Feed store said scratch or starter is fine for adults?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by crazeetxn, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. crazeetxn

    crazeetxn In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2010
    West Texas
    I just got some hens and a rooster from a friend this week. I believe they're a couple years old. He had them on scratch and oyster shells. So I bought a bag of scratch. Reading around here though, seems scratch is best for treats and they might should be on layer? So I called to see if the feed store had some layer, and he does, has pellets and such too, but said I could put them back on starter or leave them on scratch pretty much forever.

    I want to make sure they get what they need to produce some good eggs and be happy!!!

    I know everyone had different takes and I would like to hear everyone's opinion please. Just want to do the right thing...



  2. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I never listen to my feed store. I'm the one who always has to inform the customers what to feed their chickens [​IMG] If you want them to lay, they need to be on layer crumble or pellets. Starter won't give them the nutrients they need for egg production. Oyster shell is fine - just put out so they can eat as they want - and scratch is a treat. My chickens get some every morning when they come out of the coop. It's very ugly when I run out [​IMG] It's ok for the rooster to eat the layer food too. Won't hurt him a bit.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Quote:Ditto. Scratch is like chicken candy and they have the appetite of a 3 year old child so they'll eat nothing but candy, it's just not good for them.
  4. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Songster

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    i keep layer feed out all day along with oyster shell and grit..then as a treat they can have scratch or leftovers from your house.. no chocolate or avocados but just about anything else..they love spagetti with meat sauce.. tuna salad sandwiches.. well you get the idea. if you give grapes plz cut them in half.. they have been known to choke on them but they love them..they even eat.... chicken.. i know gross.. they love meat and fruit and veggies.. enjoy your new chickens

  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Around here, lots of folks feed some form of corn, table scraps, and free range them. They will tell you the chickens do fine.

    Studies have been done to show that chickens not on layer or another complete diet may live and lay eggs, but may not thrive or even get to full size.

    Feed store employees are not likely to have good info unless they have studied the info out there. My feed store was delighted when I explained how to tell
    Barred Rock boy and girl chicks apart.
  6. crazeetxn

    crazeetxn In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2010
    West Texas
    See, this is why I'm glad I found this site!!! [​IMG] Guess it's off to the feed store and pick up a bag of layer, but before I go...pellets or crushed?

    This whole chicken thing is getting a little addicting!!!
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  7. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    Pellets have less waste - chickens like to root around in their feed dish searching for the best bites. Even though the pellets are all the same, it's instinctual for them.

  8. Danny39

    Danny39 Songster

    Jan 24, 2010
    Quote:First off.. [​IMG]
    As far as the addiction thing....you have only just begun! Have fun!
    I prefer the crumbles over pellets, or at least my birds do. I have tried laying mash (almost powder), laying crumbles and pellets. Seemed they ate the crumbles best and didn't waste as much. I have tried all brands of feed on the market and I am currently trying Kent brand of laying crumble, I have not had them on it long enough to really notice a differance. Hope this helps.
  9. 8ROYALS

    8ROYALS Songster

    Jul 5, 2010
    Petersburg, Texas
    I have 10 weeks old chicks in with my 1 year bantams. The bantams are laying. They were on layer feed. I switched over to starter/grower Dumor. Is that okay for my bantams until the others start laying? I know that I want the chicks to grow some more before I give them layer. Thanks

  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I use crumbles - grower/finisher crumbles. I have different ages of chickens, many of which are not yet laying, so I don't give them layer feed. I do put free choice crushed oyster shell out for 'em, though. Chicks up to 8 wks old get chick starter, after that it's grower/finisher. A 50# bag of crushed oyster shell is CHEAP. They all free range (well, everybody over 8 weeks of age does, anyway) but I always have the grower/finisher and oyster shell out. Not mixed; the oyster shell is kept in an empty tuna tin nailed to a coop wall, and I have a specific place in the yard where I dump oyster shell for them. (My ducks don't go into the chicken coops.)

    I have never given my chickens scratch. I think BOSS (black oil sunflower seed) is a better treat for them - higher protein, and the shells and oil in it helps promote feather growth. My whole flock has really pretty, glossy feathers, too.

    Scratch is like candy - empty calories.

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