10 Reasons to Give Cracked Corn to Your Chickens

Are you a proud chicken keeper looking for ways to ensure your feathered friends are happy and healthy? If so, you’ve probably heard about cracked corn, a popular dietary option for chickens. In this article, we’re going to give you not one, not two, but ten fantastic reasons why cracked corn should be a staple in your chicken’s diet.


Before we discuss further, we just want to make this quick point: this blog is run by backyard chicken enthusiasts. We strive to provide accurate and reliable information in this blog, but please remember we’re sharing our personal experience as chicken owners. Our shared experience should not be considered a substitute for professional veterinary advice.

Why Give Your Chickens Cracked Corn?

Here’s our list of the reasons you’re going to want cracked corn for your chickens:

1. Nutritional Value

Let’s start with the basics – cracked corn is packed with nutrition. It’s like a mini-energy bar for your chickens! Chickens need a balanced diet, just like we do, and cracked corn provides them with essential carbohydrates. These carbs keep your feathered pals energetic and ready to scratch and peck their way through the day.

2. Energy Boost

Ever notice your chickens slowing down or becoming less active, especially during colder months? That’s where cracked corn comes to the rescue. Chickens are a bit like little engines, and cracked corn serves as an excellent source of energy. It’s like fuel for their feathery bodies, helping them stay active and lively.

3. Good for Winter Months

Winter can be tough on your chickens. The cold weather can make them use up more energy to keep warm. That’s when cracked corn becomes a lifesaver. It provides that extra energy boost your chickens need during chilly days, helping them maintain their body temperature and stay cozy.

4. Stress Reduction

Believe it or not, chickens can get stressed too! Changes in their environment, the presence of predators, or even the introduction of new flock members can stress them out. Cracked corn can serve as a comforting treat during such times. Just like a warm cup of cocoa on a cold day, it provides some comfort and familiarity when life gets a bit overwhelming for your chickens.

5. Easy to Digest

Another reason to love cracked corn is its digestibility. Chickens have a unique digestive system, and they can break down corn more efficiently than some other grains. This means they can absorb the nutrients more effectively, ensuring they get the most out of their food.

6. Varied Diet

Imagine eating the same thing every day; it gets pretty boring, right? Chickens feel the same way. Offering cracked corn as part of their diet adds variety to their meals. It’s like giving them a change in the menu, and who doesn’t love a little variety now and then?

7. Egg Production

If you’re raising chickens for eggs, you’ll be thrilled to know that cracked corn can have a positive impact on egg production. The added energy and nutrients from cracked corn can help hens lay more eggs. It’s a win-win situation – your chickens are happy, and you get more fresh eggs for your breakfast table.

8. Behavioral Enrichment

Chickens are intelligent creatures, and they need mental stimulation to stay happy. Scatter some cracked corn in their coop or run, and watch them go on a treasure hunt. Pecking at the corn on the ground is not only fun but also provides some mental exercise, keeping your chickens engaged and preventing boredom.

9. Training and Bonding

Yes, you can train chickens! If you’re trying to teach your chickens tricks or just want to bond with them, cracked corn can be a valuable tool. Use it as a reward during training sessions, and your chickens will be more eager to learn and spend time with you.

10. Affordable Treat

Last but not least, cracked corn is a budget-friendly treat for your flock. It’s readily available and won’t break the bank. A little goes a long way, making it a cost-effective way to keep your chickens happy and healthy.

Are There Any Reasons NOT to Give Your Chickens Cracked Corn?

While cracked corn offers numerous advantages for your flock, it’s essential to consider potential downsides and limitations. One significant factor to keep in mind is that cracked corn should be seen as a supplement rather than a primary source of nutrition. Offering cracked corn exclusively can lead to an imbalanced diet, as it lacks some essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals that your chickens need to thrive.

Additionally, cracked corn is relatively low in protein compared to other feed options. If you have growing chicks, laying hens, or chickens in need of higher protein intake, it’s crucial to provide additional protein-rich feed to meet their specific dietary requirements. Overreliance on cracked corn may not fulfill these needs adequately.

Another consideration is that cracked corn can be calorie-dense, leading to potential issues with obesity in chickens if overfed. Obesity can result in health problems, including joint issues and reduced egg production.

Furthermore, cracked corn is best used as a treat or supplemental feed rather than the primary component of a chicken’s diet. Offering it in moderation, along with a balanced diet that includes grains, vegetables like brussels sprouts, insects, and commercial poultry feed, will help ensure your chickens get a well-rounded and nutritionally complete diet.

Wrapping Up Cracked Corn

In conclusion, cracked corn is a versatile addition to your chicken’s diet. It provides essential nutrients, boosts energy, and can be a source of comfort during stressful times. Whether you’re raising chickens for eggs, meat, or simply as backyard companions, cracked corn is an excellent choice to keep them content and thriving.

Remember, while cracked corn offers numerous benefits, it should be fed in moderation. A balanced diet that includes a mix of grains, greens, and protein sources is key to maintaining your chicken’s overall health. So, go ahead and treat your feathered friends to some cracked corn, but be sure to keep their diet well-rounded for the best results. Your chickens will thank you with happy clucks and delicious eggs!

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