Friend only feeds chicks scratch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ms4runr, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. ms4runr

    ms4runr In the Brooder

    I am very new to having chickens. I bought Buffs with a friend. He is only feeding his scratch. I told him that might be why they are not laying. I am feeding mine a mixture of laying mash, scratch and wild bird conditioning which is high in protein. Mine are not laying either but they have been moved 3x to the current house. I house full grown banty pair, 4-month old hen and rooster, and over 1-year old hen and 4 1-year old guineas. The banty was laying but stopped when she came to her new home. I mix scratch because my guinea supplier said to do so in winter. Any comments or suggestions? Oh, I added a FT light; now I'm wondering if I should just turn it on for a couple of hours before daybreak. However, I may not have the option as it is plugged in with the coup water heater. Thank you for input.
  2. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Scratch doesn't have any added nutrients and is quite low in protein. It's not meant to be the primary feed. But, I think you already knew that.

    Get a simple timer for your light. They're inexpensive and available at any hardware/home store. You can get one that doesn't interfere with the second plug in the outlet so your heater is unaffected. It will save you money in the long haul and give the chickens dark time for quality rest.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland

    If you give your chickens lots of scratch you have to make sure they get plenty other natural food and greens as well. Which can be tricky. Oystershell on the side will help with calcium, but layer or flock raiser with oystershell on the side is better.
  4. ms4runr

    ms4runr In the Brooder

    Thank you.
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    You can tell him that it is same thing as only ever feeding your children french fries.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Rhode Island

    Rhode Island In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2012
    Scratch is not nutritious for chickens. I would use it as a treat or something.
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Scratch is made of some of the same grains that are found in your chicken feed. It is not that scratch is NOT nutritious, it's just that it is not balanced and probably doesn't have enough protein. It also doesn't have the minerals and such added to regular feed.
  8. Rhode Island

    Rhode Island In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2012
    Thats what i meant. You can just describe it better Cindy in PA : )
  9. hdowden

    hdowden Crowing

    Aug 14, 2011
    i don't do the whole added light but let mine lay when they should the all natural way. as for scratch you can ferment it as well but we still add some laying pellets in it and the chickens love it. i also cook rice and peas for them and occasionally whole wheat bread.

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