Getting cooler..when should we start adding in scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JeninMN, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. JeninMN

    JeninMN Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    Just wondering when to start adding some scratch to their diet?!
  2. patvetzal

    patvetzal Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Bancroft, Ontario
    How cold is cooler? We are having a cold spell and my coop went down to 38F last night, outside temp about 24F. It goes up to about 55-58 during the day.
    Bought some new feed last week (same co-op but they had a different supplier from the last time). I bought a bag of scratch and a bag of layer. When I opened the bags I was hard pressed to tell them apart. Both had chunks of corn and grain. The layer also had bitty little pieces of "crunchies". The last bag of layer I got was all crunchies, with the grains all ground and mixed so it was unidentifiable. I didn't know there was so much corn in layer but the hens don't seem to care, they dig in. Now if they would just start giving a few more eggs I'd be happy..
    (from 6 birds we get one egg almost every day)[​IMG]
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Really, you don't have to. It's more of a treat. I usually add some in the morning and evenings when they are free ranging when night temps are in the 30-40's, with days in the 50's. I toss handful in the loose straw for a dozen birds, and it will keep them off the porch for a few hours.

    As for few eggs, if you want them to lay more, try adding light to get it up to 14 hrs, and getting a higher protein feed, like a layer supplement if they are starting to moult. Also check if they are hiding eggs.
  4. patvetzal

    patvetzal Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Bancroft, Ontario
    The light comes on at 5am, the layer feed is 19-20%, they all head for the coop and settle in by 6pm (sunset 6:30). Maybe I'll change the light to 4:30.
    We have 3 RRs and 3 LHs. The RRs use the roosts (one snores) and the LHs snuggle in a nest box or in the corner in the shavings.
    Each day (well almost each day) we get one egg. Sometimes brown, sometimes white....always in the same nest box. There is really no place in the coop or run that we can't see to look for eggs, except under the shavings and we stir them up once a week or so.
  5. Michigan Chickman

    Michigan Chickman Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    SW Michigan
    It's been in the 30s-50s in the morning here in Michigan for a couple weeks. I've been giving my girls about a quart and a half of scratch in the morning and turning my coop light on at 6:30a. They're getting about 13 hrs of light a day and today I got 27 eggs today from 29 hens. Keeping my fingers crossed that they kep it up [​IMG]

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