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What age can you feed chickens scratch?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My chickens are 5 weeks old....can I give them scratch? What about cracked corn? Are scratch and cracked corn the same thing?

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2 german shepherds, a beautiful, amazing 4 yr. old Paint horse named Miss Priss, 1 cat and 7 buff orpington pullets, 5 brahma pullets and 1 brahma cockeral!!!!! RIP my dear mini lop rabbit Shimmy......we will never forget you girl. You will always be in our hearts.

Happy are those who dream dreams and do whatever it takes to make them come true. I LOVE MY HORSE!
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post #2 of 10

I give my chicks scratch at about 3 weeks, but just a little and just as a treat.  Hasn't hurt any of them yet.  Cracked corn can be considered scratch (I think).  The scratch I buy has several different seeds in it plus cracked corn.

post #3 of 10

You can give them scratch, but be sure that they have some sort of grit available to help them digest it.  Coarse sand, parakeet grit, or you can buy "chick grit" at MPC, but it's the same thing.  Scratch has cracked corn, other coarsely chopped grains and usually some whole grains, like millet, in it.  They love it, must be like candy to them, and throwing it out gives them something to "scratch" around for, which must be very satisfying to a chicken.

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Colorado Coop with a View: assorted hens and roos: EE's, Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Cochins,  Partridge Rocks,  Golden Laced Wyandottes, and the latest, Wheaten Marans...
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post #4 of 10

I started giving it to my birds at 6wks only because they were going out side and had access to plenty of grit. they got it as a treat not a staple.

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post #5 of 10

You don't ever have to feed them scratch. I use a Game Bird Feed for roosters for my "scratch", called Knockout. It is high protein, but I never start any scratch of any type until mine are about 9 weeks old or older, and even then, I use it as a lure to get them to come back from free ranging (shake the can, sound means goodies).

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   www.blueroocreations.com, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, is moving!

Blue Roo Creations Etsy Shop is open for business during the move! Click Here!

Mountain View Heritage Poultry, Home of Nazi Rooster & The One Spur Wonder

URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

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post #6 of 10

I have heard that it's better not to give them scratch in the summer heat.  Is this true?  Something about it raising the body temps too much?  Or is this an 'old wives tale'?

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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostalchic 

You can give them scratch, but be sure that they have some sort of grit available to help them digest it.  Coarse sand, parakeet grit, or you can buy "chick grit" at MPC, but it's the same thing.  Scratch has cracked corn, other coarsely chopped grains and usually some whole grains, like millet, in it.  They love it, must be like candy to them, and throwing it out gives them something to "scratch" around for, which must be very satisfying to a chicken.


i wouldn't feed parakeet grit to them because some brands has oyster shells as one of the first ingredients

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10 layers, 8 Meat Birds  2 Geese , 1 Duck, 2 Bulldogs, 2 Guinea Pigs, 2 Beehives, & Tilapia Fish
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post #8 of 10

thanks for sharing all your wisdom on this topic..

post #9 of 10
GAchick,

Corn is carb heavy, sweet, and is a high energy food used for the cold of winter or for rapid weight gain. We only gave it to horses in winter, too. Some cracked corn in their scratch is fine, but unless you want an over-heated fat chicken I would keep it minimal. Think about what happens to your own appetite in the summer... I know I cant stand the thought of a heavy meal, and crave veggies and salad.

The commercials on TV about how high fructose corn syrup is the same as any other sugar cracks me up when it isnt making me mad! Sugars are not all the same and our bodies handle the various molecular arrangements differently. I personally believe it is part of the genetics passed down from our ancestors who were regionally isolated and evolved to handle their local foods. Aside from that, modern corn has been selected for its high sugar content and thus is very different, I think, from the corn used by native peoples hundreds of years go.

Corn is not a popular food in Spain, where they consider it cow food...

Ha ha! I guess that is more info than you asked for, so that's the end of my five minute discussion on corn!
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I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   1 husband who wants a rooster and will not get it, one son who flew the coop, one lovely german shepherd, one amazing adopted farm dog, three gold sex links, two who hit 17 weeks old the first week of July and laid first eggs 7-15-12!!
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kikiriki View Post

GAchick,
Corn is carb heavy, sweet, and is a high energy food used for the cold of winter or for rapid weight gain. We only gave it to horses in winter, too. Some cracked corn in their scratch is fine, but unless you want an over-heated fat chicken I would keep it minimal. Think about what happens to your own appetite in the summer... I know I cant stand the thought of a heavy meal, and crave veggies and salad.
The commercials on TV about how high fructose corn syrup is the same as any other sugar cracks me up when it isnt making me mad! Sugars are not all the same and our bodies handle the various molecular arrangements differently. I personally believe it is part of the genetics passed down from our ancestors who were regionally isolated and evolved to handle their local foods. Aside from that, modern corn has been selected for its high sugar content and thus is very different, I think, from the corn used by native peoples hundreds of years go.
Corn is not a popular food in Spain, where they consider it cow food...
Ha ha! I guess that is more info than you asked for, so that's the end of my five minute discussion on corn!

Corn will not "over-heat" chickens!

If that was the case chickens everywhere would be "over-heating" since most chicken feed is loaded with corn and can have up to or around 1400 lbs of corn to 2000 lbs of feed.

 

Also the Dent/ Field corn is not sweet.

 

Chris

 

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NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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