Corn Husks for Chickens? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I am shucking a LOT of corn here and would usually put the husks in the compost. But....I've been wondering if the chickens would like them or the silk and whether it would be nutritional for them. I have always enjoyed hearing about the many ways to feed small flocks and herds here on the forum. My chickens always have feed available so they aren't going to keel over but I love to find new things they like and that will reduce the feed bill! I've noticed they love the ends of beans that we throw to them after breaking beans. OK--it gives me much pleasure to give them a treat and feel like I'm using up all my resources wisely!

-- Ann Markson (, July 21, 2001


I don't think chickens can do much with corn husks. Sheep, goats, and cattle can eat them, but they're grazing animals and can break the tough stuff down.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), July 21, 2001.

I feed my chickens and turkeys husks, never had a problem. I also will dump my horse and cow manure in the pen from time to time. They scratch at it and eat all the grain etc. They also get all the weeds from the garden and grass clipping.

-- tracy (, July 21, 2001.

For sweet corn they can certainly pick at it and get stuff out. They'd get better value though if you just ran down the cobs hard and close with a sharp knive, and gave them the shavings. That way they wouldn't miss anything. For dry corn, I simply don't know.

-- Don Armstrong (, July 21, 2001.

I feed everything from the corn to them. The husks and silk, the yucky tops cut off, the corn worms, and the cobs when we are done with them.....they act like it is a full course meal.....and in the morning when I come back there is a bit extra litter. I use hay and straw for the the weeds I feed them and left over corn stuff is just extra. I also feed them the watermelon rinds, leftover fruit parts, weeds from my garden, my kids leftover oatmeal with raisins from breakfast, leftover rice if not enough to save for a meal. I figure if its a grain or plant matter they probably will eat it.

-- Storybook Farm (, July 21, 2001.

I'm not a chicken expert by any means, but I've noticed that my chickens will eat anything that doesn't eat them first! They eat all of our food scraps, including meat scraps. They even ate some cabbage leaves, and I read they wouldn't eat cabbage, onions or garlic. I do feed them corn and laying mash but they roam free and seem to prefer all of the other stuff.

-- Melissa (, July 22, 2001.

I toss shucks and all into the hen house whenever I have any (no ruminants at present). The birds won't eat the shucks but they do eat any stray corn kernels that may be in their and any ear worms and so on. The rest just becomes part of the house litter soaking up manure and is later composted.


-- Live Oak (, July 23, 2001.

I agree with the above, but if you can chop, slice, or cut it into 1/2" pieces (across the grain) then they handle it very well. GL!

-- Brad (, July 23, 2001.

i saw that some one that awnser said that they give his chickens meat also don't feed them chicken because thats what started mad cow diease the farmers grinding up the dead cows and feeding it back to them. so please don't feed them chicken or we might start a mad chicken diease

-- drew (, August 20, 2001.

My chickens ate to amny onions once and there eggs tasted funny .I would be carefull on how many you feed.

-- Patty {NY State} (, August 20, 2001.

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