can wild birds eat chicken scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by iPeanut1990, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. iPeanut1990

    iPeanut1990 Chirping

    May 7, 2014
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    My wild bird feed bill is higher than my chicken feed bill. We love watching them on the feeders from our window but they go through their feed much faster than our chickens. I have a 50lb bag of Purina Scratch grains that I'm not going through very quickly for my 3 chickens. Is it ok to fill the bird feeders with chicken scratch? It's basically the same thing, isn't it?
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I bet it would work just fine.
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Yes, I think scratch grains are perfectly fine for wild birds.

    Just don't do the opposite thing: feed wild bird feed to chickens.
  4. iPeanut1990

    iPeanut1990 Chirping

    May 7, 2014
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Good to know! Thanks!
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The only downside of feeding scratch grains to wild birds is that corn usually attracts birds like starlings and crows.
    Wild bird seed isn't a problem for chickens. It's usually millet, sunflower, safflower, milo and things like that. All of that is fine for chickens to eat, in moderation just like scratch grains that are usually corn, wheat, oats, barley.
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I have yet to find anything that doesn't attract sparrows, starlings and grackles along with the other wild birds I'm trying to attract. <sigh> Mixed seed, straight Niger, BOSS, hulled safflower, suet - they come in for it. Two years ago I almost gave up totally on feeding birds because the annoying visitors were cleaning me out, but then an adorable little Common Redpoll appeared at the kitchen window and I was hooked again! [​IMG]I bought one of those pine thingies a few Christmases ago that's supposed to look like a small Christmas tree that can be hung on a wall. I ran an apple tree branch between brackets on either side of the kitchen window and attached that pine thingy to it, then suspended the feeders above it. Little birds LOVE it. They hop around in the "pine branches" and snuggle down right into it when the snow is flying. Added bonus - the fake pine seems to catch a lot of the seeds that fall through the sock feeders and the little Pine Siskins, House and Cassin Finches and the Goldfinches scour through it. No more 15 second glimpse at the feeder.....they are about 4 inches from the glass and take their time sitting there preening, eating, squabbling, and even dozing off. They sure keep me company while I'm doing dishes - they don't even fly away!



  7. gggeek

    gggeek In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2014
    I'd suspect it works. Just in my four days of having chickens and using a little bit of scratch to work on hand feeding and dropping it in the yard I have seen squirrels and birds getting the left overs. Also scratch grains seem to be generally broken up enough where you wouldn't overly worry about a bunch of weeds sprouting.
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    The whole grains in scratch will with proper storage will last a least two years. If you go by the no more ten 10 percent rule of feeding treats, it will last your three for around a year and a half. If the corn is cracked, then you will have to worry about it losing its nutrients. Another reason I don't buy cracked corn.
  9. You may want to keep feeding suet with raisins etc. added for the meat eating birds, and thistle seeds for the little Goldfinches. Not all wild birds thrive on scratch feed but most do.
  10. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    They eat it all day long here, cannot keep the darn things out of the run. They love the scratch.

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