Can chickens or goats eat whole dried corn? Because...... : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

when I was at the feed store I picked up a bag of feed the said "cleaned grains" which I thought meant scratch grain but turned out to be whole dried corn kernals. Can I feed this a little at a time to the chickens and the goats? Any other suggestions as to what to do with it? Can I grind it in my blender? Would it need to be soaked first?

-- Anita in NC (, May 05, 2002


They can eat it just like it is. I usually use a small handful of shelled corn as a bribe. Works better on goats than chickens, but both can eat it o.k.

-- Ed Copp (OH) (, May 05, 2002.

Anita, other than perhaps a handful type treat, you don't want to be adding anything to the normal diet of your four legged stock. Changes should be made gradual. You can grind it or soak it and grind it and feed it to the hens. My hens will eat the corn that is crimped in the goats feed but not whole corn. I also don't feed whole corn because it will grind the goats molars down to quickly, a steady diet of whole corn and your does will be toothless before they are old ladies. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, May 05, 2002.

Sounds like what they sell here for deer feed during hunting season. Corn is one feed that is not digestible to human or critter. BUT IT'S SOOOOO GOOD!!! It comes out looking like it did when it went in. If you must feed it, handle it like scratch and feed just a small amount as a treat. Goats upset easily; give v-e-r-y little.

-- ~Rogo (, May 05, 2002.

If you have a roller mill or can crack it they will handle it better. Otherwise you can soak it over night. Throw a handful of wood ash into the bucket with the corn, it softens the husk and makes the b vitamins available for absorption. Corn is great food for chickens, makes their yolks nice and yellow. If you have a pastured cow, and free range chicks, you can feed the cow whole corn, it will come out in the dung and the chickens will spread out the patties while they pick out the corn. You don't even have to soak the corn first, the cow's stomach does it for you. When the chicks scratch the manure up it helps eliminate flies and you don't have to go back and spread out the manure.

-- kim in CO (, May 06, 2002.

Whole corn has a pretty tough seed coat. Fed whole to livestock not pre-conditioned for it (raising beed calves properly will allow them to digest it...), they probably won't digest very much of it. It shouldn't harm them any, but it might not add much to them in nutrition either.

Scratching the seed coat somehow, with a roller, hammermill, or other, will allow the corn to digest in their tummies.

Offering the birds a rough aggrigate or shells will help them scratch up the seed coats in their crops, but I'm no bird expert so consider that just rumor. :)


-- paul (, May 06, 2002.

Hey Rogo, there is starting to be some research into food habits practiced by Native Americans that is beginning to dispute corn not being not able to be digested by humans.

Adding wood ash to corn cooked by boiling often makes the corn more digestible and releases more food value to the consumer. Archeologists thought that the practice was a religious act; turns out that the N.A. knew what they were doing had a practical aspect. Don't know if this is true, but is something to find out; maybe Google?

-- j.r. guerra in s. tx. (, May 06, 2002.

Not only can your chickens eat whole corn but I think it has more nutritional benefit to them than feeding them store bought cracked corn. The reason is that once a grain kernel is broken it inevitably begins to deteriorate in its nutritional value due to exposure to oxygen in the air. Whole corn is still intact and there has not been sitting around for weeks and/or months steadily losing nutritional value.

Your birds may be resistant to eating whole corn at first both for reasons of that it's more work to eat in the unbroken form than already cracked corn and suspicion of a new food. Keep putting the corn out for them, don't give them any other food other than their layer ration and if they're not free range birds you'll need to provide grit for them to grind the corn with. After a time they'll begin to eat it. I just went through the process about a month ago with my newest birds and for the first three or four days they left the corn on the ground but after awhile they began to clean it up. If a wild dove or quail can eat whole corn your chickens certainly can.


-- Alan (, May 06, 2002.

Not only do the chickens like it (whole kernel), but so do the wild birds, especially blue jays and mourning doves. You can also "pop" it like popcorn. Just sort of puffs up, but is much like the "corn- nuts" you pay a premium for. GL!

-- Brad (, May 06, 2002.

Whole corn cooked with wood ashes -- isn't that the way to make hominy? Would you wash the lye out or just feed it? My mother has made the comment that folks used to give their hogs the wash water for the lye in it. Anyway, wood ashes and water make lye. Please be careful.

-- Robin Downing (, May 06, 2002.

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