Feeding Scratch

Sandra Verbreyt

Songster
Jul 12, 2017
127
140
117
Temse Belgium
I live in Belgium. I asked about what to feed my girls to help them to gain some weight as they seem a little thin. I was advised to feed Scratch. Does anybody know what Scratch is called here in Belgium as I cant find any feed that says Scratch on it. Any advice on foods to feed two fussy chickens who are not fussy on our left overs to help them put on some weight for the oncoming winter months.
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
16,473
54,908
1,267
Melrose Park Illinois
Well. I'm not in Belgium, but SCRATCH is a treat-mix that contains 3 or 4 grains plus cracked corn. It will vary by supplier. If you can get some wild bird seeds, that will do just as well. I give my chickens that. I also do get Scratch at the feed store since it is less expensive than wild bird seeds. Most likely because of the large percentage of corn, which is low priced comparatively.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :highfive:
 

PouleChick

Crowing
Apr 6, 2016
2,158
6,265
407
SW France
Hi, I'm pretty sure what the Americans call 'scratch' is just grains / corn that you through them out to scratch for. I think I have seen one marked like that here, may have been 'Country Best' brand - not sure if you guys get that in Belgium. Much of the food sold here in France is grains (of course you can get granules as well). What are you currently feeding them besides scraps? Corn is traditionally used in winter as a high calorie scratch but you need to be careful as it is empty calories and won't give them all the nutrients they need. A good quality feed (check the protein levels for over 16%) with some snacks of sunflower seeds / a little corn / other grains / seeds / nuts should help them with some green scraps as well of course. They say only 10% of their diet should be treats / extras / scraps and the rest their proper food.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I live in Belgium. I asked about what to feed my girls to help them to gain some weight as they seem a little thin. I was advised to feed Scratch. Does anybody know what Scratch is called here in Belgium as I cant find any feed that says Scratch on it. Any advice on foods to feed two fussy chickens who are not fussy on our left overs to help them put on some weight for the oncoming winter months.

Scratch feed is a mixture of cracked and/or whole corn, millet, milo, grain sorghum, (African corn) wheat, barley, hulled oats, and perhaps some other grains, floor sweepings, broken kernels, or other things the feed mill has laying around that needs selling.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Hi, I'm pretty sure what the Americans call 'scratch' is just grains / corn that you through them out to scratch for.... Corn is traditionally used in winter as a high calorie scratch but you need to be careful as it is empty calories and won't give them all the nutrients they need....

To be fair corn is not empty calories any more than Sunflower seeds, oats, wheat, or any other thing you can feed.

All of these things (and more) are INCOMPLETE chicken foods. Feed a wide range of chicken food to include animal protein, and a wide range of grains, as well as some soy protein. It is best to feed scratch food in your chickens litter to encourage them to turn over the litter while looking for lunch. This works your hens and roosters legs and is a great boredom preventer as well as help keep your birds in good physical condition.
 

PouleChick

Crowing
Apr 6, 2016
2,158
6,265
407
SW France
To be fair corn is not empty calories any more than Sunflower seeds, oats, wheat, or any other thing you can feed.
I don't really agree with those things being empty calories, even the poshest chicken granules are made up of oats, wheat, barley etc along with some other stuff but much of the actual nutrients come from those grains which are full of micro and macro nutrients as well as protein, fats. vitamins and minerals.
https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Oats_nutritional_value.html
Same story for the other grains:
https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Wheat,_hard_white_nutritional_value.html
Sunflower seeds are a wonderful source of fats, high in iron, protein etc:
https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Seeds,_dried,_sunflower_seed_kernels_nutritional_value.html

All of these things (and more) are INCOMPLETE chicken foods. Feed a wide range of chicken food to include animal protein, and a wide range of grains, as well as some soy protein
Absolutely - any animal needs a good variety to get all they need from various foods. When I got my first chicks they were being fed on finely crushed corn and barley or wheat - not a great start and I had vitamin problems with one of my girls but they soon thrived on a proper chick started food.

Here there is not the emphasis on feeding only on processed foods (which I think is great) they usually suggest to feed with a good mix of fresh grain (I buy local or organic if I can afford it) and they then have some processed granules that you add to you real wholegrains as a supplement to make sure they are hitting all the dietary needs. I dont' always have time to mix so sometimes they just get the processed food. I just mean to say I think that the advertisers in certain places have managed to convince everyone that real food whole grains aren't a good option for your birds and I believe the opposite to be true (if done properly with wide ranges of grains and seeds).
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
26,358
18,820
781
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
My birds love flock blocks. They have vitamins and minerals added. I usually put one in each pen for them to peck at.
Flock-Block.png
 

Perris

Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
4,148
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Gower, Wales
I think that the advertisers in certain places have managed to convince everyone that real food whole grains aren't a good option for your birds and I believe the opposite to be true
I'm with you on that PouleChick - and I think your point is valid not just with regard to chicken feed - I find my confidence is continually undermined by ads to try to make me spend more on new products, instead of less on traditional ones with no marketing budget. Cf. epsom salts v. branded antacids.
 

PouleChick

Crowing
Apr 6, 2016
2,158
6,265
407
SW France
I'm with you on that PouleChick - and I think your point is valid not just with regard to chicken feed - I find my confidence is continually undermined by ads to try to make me spend more on new products, instead of less on traditional ones with no marketing budget. Cf. epsom salts v. branded antacids.
Absolutely! and the less I fall for it and experiment the more I'm shocked. Cleaning products have become a newish thing of mine - I cna't beleive how effective home made, natural ones are. I got suckered into buying a 'normal' bathroom cleaner on BOGOF after over a year of only using mine and I nearly died at how toxic the fumes were (the 2 almost full bottles are still on my shelf - not such a bargain after all :lau:lau). My dh nearly had a perforated gut after overusing Ibroprufen for chronic pain issues and we looked into natural alternatives and it turns out tumeric is just as powerful as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer and works almost 1/2 hour quicker for him that the drugs :eek:. I guess all the tumeric farmers in India don't have the money for ads :oops::lau - we now order in bulk and medicinal grade stuff - it is magic (as some proper research studies are starting to prove!)!
 

MANNA-PRO

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