Monday, November 14, 2011


What a beautiful day we had today!

On days like today, don't bother looking to see if my house is clean...or if my dishes are washed...or if the laundry is folded and put's time to be outside while the weather is still warm!

Today I decided to spend some time gleaning the soybean and corn fields to supplement our chickens' menu.  

When the soybeans were harvested, some beans were left along the edges of the field...

There was a significant amount of ear corn left in the fields.  There could be several reasons for this...the hot spell we had while the corn was pollinating left some weakened "stems" where the corn is attached to the stalk, which caused some of the ears to fall to the ground...Hurricane Irene left numerous patches of downed corn in some fields...and if the combine driver goes too fast during harvest, ears of corn can bounce around and fall to the ground!  

This morning I made piles of corn and filled feed bags,  but  I soon discovered that a bag full of ear corn is WAY too heavy to lug around, so this afternoon I switched to five-gallon buckets. That went much better...

I had some help this afternoon from two adorable neighbor boys and their Mom...thanks guys! :)

I lost track of how many buckets of corn I gathered, but it was somewhere between twelve and fifteen!  (And that was only from one field!)  I then dumped the corn into feed bags, and stacked them inside the empty corn crib.  They'll be under a roof and stay relatively unaffected by the weather...

The first time I ever threw ear corn to the chickens, they looked at me like I was nuts..."what are we supposed to for our food?  Aren't you gonna shell that for us?!" didn't take them long to figure out how to help themselves...they pick the soybeans right out of the pods...

...and clean off those ears of corn in no time at all...

The price of a 100 lb. bag of layer mash is close to $23.00, and our chickens were going through a bag in less than three weeks!  The layer mash has the protein and nutrients that they need to produce good eggs, but the ear corn will help to supplement their diets quite nicely! 

And since that corn and those beans would literally go to waste...why not give the chickens a treat?! 


  1. Well that is a lot of work. It is well worth the effort though. I love the pics of the chickens chowing down they look like kids in a candy store. You have great neighbours like I do.
    Great post Alica I always wondered why they left all that corn on the ground. B

  2. What lucky chickens to have a "mom" who gathers all those yummy goodies for them! YAY to you for not letting it go to waste! :)

  3. I had to laugh at the look the chickens gave you, mine do the same thing, I have been giving them pumpkins and they do the same thing. I split them open but they still give me a look.
    That is a lot of corn. My Dad used to have a grape vineyard next door to his house. The farmer always let us go in to get grapes to make raisins after they had been picked.
    We could get so many is just a matter of minutes. All the raisins we could want for a year.

  4. Feed prices are just crazy anymore. They certainly do look happy!

  5. I love to watch our birds tear into corn on the cob! What a great idea and you got a lot from your efforts. Around here, we love to watch the wild turkeys come into the harvested soybean fields to glean their own food.

  6. Haha--making the poor chickens work for their dinner. It looks like they caught on fast.

    All that work must keep you in pretty good shape too. Rotten weather is on the way. Let the stupid housework wait.

  7. I enjoy reading about your exploits in the fields. Sounds like a wonderful life! And hey!---thanks for following me!


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