Cracked corn or scratch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by crowcreek, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. crowcreek

    crowcreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens almost six months. The girls should be laying soon and also Winter is getting closer. I was at TS and wanted to get them some corn to help fatten them up for the winter. I saw that there was also Scratch. It had some corn in it but also seeds and such. Is one better than the other. The bag of the scratch said it was good for laying hens too so I got some of that.
    Just wondering what you all feed of the two and why. These are my first chickens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I like the scratch better because the intact grains in it better protect the vitamins. I also like using whole corn for much the same reason although a mixture of grains likely gets you closer to a more balanced supplement. I value the scratch, whole and cracked corn as energy an ignore contributions of other nutrients when making certain birds are in good nutritional status.
     
  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Given sparingly as a treat is alright once a day. Good quality pellets build muscle and put breast on the bird, while too much scratch can make them fat and slow egg production. A three way scratch is best, which contains milo, corn, and wheat. Some mills add black sunflower too. Scratch is a good addition during winter since the carbs help birds produce more body heat. Organic grains/ feeds are superior to the rest.
     
  4. crowcreek

    crowcreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both! That helps a lot. Of course they still have free access to the layer crumbles. I just have to five birds so I was spreading about two cups on the ground in the ebening for them. Is that too much? They would still be nibbling in it later into the next day.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The issue with feeding too much scratch grains or crack corn is the diluting of your basic ration feed. That feed is complete and balanced with nutrients, minerals and 16% protein on average. The more of the scratch/corn the more those basics get diluted. It's pretty easy to dilute enough to lower protein to 12 or 13 percent. Less eggs can results as well as less muscle and more fat.

    I like whole grains and scratch, but when I wish to feed them, I generally feed an 20% or 24% gamebird grower with them to keep protein in balance.

    There's no single, right way to do any of this. Common sense, that rare commodity, is required. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  6. kgardiner

    kgardiner Out Of The Brooder

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    I've read that it shouldn't be more than 10% of the daily food intake or it could cause them to get fat and slow egg production as stated above. I've heard if they get to fatty internally it can cause trouble with them laying as well.
     
  7. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My choice between scratch or corn has always been scratch. Why? Honestly I don't know why, no specific reason. I think next time I buy feed I'll buy cracked corn instead of scratch and save $5 bag. Saving $5 per bag is a good nuff reason huh?
     
  8. humphrey farms

    humphrey farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    saving $5 per bag is a very good reason here at my house with a large flock. [​IMG]
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Why not use whole corn versus cracked corn. Whole where I am located costs only about 85% of cracked.
     
  10. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Because cracked digests easier? I guess they don't have any problem digesting whole corn either. Around my parts whole corn is only .20c a bag cheaper than cracked, but I'm going by TSC prices. 50 # crack = $9.99.
     

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