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Preserving corn to use as treats for your chickens in winter

Preserving corn to use as treats for your chickens in winter
Preserving corn to use as treats for your chickens in winter
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

One thing people trying to live a self-sustained lifestyle try to do is recycle and reuse whenever possible. This time of year, the harvest is plentiful and fresh produce is plentiful. Whether you grow it yourself, get it from a neighbor or buy it at a local farm stand, corn is in abundance in late summer. It is affordable and makes a great snack for your chickens in the winter, providing you preserve some for them, according to Community Chickens.

You’ll want to purchase or grow Non-GMO or Organic corn to get the healthiest options for your flock. Ask your local farmer or produce supplier before you buy corn for your birds or your family.

Start by freezing corn for your own personal use. Do this by bringing a pot of water to boil. Blanch the raw corn on the cobs for 3 minutes and then cool it in an ice bath to halt the cooking process. Pat each ear of corn dry and pack into freezer bags or containers in quantities that suit your needs. If you have more than your family can use, the rest can be saved in the freezer for the birds.

If you serve more corn than your family can eat at a meal, the leftovers can also be saved for the chickens. Simply skip the blanching and cooling proc4ess. Store the cooked ears in freezer bags until needed. Then reheat them in boiling water and dole them out to the flock on a cold winter day.

You can even put the eaten cobs to use with your flock. Though your family may have gnawed them clean, there are still tiny bits as well as the milky part inside the cobs that can benefit your chickens. Pat the cobs dry and store them freezer bags just as you would blanched cobs. When you are ready to use them, simply allow them to come to room temperature before serving. Boiling would drain the milky fluid from the cob so this way works better.

Chickens do not like to go foraging in the winter when there is snow on the ground. Corn on the cob is a nice treat for them this time of year.