2 commentsupdate:Sep 24, 2012

Cracked maize for broilers

Ioannis Mavromichalis, PhD
There are several research reports regarding feeding whole wheat to broilers, and indeed this concept is being practiced in Europe, albeit in isolated cases and with variable results.


Maize continues to be a frequently-used cereal for broilers throughout the world, and recently, there has been considerable interest in feeding cracked maize instead of finely grinding it, as a measure against increasing feed costs.

Research (Clark et al., 2009) from Kansas State University has demonstrated that feeding up to 25% cracked maize does not affect broiler growth performance, while improving feed mill output, by as much as 19%. So, there is real interest in this practice.

The question most frequently asked is whether cracked maize should be part of a pelleted complete diet, or should be mixed with pellets that contain the rest of the complete diet.

Again, results have been variable, and have to do mostly with the size of maize particles. I believe this is a very interesting topic and I would be very happy to read your own experiences!


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    Raghavan V.Dr

    The practice of feeding broken maize or kibbled maize as we call it has been practiced by Malaysian farmers in the early days and still now in some areas.
    This is done towards the last stage--the finisher stage where about 10-20% of broken maize is blended with the complete feed and fed to the birds.The idea is to have a better shank colour -yellowish which is preffered by customers. It is still done in east malaysia a crazy market and also done for the native birds to get better yellow skin and shanks. The size of grains will vary from 3-3.5mm and sometimes it is done for layer mash too to get better yellow yolk colour.
    As to day when birds are processed the colour is not that very important and the idea of using broken maize is slowly going off except in certain areas in the east part of Malaysia.
    In Vietnam it is done by incorporating more corn in feed for the native chicken and also to produce yellow chicken a market preference. This is crazy as to produce the yellow colour it is expensive when other synthetic xanthophyll pigments are added.
    Of course size of grains will vary depending on the stages of feeding. For adult birds 3-3.5mm and for young birds and chicks 1-1.5mm.

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    Linda maggio

    I raise broilers on pasture and sell retail to customers. I have been adding both cracked corn and wheat to their diet for years, starting at 4 weeks of age. I have seen no negative results but due to the high cost of both these grains Im not sure how much Im currently saving. Also, my birds are not processed until 65-70 days old as being pasture raised does slow growth compared to commercial operations. The plus side is better tasting meat and few if any cases of ascities or leg problems.

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