Chicken Scratch - what's up with the change?


11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
New England
Has anyone seen a change in chicken scratch? A month or so ago I purchased some from Tractor Supply, like I've done before more than once. This last bag had whole corn and a lot of weird powder. My chickens, red sex links, don't eat the whole corn or even the bigger cracked corn. The banties eat even less and don't care for the stuff that isn't corn.

My problem is, since the chickens don't eat the corn guess what is? You have it squirrels and chipmunks! I'm sure a bunch of mice are also feasting. I got a tick on me and I've never gotten a tick from the chicken yard, not ever.

I sent my daughter to get another bag (Producer's Pride) thinking maybe it was a bad batch but the store said there was nothing wrong with it. I had her get another brand (Purina Scratch Grains) and it looks identical the the other brand. The old stuff was never like this.

Has anyone else experienced this?
It sounds like you got the end of the run from that batch of feed. They mix the grains together, send it down a chute and bagged it. You end up with a lot of fines at the end of the run. The heavier and smaller grains probably dropped to the bottom so you were left with the larger pieces of corn and the fines. It's not spoiled but it's not what you paid for/wanted. Should of taken the bag back to the store when you opened it and exchanged it. Don't feed it to the squirrels. You'll never get rid of them. When I've had problem like this it has been with corn chops. Not much chops and too much fines. If it was from a small local mill, I would probably just chalk it up to the end of the stored grains but for a national brand? send it back. If you need something for scratch to get them back at night, just pick up a bag of whole grains they like or a bag of sunflower seeds.
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You end up with a lot of fines at the end of the run. The heavier and smaller grains probably dropped to the bottom so you were left with the larger pieces of corn and the fines.

Percheron chick, thanks for replying,

But what are the odds that I'd get the "end of the run" from two different producers? It just feels like a terrible change by all producers or I'm starting to experience memory loss. I've been tossing scratch for 4 yrs. It keeps my chicks happy, occupied and in their run/yard (I was only give them maybe 3/4 of a Cool Whip container each morning). I like not having to rush out of the run. I always seem to have several on my heals looking for their treats. They act starved to death even though they have a full feeder sitting right there in their coop.
Do any of you use chicken scratch? I'm shocked that only one person has responded.

So my next update: Purchased yet another bag on Sunday. This time from AgWay. The scratch is more uniform in size. It too has some fairly large pieces of corn but not as big as Purina's. The chickens don't eat all of it either. Now I have ~80 lbs of feed that the rodents are just salivating waiting for me to toss to them.

I'm just frustrated. Thank you for listening.
What is your goal in feeding the scratch?
Many people don't use scratch as it is more of a "treat" than an integral part of a nutritious feeding plan. A lot of folks choose other "treats" to supplement their main feed of choice or, as suggested above, feed other grains as opposed to actual bagged scratch.
I have found it varies by brand, yes. I have a couple of places i can buy it too. I only use it for the chickens and my call ducks, it's mainly as entertainment for the penned ones.. the standards free range(as well as larger waterfowl) , i also add whole sunflower seeds to it.

I have not had any avoid any, even if it's the powdery kind, though i tend to avoid that one as it think it's kinda wasteful for my paying for dust lol You called the company right and expressed your concerns?
Last time I got any, it's been a while, TSC scratch was Producer's Pride and had cracked corn, wheat & oats in it. Sounds like you got a mill mistake. I've gotten couple bags of feed lately where they must have just run off a batch of sweet feed because it had huge chunks of dried molasses in it, looked like the chunks of oil that was washing up on the beach last year.

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