permaguy Hatfield wrote:Hi,
i'm designing my poultry feed system, and i want to include corn as a storable carb for winter
Is someone here growing corn for his poultry ? If so, is there a good cultivar for this purpose, and how one manages the problem of cross pollination with commercial/GM corn grown nearby ?
Does someone have some number of corn consumed by poultry by day/month in a system feed in which corn is served alone free choice (for energy), with some commercial feed served also alone free choice (for protein) ?
I'm trying to find some energy requirement for winter maintenance and number about metabolized energy for corn, but it is maybe simpler to ask for some real experience
The only problem I see with feeding corn is if you try buying it in "bulk" from a farmer. His/her corn is likely whole and its almost impossible for most animals (including humans) to digest the whole kernel corn. I live in South Dakota and corn is all around me, and I've stepped in a few cow-pies to know that it runs thru cows too with little change! So if you are going to use corn, I'd recommend getting it cracked at least. I'd recommend other grain instead, such as wheat and other small grains. I've also read that its good to rake up and bag your leaves or ask your neighbors for their bagged up leaves in the fall, then use them as bedding for the birds. Well there is a side benefit to doing this! I discovered my chickens head for any raked piles and feed on the hiding bugs who are trying to find shelter. Additionally they consume some of the leaves in the process. Since winter snow is the big problem for me, my birds have to be indoors most of the winter, so spreading leaves is done in their shed. But I also spread out my excess red worms that have over-populated themselves in my worm-casting tub. So that also adds to the chicken food supply. I also feed them scraps from the kitchen, just like my grandmother did when I was a little girl.
I haven't tried growing my own meal worms for my poultry but some say that is plausible. I rather try to use the shot gun approach for feed. Giving them a variety of grains to choose from. The one grain I find in many bird seed bags and one I find few wildlife seem to want to eat is millet. Don't know if chickens are just as picky as wild birds and wild rabbits, but its also something to consider if its available.