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Making chicken scratch

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi All!

 

I'm wanting to make my own chicken scratch (organic). So far I have steel cut oats, cracked wheat and millet. What are black oil sunflower seeds? I give my chicks raw shelled sunflower seeds and was planning on mixing some in the scratch. I sprinkle a couple handfuls of scratch in the run when I let them out of their coop in the morning (6:00 am....Yawn!). There's not a whole lot to peck at in their run. This keeps them busy until I get back out there to let them out to forage a little. I was also wondering if corn could, or should, be left out due to the high caloric value. Thanks for any and all advice!!

post #2 of 13

When you are just making scratch (not their main source of food) you can mix just about any grains together and they will like it.  I have found ours particularly like some sunflower seeds, raisins, rice and peanuts.  

We live on a beautiful homestead in Kansas.  We have lots of bantams and standards (many breeds including: EEs, BOs, Speckled Sussexes, Delawares, Silkies, d'Uccles, Cochins, A few home hatched mixes, OEG bantams, and a couple undetermined).  We also have five goats (mixed origin), one dexter heifer, two pigs, and nine ducks.  Life couldn't be much better.

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We live on a beautiful homestead in Kansas.  We have lots of bantams and standards (many breeds including: EEs, BOs, Speckled Sussexes, Delawares, Silkies, d'Uccles, Cochins, A few home hatched mixes, OEG bantams, and a couple undetermined).  We also have five goats (mixed origin), one dexter heifer, two pigs, and nine ducks.  Life couldn't be much better.

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post #3 of 13

   Basic scratch feed is corn, wheat and oats.  Other grains added as available or desired.  Back in the days of family farms, every farm grew those three grains.  They fueled the farm both the animals and people.  My grandfather mixed those to make his scratch feed, he also used mash from the local mill.  But stretching out the cost of the eggs by growing his own was important in making it go.  I remember when I was 5 or 6 helping him mix it up.  Dumping the grain on the floor and using the grain shovel to mix it, then shoveling it in the barrels.  I'm sure he enjoyed me trying to lift the shovelful into a barrel nearly as tall as I was.  Anyhow back to the present.

   I mix my basic, with those three grains.  Equal parts in the summer and two parts corn in winter.  Since I grow wheat and rye as a cover crop in my garden I throw in a half part rye as well.  The thing I did that I don't like is I bought cracked corn without thinking last year. I do not like the dust that disappears into the ground when I throw it out for them.  Adult chickens can handle whole grains, including corn in their gizzard.  I'm not using cracked or chopped grain unless someone gives it to me.  When the chickens eat the whole grain, they are using all of the grain I paid for.  Plus whole grains keep better.

Den
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Den
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Den and Silkie for your input. I guess I'm on the right track. I just want the best for my chicks (and for us since we will be eating their eggs)!
 

post #5 of 13

Mine love their scratch cracked. We put corn, oats, and millet in it...I sometimes add some black oil sunflower seeds or whatever I have available from what we grow or I find a great deal on. I will also add the balck seed sunflower seeds have better nutritional feed value than other varieties of sunflower seeds...atleast that is what I have found out from internet and various other sources.

post #6 of 13

I was looking into making my own feed for the pullets. From my literary research, I was seeing a lot of similarity between these home formulas and bird seed.  True there are vitamins and minerals that are not present in bird seed, but the whole grains used in bird seed are also milled and used in commercial poultry feeds and many of the home formulations.

 

For a substitute scracth feed, I feed bird seed to my pullets as a treat and they come running when I go into the yard. The bird seed is a whole grain which means that none of the nutrional value will degrade over time, as it would with cracked corn, rolled oats and other prepared grains...as long as the bird seed is stored properly.

 

The bird seed also contains grit.


Edited by Rock Home Isle - 5/24/12 at 6:20am

"Experince is the teacher of all things." Julius Ceaser

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." Albert Einstein

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" Mark Twain

 

My Coop Project

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/656727/coop-project-maken-the-plunge-getting-chickens

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"Experince is the teacher of all things." Julius Ceaser

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." Albert Einstein

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" Mark Twain

 

My Coop Project

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/656727/coop-project-maken-the-plunge-getting-chickens

Reply
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaBelinski View Post

Hi All!

I'm wanting to make my own chicken scratch (organic). So far I have steel cut oats, cracked wheat and millet. What are black oil sunflower seeds? I give my chicks raw shelled sunflower seeds and was planning on mixing some in the scratch. I sprinkle a couple handfuls of scratch in the run when I let them out of their coop in the morning (6:00 am....Yawn!). There's not a whole lot to peck at in their run. This keeps them busy until I get back out there to let them out to forage a little. I was also wondering if corn could, or should, be left out due to the high caloric value. Thanks for any and all advice!!
post #8 of 13
It sounds like we're both in in the same boat trying to figure out how to feed our chickens healthy inexpensively
post #9 of 13
So, I like to add dried mealworms and raisins to regular scratch mix from the feed store, but I want to start making my own scratch from scratch..lol!
So am I to understand whole corn and steele cut oats are ok to use? Any other seeds/grains that are nutritionally sound for my flock?
post #10 of 13
I just bought a huge bag of wheat bran to use for raising mealworms and I was wondering if I can also use the bran for making scratch for my chickens that I don't have yet? ( thinking ahead)
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