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Grinding the scratch for baby chicks???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nwgirl, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. nwgirl

    nwgirl Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Everett, Washington
    The feed store where I purchased my chicks at insisted I feed them scratch as a treat and sold me a huge bag of it. By the time I got home I realized some of the grains were too large to feed to the baby chicks, so I put it in the food processor, but it didn't grind the corn very well, so now I'm using a mortar and pestle to mash it with, and although it works, it sure is messy and time consuming to get the pieces small enough for the chicks.

    Does anyone else do this for there chicks, and if so, is there a better way?

  2. NJbirdlover

    NJbirdlover Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    Salem County, NJ
    Hi There-
    I don't think you should be feeding your young chicks scratch at all. Not much nutritional value to it at all. Chick starter is what they need when they are young, maybe some healthy, high protein treats as they get older. Sounds like this store just wanted to make a sale.
    ......please keep in mind that I am NOT the expert around here!

    Good luck!!

    Ps-how old are your chicks?
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  3. wyndski

    wyndski Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    Spring Hill, FL
    I use a food processor on mine. I just keep grinding it until it gets as much of the corn as I can. I usually only have a few larger chunks to pick out. Then I add a little chick start, dry oatmeal and plain parakeet grit to mine. You do want to make sure that they are eating mostly the chick start. That is why I mix some of mine into my scratch. Make sure they get grit if they eat anything besides the chick start. As far as a different way to grind it, besides a food processor or by hand, I haven't found it.
  4. nwgirl

    nwgirl Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Everett, Washington
    Boy did that store see me coming! [​IMG]

    My chickie babies are a week old now. I've been mixing grit into their starter feed since I started feeding them scratch, and a couple days ago offered them mealworms that I purchased at the pet store and they went bonkers for them. I put the scratch in my hand and let them eat from it but its not enough to fill them up and they're still eating their starter feed.

    I like the idea of mixing the starter with the scratch just to make sure they are getting enough nutrients. Besides, it'll keep them busy longer.

    I just found another feed store that sells a finely chopped scratch made just for chicks, but I think since I already have a ginormous amount, I'll just grind it myself, but instead of the food processor I think I'll try my coffee grinder instead.
  5. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Songster

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Coffee bean grinder works the best, but they are yet too young to feed scratch to.
    I would hold off or take it back.
    politely remind the workers there they can not up sell with the threat of harm to baby animals .
  6. lindseythefork

    lindseythefork Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Humboldt County, CA
    I would keep the scratch for when they get older and refrain from feeding it to them in the meantime. Chicks don't need it.
  7. Chickiezz

    Chickiezz Songster

    Apr 14, 2009
    Ya I got chicks today and I noticed the feed I already had was too big,so I did the same thing. It worked for me,but I don't have corn. They eat it fine.

  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Right. nwgirl, the feed store sold you something your chicks don't need right now and probably can't digest well anyhow. All they need to get off to a good start is their chick starter and water.
  9. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    Not only don't they need it but it can harm them. My daughter gave it to her 4 week old chicks and two of them died. It was the only thing we could think of that was different they were all healthy before the scratch. She only three a handful in the coop for 12 birds but it was too much. Take it back or keep it until they are much older.
  10. emit

    emit In the Brooder

    Feb 3, 2009
    Charleston WV
    old time chicken breeder told me to put some in because they had pasty butt. he said the starter feed was not doing right by them parakeet gravel from pet smart . They pecked an tried to dust them self in it. They are only one week old. Mine did not come from a feed store. Just 2 have had a mild case. It is amazing to watch these little chicks. [​IMG]

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