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when to feed scratch grains?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

my flock is 2 1/2 months old, I have yet to introduce them to anything other than their feed. I've read up a little about scratch grains, and I do understand that reduces the amount of protein in their daily diet, and that it MUST be given in moderation. a friend of mine who raises chickens says she tosses a little on bare spots on her lawn occasionally, which is probably what I'll do too. but I'm wondering at what age is it safe? also at what age should they get oyster shell, when they start laying? whats the difference between oyster shell and poultry shell as far as what it provides for the chicken?

thanks!smile

post #2 of 4

scratch is fine to offer at that age.  make sure they have access to grit either by providing it yourself or letting them outside where they could find some on their own.  oyster shell should be offered when they start laying.  not sure what poultry shell is.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

I guess I should have added to that, they are free-range all day everyday, so would that count as grit? they are constantly foraging in the grass and dirt. and they LOVE when my husband mows the grass!

post #4 of 4

My chickens usually find all the grit (Small indigestiable stones) they need in my yard. You can always offer some to them if you think they don't get enough. From what I hear, younger chickens under 4 months tend to ignore foods with a low protein content. Such as scratch/corn. So far this is proving true for me, my chicks are 2 months old now and they completely ignore any scratch my duck leaves behind. Because they are still growing at that age, I would only offer it a couple times a week, if they take it at all. Also, yes it would be safe to give them scratch...just make sure to give them scratch with CRACKED corn in it, not whole field corn. If your property doesn't have a lot of sand and dirt in it, then I would offer free choice grit which you can get at most feed or pet stores.


Edited by Pet Duck Boy - 4/20/10 at 11:28am
Ducks rule, but so do chickens. Proud owner of one female pekin named Sunny.
3 RIR/PRs and 2 EEs. 5 hens 28+ weeks old and almost full size! Please visit my dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/Pet_Duck_Boy114
I'm the Cocky Cockeral of BYC!
Reply
Ducks rule, but so do chickens. Proud owner of one female pekin named Sunny.
3 RIR/PRs and 2 EEs. 5 hens 28+ weeks old and almost full size! Please visit my dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/Pet_Duck_Boy114
I'm the Cocky Cockeral of BYC!
Reply
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