cracked corn as in 5 grain feed - OEGB Int'l Society

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cracked corn as in 5 grain feed

i may have posted this before but my son and i are having a debate about cracked corn yellowing white feathers as in silver duckwings and fawn silver duckwings, i'm saying most all feed has cracked corn in it in some form or fashion, i know for a fact direct sun will yellow a bird, i am not sure about corn as i have feed it alittle before and haven't noticed any problem and it wasn't a long term feed, we decided to post this concern and leave it up to some with more knowledge tha we have. in closing i just want to say we have some very nice duckwings and do not want to mess them up, it is a matter of cost as so far we have hatched over 300 chicks. any help would be appricated.


  • lotslesslotsless Albany Oregon
    I used to raise silver duckwings....I never feed them corn by itself only what little might have been in the feed mix i fed them..I never noticed any problem...I had a nice shaded area that my pens were under...I used to feed them as a supplement a oat and wheat mix now and then..but the main feed was usually a crumble mix from feed store.I liked Purina....But i never had a reason to feed corn i didn't feed them a scratch grain which has corn in it...Im sure others might have more input to help you...James cooper for one ...
  • This topic has been hashed up one side and down the other! Opinions are mostly what you get but I can assure you of one thing when you feed the mixes that come from feed companies the mixes are almost always 50% corn which is ground before pelleting and crumbling the feeds. Most lay mixes whether pelleted or Crumbled pellets are primarily Soybean Meal and Corn Meal or ground corn. The marigold extract in some of the feed mixes to make the egg yolk more yellow is the same thing in corn that folks claim turn feathers different colors.
  • so Bill, in your opinion corn will not turn white feathers yellow.
  • Several years ago I had white standard game fowl and fed a mix that contained whole yellow corn. When the birds would start their molt they were fed the same mix, during the molt they were fed the same mix, when they finished their molt they were fed the same mix and their feathers would come out snow white and stay that way usually until July or Aug. when the sun would yellow their feathers some. If the corn was causing it I would think that the new feathers that came in would have some yellow to them but always snow white and stayed that way until summer came. The yellowing is caused by the suns UV rays. One thing yellow corn will do is make a yellow legged chicken have "yellower" legs. If I was still raising white birds they would still be fed a mix that contained yellow corn. Cracked corn is ok to feed but once the shell is cracked it will loose some of it's nutrition, it's best to buy whole corn and grind it yourself if possible on the day you feed it. Some may think that this is my opinion but it's mostly my experience since I raised white birds in the past, I would usually hatch 2 maybe 3 hundred each year.
  • I really do not like to state one way or the other because some take offense to this issue. I am just stating that it is hard to find a feed that does not contain corn that will sustain the body on the bird the way it needs to stay. Usually the price of feed that does not contain corn is very expensive because of the ingredients that have to replace it. Like stated by you and Lee and others we all know the sun will yellow white feathers.
    There are some genetics involved in the white gen that will help with the yellow issues
    such as the stay white gene of the silver gene put into whites but that has it's issues also and I have even experienced like a death type gene by messing with that deal some.
    I hope this helps Woodrow but if you are worried about the corn, just don't feed it but there is no difference in feeding the corn and feeding most of the prepared feeds and no matter who you get it from most all have a high percentage of corn as a matter of fact the amount of the corn usually helps determine the quality of it.(the more the better)
  • I'm with you Bill, if some think it yellows the feathers just don't feed it. I also had duckwing standard game fowl (greys) some were silver grey others were brassback grey and they would never show any yellowing until the hot part of the summer (UV light) would hit, the brassbacks never showed any yellowing only the silver greys and it wasn't much, actually less than the white birds. The feathers that would yellow would be the hackle, wing bows and back. Flint corn is good to feed.
  • When talking about feeding yellow corn I'm not talking about feeding it as a sole ration, it's best not to feed anything as a sole ration, a mix is always better.
  • edited May 2014
  • Raven you are correct on the ddg or dried distillers grain and it is mostly corn that was used for distilling the gasohol residue. We use it in some of the cattle products but not in poultry and horse feeds. We do use some of the pork meat and bone meal which is called porcine meal. The yellowing agent in corn is no different than in vitamin a which has an awful high amount of it in it and the marigold extract that is used by some producers of poultry meal is higher yet. Everyone wants cheaper feed but the word cheap and quality doesn't work in the same formulation of it.
    We completely move the meat and bone meal from our products before it was a hazard and at the beginning of the problems with the mad cow disease. The Porcine is expensive but those high protein meat products are good for the chickens whether we like it or not. Fish meal is another one we use in some of the products. I use my birds as a testing station for our products so when the Nutritionist wants to try something we test it on my flock or part of it. I really do like to look at the fees regularly and keep the quality of it as good as possible for the folks we sell to and of course I want the best quality I can get for my own. Once again it is very seldom you buy a feed that is premixed and pelleted or crumbled that has a low corn content and most folks do not realize they are feeding the amounts of it they are but like stated also I would not feed anything just one grain and nothing else.
    Thanks guys for the input one the subject and the interesting conversation once again on corn in the diets of our chickens and especially the whites but I do not have an answer for solid fact on the yellowing of the feathers.
  • Could be genetics but with any of the white birds I ever raised that were fed corn thru the molt they would always finish out snow white never a yellow feather until the hot summer and then there were some that stayed for the most part white. I never even heard of corn turning feathers yellow until after I started raising bantams again. A few months back I asked a friend who graduated from Kansas State University with a poultry degree about the corn and yellow feathering thing and he just laughed and said it's very unlikely that corn will cause that but I knew it wouldn't just from my own experience.
  • edited May 2014
  • All things that go into feed uses very little but it is potent and that is why the amount is so small. Sometimes ounces per ton but believe me if it will turn and egg yolk darker or legs yellow it is enough to make the difference and if the corn would do that then why use the extract especially when it adds to the expense and it is the same thing in the Marigold as in the corn that supposedly does this. I am just saying that folks say they don't feed corn and most feed corn because they do not know it is in their feeds and think the amounts are small which is not true. Like I said when we first started talking this has been up and down and sideways and each have their beliefs on the subject. It is nothing to me if a person feeds whatever they want but not worth an arguing over. If you want to feed corn, feed it. If you do not want to feed corn then don't feed it but it is apparent there is no clear answer to this or it would not be a debatable subject. The feeds I use have high concentration of corns and I see no evidence they turn yellow from it. When I put those same whites outside they will tend to yellow up. So it appears that the corn will yellow them if they are in the hot sun!LOL
    The yellowing of the bill may be from the Marigold extract in the feed.
  • i greatly appricate all the post on this issue, the feed we were using was nutrena feather fixer which is a small pellet and we really liked this feed and the birds did also and was not alot of waste but it comes in 40 lb bags and went from about 12 dollars a bag up to 16 dollars a bag, i get the 5 grain feed which has corn, milo, wheat,oats, and black oil sunflower seeds for 12 dollars for a 50 lb bag, we have several hundred bantams to feed and cost is very important in manageing all of our efforts but if i knew for a fact it would cause yellowing i would discontinoue the use of it but i agree with bill that all feed has corn, thanks again for your post.
  • edited May 2014
    It looks like the first item in the ingredients is ground corn which would make it the primary ingredient or the most abundant in the mix looking at the tag.
    I would continue to use this on laying hens and use the other mix for the maintenance birds. I would not worry about the corn content in either but watch the protein and vitamin levels in the less costly feed as there are reasons the feed is cheaper. Usually the vitamin and mineral package so if you go to the cheaper look and see the difference in the amounts of certain vitamins and use something in the drinking water to supply it.
    I use a similar feed on mine which is formulated for game cocks and it is a grain mix with different fortification pellets in it and one of those is Alfalfa which is our Rabbit pellet which is over 50% Dehydrated Alfalfa. The protein on the game cock feeds are 13%, 17%, and 18% and these are more costly as the protein goes up in analysis on them.
    The 5 grain mix you are using will be somewhat low in Protein if there is none added like Soy Meal or some pellet with fortification. According to your ingredient list it shows no form of protein which would most likely make it a 10% or there about which would be inadequate for most poultry. Some folks do this and fortify it with Super Charger a 32% fortified pellet we make and some use the Manna Pro Calf Manna which is 25% and there are other concentrated pellets on the market but somewhere you have to pay for the protein in the feed and it is costly on the market now which is why your feed has gone up substantially.
  • Thanks Bill for the information on this subject.
  • I feed corn. Now take in mind I am not a genetics expert. My line of white birds (Cornish) have both a red gene and a silver gene. I find out quick who is carrying what. Most of the ones with the silver gene you can put them in the sun and feed them all the corn you want. They will never turn yellow. The red gene ones are somewhat creamy in color and have a red/yellow cast to the feathers. So even have some red tipped feathers to. Under developed feathers on a white also are going to have a yellow look to them. When they finish out completely they will turn white.
  • Bill you are right about the protein % the 5 grain feed i'm feeding has got 8% protein, i am mixing a crumbles that has 18% so it appears i'm on the right track, thanks for all the info.
  • I hope it helped Woodrow.
  • Bill you've been a big help in this feed debate, i have one more question, alot of breeders i talk to say that there is no fat in the feed any more and what i'm seeing is about 5% fat, is that ok or should it be supplemented and if so with what?
  • No Woodrow you would not need to supplement 5% fat in the ingredients. Most laying feeds and starter feeds are 3-4% so if the feed you are feeding is 5% it is plenty but I will just tell you when you add the other protein feed you will cut the fat % in your mix. The fat in that mix you are using is coming from the Black Oils. It must have quite a few in it. It may also have Soy Oil or some other hi-fat oil in it to keep down the dust. At any rate you won't need to worry about the fat content, just the protein and vitamin and mineral levels.
    I hope this helps.
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