feed, scratch feed and vitamins

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by brian1970, May 17, 2011.

  1. brian1970

    brian1970 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2011
    Tennessee
    i have some pretty rookie questions but i need to know so here goes. Whats the difference between chicken feed and scratch feed, can i feed either or is scratch feed more like a treat to the chickens. Can i just throw scratch on the ground out in the run or in a feeder. What about feed vitamins are there any i should be using or is the feed fortified enough and as my flock gets closer to laying (about 4 more weeks) is there anything i need to be doing about feeding they now feed by free choice as often as they like. now there getting dumor 20% feed from tractor supply.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    All they need is a good quality feed. That should be a starter/grower or a grower. When they start to lay you can switch them over to a layer. When they start to lay, offering oyster shell on the side is a good idea. The hens will take what they need to produce good strong eggshells and have enough for their own bodies needs too.

    If you are feeding a fresh feed, vitamins are not necessary except in the case of a sick chicken who may need a boost.

    Scratch is like candy to a chicken, totally unnecessary but nice as a treat. You wouldn't want to mix it with their feed. They'll beak out all their feed on the ground trying to get to the scratch, wasting alot of feed. When you want to feed scratch, toss it on the ground and let them "scratch" for it; hence the name.

    Hope this helps and [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  3. brian1970

    brian1970 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2011
    Tennessee
    thanks for the info but you gave me another question the oyster shell should i put it in a seperate feeder or mix it in there feed
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    Quote:You should offer it in a seperate container. I've read of folks taking old tuna fish or cat food cans and nailing them to the wall to use. I bought some rabbit food feeders and attached them to the interior walls of my coops as oyster shell dispensers. Works well.

    If you mix it with the feed you'll likely run into the same problem you would if you mixed scratch in with their feed - they will bill out the feed trying to get at the OS.
     

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