Conflicting feed recommendations

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 3nglishteacher, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. 3nglishteacher

    3nglishteacher In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2008
    My flock of 22 is 5 months old and starting to lay eggs - 5-10/day. They've been on layer mash for about a month. I stopped by a different store to pick up more feed and asked when/if I should feed them scratch. I was told by the "egg lady" NOT to feed them only layer mash b/c it would burn them out -- their primary feed should be scratch with some layer mixed in.....well, this is bassackwards from what I thought and in fact what the back of the Nutrena bag says. So, what DO I feed them? I've been tossing a few handfuls of scratch out in the evening just b/c I love to see and hear them going nuts. They're free ranging over 20 acres as well as my so-called compost pile which they perceive as their all-u-can-eat buffet. They seem healthy, their egg shells are very hard, since this is my first flock I don't know how big they should be right now but no one appears malnourished. So layer + a little scratch or vice versa? What about oyster shell, grit?
    Thanks !
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Keep doing what you're doing - layer feed plus some scratch. Give oyster shells so the eggs they lay have nice strong shells. If they free range, I wouldn't worry about giving them extra grit, they probably find enough of it on their own.
  3. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Yes - definitely keep doing what you're doing. Scratch should just be used as a treat. I rarely use it in the summer because the corn boosts up their temperatures, and it's hot enough here already.
  4. jhc

    jhc In the Brooder

    May 25, 2007
    I don't use scratch in the hot summer months.
  5. MsBentleyboy

    MsBentleyboy Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    Kentucky girl
    I'm doing what you're doing. Feed during the day, and throw out some scratch occassionally in the evenings. Sometimes I skip days if I give them more treats. Definitely give them oyster shells too. I've heard it can do more good than for just better shells... it can help cool them (so my bag reads).
  6. antiquebuff

    antiquebuff Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Franklin, NC
    I was told not to use scratch in the Summer also. If the temps are not to high where you live you may be ok. I give scratch in the cold weather before roosting and early am.
  7. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Scratch doesn't have the nutrition they need. It would be like asking you to live on pizza: you could but you wouldn't perform at peak.

    Do you have oyster shells for them to eat & get extra calcium as needed?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: