What was the purpose of the corn crib?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by r.h. in okla., Feb 2, 2004.

  1. Was it to hold ears of corn for animal consumption, or for human consumption, or both? I can remember seeing some those old V shaped corn cribs but for some reason I always had it in my mind that they fed horses, mules, ect. from them. How did they keep rats and mice from eating the kernels off the cobs? How was they built to remove ears of corn from the bottom? Oh heck, just tell me anything you know about them!
  2. Actually, it was just to hold corn for any purpose. It kept the corn dry and some metal attached to the legs of the corn crib prevented mice and rats from climbing into it.

  3. tim1253

    tim1253 Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2002
    East TN
    Some of the old timers that I remember kept a big black snake in the crib and that was free mice protection!!

  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Feb 24, 2003
    We put Meat in there to Cure to.

    We would feed Ear Corn to everything.We would sometimes make Cob Meal for Cattle.

    big rockpile
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    Cribs are part storage part dehydrator. As picked it will go into a crib at around 24%-26% moisture and will air dry down to 16-19%. That's just averages it could go in much drier to start! They are not used much any more although I'd gladly have one to store my sheep feed in. Sheet metal on the bottom was supposed to keep rats out but rarely worked well. With some thought to design and maitenance it was OK. The corn could have been used for human consumption too, but mostly it was for animal feed either shelled and cracked or ground cob and all.
  6. sugarspinner

    sugarspinner Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    In a state of confusion - IN
    Corncribs allowed corn to be, as someone has mentioned, stored at a higher moisture content than shelled corn. They were used at a time when most corn was picked on the ear. You've never really lived until you've dumped corn from a wagon into an elevator, filling a huge corn crip and then stood in the top of a nearly-full crib, holding a piect of corrugated tin, directing the flow of corn off the elevator into corners to finish filling the crib. We'd even put wire tunnels down the center of the drive-through in double cribs, then fill the driveway. Ah, those were the days.
  7. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    Central MN
    There were many different designs for corn cribs. A popular one around here was a round design made of steel mesh with a rounded top like you would see on a silo. There was a round tube in the center for ventilation.

    The grainery on our dairy farm had 8x30 corn cribs on both sides, and grain bins on top, all made from wood. The middle of the building was open and high enough to back in a semi and load from the grain bins by gravity. The corn cribs were flat bottomed and you had to shovel the ear corn. When we bought it we had the previous owner fill it. Shoveling ear corn is work :) . I've seen other flat bottom cribs built so you could slide a flight conveyor under the floor and remove floor slats as the bin emptied so it would at least partially gravity flow and you could just push it to the conveyor.

    Rats were a problem and I think poison was the most common solution. I remember a corn crib crawling with rats on my grandparents farm. Spent some time shooting them with a .22.