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How much scratch, & when?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Our four hens (contrary to my username tongue) are ~9 months old. We recently got them back, and the person taking care of them was feeding them scratch, so we got some, too.
So, my question is, how much? I've read you're not supposed to give them too much...is there a set amount per hen?
Also, I've read you shouldn't give it to them when it's hot, and it's been high 80s here every day. idunno
Any thoughts?

Thanks!!

~Hazel
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~Hazel
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post #2 of 9

I'm a little confused about scratch too. It's not just regular food? I feed mine organic pullet developer. Is scratch different than that? How is it different?

post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveHens 

Our four hens (contrary to my username tongue) are ~9 months old. We recently got them back, and the person taking care of them was feeding them scratch, so we got some, too.
So, my question is, how much? I've read you're not supposed to give them too much...is there a set amount per hen?
Also, I've read you shouldn't give it to them when it's hot, and it's been high 80s here every day. idunno
Any thoughts?

Thanks!!


First you can give scratch when it is hot out...
Now to me a lot depends on 3 things:
(1) the type of feed,
(2) the amount of protein of the feed and,
(3) the type of scratch you are going to give..

If you are feeding a feed that has animal protein in it and it around a 20% protein you can get away with a little more scratch than if you were feeding a feed that was lower in protein and /or all grain based.

The type of scratch has a lot to do with how much scratch you can give..
If you are using a "regular" scratch like the type that you can from most feed stores labeled "Scratch Grain" you might not want to feed as much as you would if you were using a Pigeon Grain that is around 14% protein...

Now I would say on a average feed and scratch grain you can get away with up to 10% of there feed intake being scratch.

Chris

 

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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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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post #4 of 9

It's just a treat, the assorted grains might make it a little better than cracked corn, but it still has that in there. There's a very little amount of protein, and it's pretty much void of any other nutrients. Think of it as chicken candy, they love it, but is it good for them? It also can cause problems in heat if you feed them too much that it fattens them.


Edited by Pet Duck Boy - 8/21/10 at 10:33am
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!
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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
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pet Duck Boy 

It's just a treat, the assorted grains might make it a little better than cracked corn, but it still has that in there. There's a very little amount of protein, and it's pretty much void of any other nutrients. Think of it as chicken candy, they love it, but is it good for them? It also can cause problems in heat if you feed them too much that it fattens them.


A lot has to do with what you are using as a "scratch".
Scratch Grain can be a good source for complex carbohydrates, oils and fats . 
Here are the grain mixes that I have used as a scratch at one time or another.

Racing Pigeon - 21.5% Protein - NO CORN
Contains: Canada Peas, Maple Peas, Safflower, Austrian Peas, Whole Wheat, White Kafir, Red Milo, Vetch.
Crude Protein (min) 21.5% Crude Fat (min) 4.0% Crude Fiber (max) 8.0%

  Breeder/Conditioner - 16% Protein - NO CORN
Contains: Canada Peas, Red Milo, White Kafir, Maple Peas, Oat Groats, Austrian Peas, Whole Wheat, Safflower Seed, White Millet, Red Millet, Canary Seed, Vetch, Buckwheat, Rice.
Crude Protein (min) 16.0% Crude Fat (min) 3.5% Crude Fiber (max) 8.0%

Maintenance 14% Protein - W/Corn (this is what I use now.)
Contains: Canada Peas, Milo, Whole Wheat, Small Yellow Corn, Safflower Seed, Maple Peas, Flax, Brown Rice, Vetch, Buckwheat,
Oat Groats.
Crude Protein (min) 14.0% Crude Fat (min) 2.0% Crude Fiber (max) 9.0%

Chris

 

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

Reply

 

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

Reply
post #6 of 9

AT what age can you start giving them a little scratch?

From the Little House Under the Prairie with 1 wonderful husband, 3 rescue dogs, 2 rescue cats, 13 sweet laying hens (4 EE's, 2 Blue Copper Marans, BO, Delaware, Golden Campine, 3 Marans mixes, Welsumer) and a lovely EE rooster (Jake), a happy Marans mix broody with 3 mixed chicks, and a second Marans broody with 6 adorable babies.
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From the Little House Under the Prairie with 1 wonderful husband, 3 rescue dogs, 2 rescue cats, 13 sweet laying hens (4 EE's, 2 Blue Copper Marans, BO, Delaware, Golden Campine, 3 Marans mixes, Welsumer) and a lovely EE rooster (Jake), a happy Marans mix broody with 3 mixed chicks, and a second Marans broody with 6 adorable babies.
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post #7 of 9

Scratch feed can be compared to candy for kids ... I use it as a treat only.  (I do dole out a bit more in the winter months, as it's quick energy for the birds and supplements their regular diet. ) Too much and they'll start liking it to the point where they don't want their regular feed .. and you'll have some fat birds !  tongue

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharol 

AT what age can you start giving them a little scratch?


I start giving Scratch at around 6 months.

Chris

 

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

Reply

 

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

Reply
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveHens 

Our four hens (contrary to my username tongue) are ~9 months old. We recently got them back, and the person taking care of them was feeding them scratch, so we got some, too.
So, my question is, how much? I've read you're not supposed to give them too much...is there a set amount per hen?
Also, I've read you shouldn't give it to them when it's hot, and it's been high 80s here every day. idunno
Any thoughts?

Thanks!!


For 4-5 hens I'd give them a handful or two. That's plenty. I don't believe it makes them hot. That's been a debate on here. My scratch is wheat, barley, corn,oats, and black oil sunflower seeds. I don't think of it as candy,more like whole grains to me.    Will

There are three kinds of people in this world-Those that do what ever they're told-Those who control them- and those who refuse to play that game,envied and hated by the other two.
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There are three kinds of people in this world-Those that do what ever they're told-Those who control them- and those who refuse to play that game,envied and hated by the other two.
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