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scratch for baby chicks?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

After a year of research we brought home 5 chicks yesterday.  I am freaking out!  I am so worried I am doing something wrong and they are all going to die.  So far they seem fine, I am worried about two of their butts - I cleaned one off tonight and it seemed fine but the other one has like a black seed that seems to be under her skin - not like a piece of poop attached.  I watched both of them poop - that's good right?  They all seem happy, eating, drinking, pooping!

 

When I bought them from the feed store they sold me the starter feed but they told me that they reccomend scratch to go with it.  I bought it as they recommended but I realized I have no idea how much to give them = what ratio to mix it with the feed?  I can't find anything online - can anyone help?

 

Thank you!

nervous new chick mommy

post #2 of 3

Unfortunately, that is not unusual, for feed store employees to recommend something unnecessary and / or not the best thing for your chicks.  All they need is chick feed.  Scratch formulas vary widely.  Generally, scratch has far less protein than feed, and it has not been fortified with vitamins and minerals.  If you haven't opened it, I would take it back.  It is OK as a treat for mature birds, in small quantities.  Perhaps you have a neighbor with a mature flock who will take it off your hands.  If it is fine enough, you could give just a little to your chicks, but they will probably need chick grit to grind it.  Perhaps you could freeze it until they are older.

 

In the old days, chickens were given table scraps and scratch or cracked corn, but they also foraged for their food.  Around here, some storekeepers still refer to scratch or cracked corn as "chicken feed."  This is true in one of our local feed stores, who also never heard of oyster shell or grit. 

 

 

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 


ooh i haven't opened it yet - i'll totally return it!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flockwatcher View Post

Unfortunately, that is not unusual, for feed store employees to recommend something unnecessary and / or not the best thing for your chicks.  All they need is chick feed.  Scratch formulas vary widely.  Generally, scratch has far less protein than feed, and it has not been fortified with vitamins and minerals.  If you haven't opened it, I would take it back.  It is OK as a treat for mature birds, in small quantities.  Perhaps you have a neighbor with a mature flock who will take it off your hands.  If it is fine enough, you could give just a little to your chicks, but they will probably need chick grit to grind it.  Perhaps you could freeze it until they are older.

 

In the old days, chickens were given table scraps and scratch or cracked corn, but they also foraged for their food.  Around here, some storekeepers still refer to scratch or cracked corn as "chicken feed."  This is true in one of our local feed stores, who also never heard of oyster shell or grit. 

 

 



 

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