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Many backyard chicken owners wonder if feeding chickens extra corn in the winter will help them stay warmer. Here's an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of feeding chickens extra corn in the winter:
Extra calories: Corn is high in calories, which can help chickens maintain their body heat in the cold winter months. This can be especially important for older or weaker chickens that may have a harder time staying warm.
Easily digestible: Corn is easy for chickens to digest, which means they can convert it into energy quickly. This can be beneficial for chickens that may have a harder time finding food in the winter.
Affordable: Corn is a relatively inexpensive feed option, making it a good choice for backyard chicken owners on a budget.
Limited nutrient profile: While corn is high in calories, it is low in other essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals that chickens need for a balanced diet.
Can lead to obesity: If fed in large amounts, corn can lead to obesity in chickens. Chickens that are overweight have a harder time staying warm in the winter.
Can cause digestive issues: Feeding chickens too much corn can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and impacted crops.
In conclusion, while feeding chickens extra corn in the winter can help them stay warmer by providing extra calories, it's important to keep in mind that chickens still need a balanced diet to stay healthy. It's best to feed them in moderation and offer a variety of grains, fruits and vegetables as well as protein sources such as mealworms or insects. Additionally, providing them with a draft-free and well-insulated coop and run, and keeping their living environment clean and dry is crucial for their comfort and survival during the winter.