Can my pullets eat just scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jimmy11, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Jimmy11

    Jimmy11 New Egg

    Apr 20, 2012
    Hi, I am new to keeping chickens.
    I have a mixed flock of 6, mainly Australorps and RIRs. I got them at 2 weeks old and they are now 18 weeks.
    I raised them largly on pullet pellet recently switching to layer pellet.
    More recently I bought a 20kg bag of scratch mix which seems to be mainly mixed grains and corn. I throw handfuls of this around thier run.
    Problem is, they have taken so well to the scratch, they barely touch thier pellet.
    Is this a problem?
    Can I raise them purely on grain?
    I also feed them kitchen scraps, porridge, pasta ect. One of thier favourites is clover.
    Thank you all for any advise you can give me as I feel I much to learn.
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The scratch grains are intended for supplemental feeding. It is not a complete, balanced feed and often lacks sorely in nutrition needed for a laying pullet.
    Like a child preferring ice cream and candy over their vegetables and fruit, chickens often prefer scratch, but since they are domesticated birds and rely greatly upon their keepers providing most of their diet, it is up to you to feed them properly.

    Cut the scratch out of their diet. Offer none for a week. They'll get hungry and go back to their layer formula. Toss the scratch but once a week, just for a special supplement and interest. Do not offer it as frequently, and/or offer it it in very small amounts.
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Well said. I don't think there is anything else to add to that.
  4. Jimmy11

    Jimmy11 New Egg

    Apr 20, 2012
    Thankyou for the advice. I will take it on board.
  5. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    I buy a 50# bag of scratch and feed. They will not produce eggs well with just scratch. It's best to make sure the chickens are getting the right nutrients. I only feed scratch a handful at a time. They'd rather eat the scratch then the feed, the next day I don't get any eggs if they are not eating enough protein which is in the feed.
  6. Krisbean

    Krisbean New Egg

    Apr 28, 2013
    Ive read the advice given above to the original question. I searched this question on google and came across this thread. I had the same question. I have recently switched only to scratch to my 3 laying chickens only because of learning that the laying mash and every other feeding mix at the feed store contains soy- which i am allergic to. I am so allergic that it can have an effect on me eating eggs and chicken given soy. Anyways, is there anything else I can add to my chickens diet so, I do not create problems with laying. I currently give them flax seeds, some whole milk yogurt, fruit and veggie scraps, rice/pasta leftovers.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by