Am I over doing it with feed? What is scratch exactly?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by FingerLakesChick, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. FingerLakesChick

    FingerLakesChick Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Western New York
    Since the cold weather and all the snow hit us here in Upstate NY and my 11 hens haven't been able to free-range like they were, I've tried to add some interest to their plain ol' feed by making the following mixture of feed for them:

    60% layer pellets
    15% cracked corn
    15% black oil sunflower seeds
    10% bird seed (treat)

    They also get something green every day, like a head of lettuce or a bag of spinach. They also get a few apples each day. In the evening I go out with something like raisins or cheese for them. And of course they get some table scraps occasionally.

    My questions is: Am I over doing it or am I underdoing it?

    Also what is scratch exactly? It's not just cracked corn is it?

    They all seem like they're doing great and they're very big happy girls.

  2. Catalina

    Catalina Songster

    Jul 19, 2007
    That sounds like a good menu to me!
    It's -20 outside my coop right now and 20 degrees inside with a heat lamp, so I make a hot mash twice a day for my girls.
    Olive Oil
    sometimes some wheat germ or raw sunflower seeds
    They also get yogurt and a head of lettuce or cabbage, maybe hot baked squash. They're inside most of the day so they need things to pick at and a lot of food to keep up their body heat. [​IMG]
    edited to add: I also give them raisins in their mash and that's the first thing they pick out to eat!
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2007
  3. Scratch is a mixture of grain/seed given by some as a 'treat.' It seems to be made of different things in different stores (really interesting threads on this a few weeks ago, pix included). Some folks seem to get mainly cracked corn, others find a varied scratch. We make our own w/ what's available (wheat, oats, corn, BOSS, etc.).

    I'll bet they are happy chickens; sounds like you're takin' sweet care of 'em.
  4. FingerLakesChick

    FingerLakesChick Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Western New York
    Thanks for putting my mind at ease and for the suggestions on other winter hardy food. This is my first experience raising chickens and I'm really trying to do it right and have happy healthy birds. I plan to try the hot oatmeal today... actually that sounds so good that I may have some myself!!
  5. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    I see people feeding BOSS; are these with the shell on, or hulled?
  6. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    Once my stupid pill wore off and I ralized what BOSS was, I started buying it at the feed store and my hens love it, it s with the shell on, black oiled sunflower seeds (for anyone else that might have some stupid pills too!) They don't last too long in my pen and I believe the protein in them and the fiber is good for them, my opinion. Darlene
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007

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