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Is Scratch necessary?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have been feeding my chicks NatureWise brand pellett/crumble feed from the start, firstly on the starter, then on the grower, and eventually they will be on the layer.

It is the only brand available for sale for miles, so it was an easy choice.  However, I have not been able to locate a Scratch.  I am new to chickens, and dont know what it looks like, brand names, etc.   All I know is that I cant find anything called Scratch in the feed isles at my two local feed stores.

 

My chickens are free fed the crumble, and then have access to a large grassy lot all day where they eat grass, dandelions, bugs etc. plus they get granite grit.  Every other day or so I give them raw corn on the cob to peck at, or a piece of Organic Sprouted Squirelly Bread or some Organic greek yogurt (plain).  With all of that, is Scratch necessary?

 

I know it has cracked corn, but what else would it have in it? can I make with ingredients from the Bulk section of the grocery store?

1 Buff Orpington Hen, 1 Easter Egger Hen, 1 Barred Rock Hen (Hopefully), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte Hen (Hopefully), 1 Mille Fleur Rooster + One Male Alexandrine Parakeet, 2 Female Indian Ringnecks, 4 Dogs, 2 Horses and a very patient husband

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1 Buff Orpington Hen, 1 Easter Egger Hen, 1 Barred Rock Hen (Hopefully), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte Hen (Hopefully), 1 Mille Fleur Rooster + One Male Alexandrine Parakeet, 2 Female Indian Ringnecks, 4 Dogs, 2 Horses and a very patient husband

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post #2 of 6

Scratch is just a mixture of different grains.  It's a treat really, so you don't need.  If you live in an area with cold winters, you can give them some scratch before nightfall, and it helps bring up their body temperature during digestion.

 

It's called scratch, because usually you throw some down for the chickens, and they scratch the ground looking for it.  Chickens love to scratch around! 

 

So if you don't have any scratch, don't worry.  My flock gets bird seed for a treat and just loves it!

Cracked corn will have the same effect on body heat as scratch does.  And they love that too.

 

Take care,

Sharon

Currently keeping a flock of 14 chickens, one rooster and 13 hens.  I have three Easter Eggers, three Golden Buffs, two Marans and six Buff Brahmas.  My hobbies are gardening, chicken keeping, and beekeeping.  I'm married with two sons, a step son and daughter, and two really cute grandkids!
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Currently keeping a flock of 14 chickens, one rooster and 13 hens.  I have three Easter Eggers, three Golden Buffs, two Marans and six Buff Brahmas.  My hobbies are gardening, chicken keeping, and beekeeping.  I'm married with two sons, a step son and daughter, and two really cute grandkids!
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Okay, I do have large amounts of wilde bird seed with sunflowers and corn in it, so I will just try that for now.  Maybe in the winter I will head to the big city and look again.  Thanks!

1 Buff Orpington Hen, 1 Easter Egger Hen, 1 Barred Rock Hen (Hopefully), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte Hen (Hopefully), 1 Mille Fleur Rooster + One Male Alexandrine Parakeet, 2 Female Indian Ringnecks, 4 Dogs, 2 Horses and a very patient husband

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1 Buff Orpington Hen, 1 Easter Egger Hen, 1 Barred Rock Hen (Hopefully), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte Hen (Hopefully), 1 Mille Fleur Rooster + One Male Alexandrine Parakeet, 2 Female Indian Ringnecks, 4 Dogs, 2 Horses and a very patient husband

Reply
post #4 of 6
Corn and sunflower seed are high in fat, so use the sparingly.

Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 



My Chickens
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Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 



My Chickens
Reply
post #5 of 6

Corn is low in fat. Sunflower is high. Both are very useful treats, and even better if sprouted.

The fat in sunflower will help make feathers shiny.

cheers

Erica

http://www.permachicken.com Permaculture chicken blog: raising chickens with fewer industrial inputs.

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http://www.permachicken.com Permaculture chicken blog: raising chickens with fewer industrial inputs.

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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yes, small amounts only. Thanks for the advice

1 Buff Orpington Hen, 1 Easter Egger Hen, 1 Barred Rock Hen (Hopefully), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte Hen (Hopefully), 1 Mille Fleur Rooster + One Male Alexandrine Parakeet, 2 Female Indian Ringnecks, 4 Dogs, 2 Horses and a very patient husband

Reply

1 Buff Orpington Hen, 1 Easter Egger Hen, 1 Barred Rock Hen (Hopefully), 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte Hen (Hopefully), 1 Mille Fleur Rooster + One Male Alexandrine Parakeet, 2 Female Indian Ringnecks, 4 Dogs, 2 Horses and a very patient husband

Reply
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