweet corn has many types and is not a good option for chickens because of the sugar content. It is better not to prefer to offer anything related to sweet corn to the hens.
Maize is a good food source for chickens and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. However, it is beneficial to the poultry hens and chickens only if fresh maize is provided.
Unfortunately, fresh maize is not widely available in the stores or market. So, if you have a farm of your own and grow maize by yourself, you can offer it to your chickens in a fresh state.
- Cracked Corn
Cracked corn is nothing but corn kernels that have been first dried and then cracked into minuscule grain pieces so that the chickens can easily have the food. This food can become a good scratch source and constitute the remaining 10% of the bird’s diet.
- Tortilla/Chips Of Corn
Tortilla or chips made of corn are good sources for chickens only if these are not salted and fed in small quantities.
These need to be free from any kind of spicy or tangy flavors. Just check if the chicken provides new only on plain, unsalted corn chips or tortillas and not any flavourful food items.
- Frozen Sweetcorn
Frozen sweetcorn acts as a fabulous summer meal for the chickens. The intensive hot days make the chickens feel uncomfortable. Feeding them frozen sweetcorn will give them a respite from the scorching summer season.
- Tinned Sweetcorn
Tinned sweetcorn can be fed to the chickens only in small amounts, say, only one teaspoon of tinned sweetcorn once every two weeks to each chicken.
Since this type of sweetcorn is rich in salt, it can hamper your chicken’s health. Therefore, let the flock of chicks eat high-quality sweetcorn, only in minute amounts.
- Creamed Corn
Since creamed corn has high fiber content, it may cause digestive problems in birds. Its nutritional value involves low protein and high carbohydrate content. The rich salt content of creamed corn often affects the health of this flock of chicken birds.
Do Chickens Find It Difficult To Digest Whole Corn?
Are you pondering over the fact that your chickens will be able to digest the whole corn shells? Or, do you think it will excrete the undigested whole corn as small yellow bits in their feces? Well, we are here to help you get rid of your thoughts.
Always remember that as long as chickens have adequate access to grit, they will be able to nibble on various harder items. Check if the bird has access to enough grit.
Supplying it with grit is necessary as it helps the chicks break up the hard corn shell, thus facilitating the better digestion of whole corn.
With the help of their particular organ called gizzard that performs the function of teeth, they chew a wide range of hard food items. Wondering what a gizzard is? Well, it is the stomach of the chickens that acts as a strong muscle and helps them in chewing foods with a hard outer core.
Still, if you think that whole corn will not be a good food option for your chicks, you can feed them corn kernels instead.
Should You Give Corn On The Cob To The Chickens?
It is completely fine to feed your chickens corn on the cob. While providing them the corn in cooked form is preferable, you can offer it either in cooked or raw form. Do you know what the most fantastic thing about corn on the cob is?
You can just hang this piece with a string from above and let the entire flock get a chance to peck at it or chew it as per their whims. Some owners also attach corn husks, but it is not advisable to do so because it has got simply no health benefits for your chickens.
Can Corn Overheat Your Chicken’s Body?
Corn doesn’t raise the body temperature of the chicken in that sense. If you have heard people saying that corn is warm food, that is because it is rich in carbohydrates, and therefore acts as a fuel and provides the chicken with a great deal of energy and enhances their metabolism rate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How often to feed corn?
You can feed corn to chickens once or twice a week. While providing, don’t exceed the corn amount of more than one teaspoon for each chicken.
Can baby chicks eat corn?
You can feed the baby chickens a mixed food of cracked corn, oatmeal, and wheat only if they have grown a week old. It is essential to ensure that the corn is ground and broken into small pieces so that the baby chicks can eat it quickly.
At what age can chickens eat whole corn?
Chickens can be provided with whole corn only after they have grown about six weeks or more. However, make sure not to give them these scratch foods like corn more than once in 2 weeks or once a month.