hoping to ditch
the grain in the
long term, I figure that homegrown grain is better for our chickens
than highly processed pellets. So when Mark came home from a
friend’s house with a sack of over-mature sweet corn, I instantly
earmarked the windfall as chicken feed.
What is over-mature
sweet corn? If you leave corn in the garden for too long, the
sugars in the kernels turn to starch and the corn is no longer as
delicious. Your chickens will be glad to take care of the
problematic corn — just peel back the husk and toss an ear to your
flock, then watch the kernels disappear. At the time we received
our corn, though, our chickens were gorging on garden produce, so I
decided to save the grain for colder weather.
I’m ashamed to admit
that the sack of corn sat in the car for three days before I got around
to dealing with it. By the time I peeled back the husks, some of
the kernels had begun to rot, and later other kernels would sprout
before drying. Still, the dried sweet corn was enthusiastically
received by our forest pasture flock on one of the days when I felt our
kitchen scraps needed a bit of supplementation.
waterer gives your
flock something to do rather than pecking at each other.