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Homemade Scratch/Treats

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SurbFarmGirl, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. SurbFarmGirl

    SurbFarmGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2015
    Good morning!

    MY girls are almost 3 weeks old. I've given them a small piece of red leaf lettuce, a bit of watermelon and a scrambled egg as treats so far :) They now run to my hand every time I put it in their brooder! [​IMG]

    Yesterday I read an article about training your hens to come when you call them. Kinda like giving them a special call ... so they respond if you need to get them put up quickly or just want to get their attention. The article said to have a special word/tone/bell etc, and then a treat of some kind (like scratch). It gets REALLY hot here in the summer so I don't want to use store bought scratch as I know it will have a lot of corn in it. I'd really like to make my own. Do any of you have a "recipe" for a special treat I can make them? I won't use it until they are a bit older, but I'd like to start researching it.

    Also .... do I need to give them grit with the small treats I am giving them now? I don't give them something every day ... they are still eating their starter feed. I just want to be sure I keep them healthy :)

    My Silver Laced Wyandotte now flies into my lap every time I take the top off their brooder. She's a stinker!

    Thank you in advance for your help :)
     
  2. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    Yes. They MUST have grit.

    You can buy scratch without corn, or you can make your own blend. I make my own because most scratch seems to have milo, and my birds don't like it (which means I get pigeons and rats!

    Mine get random mixes of:

    BOSS
    Barley
    Buckwheat
    Cracked Corn
    Rye
    Red (hard) Wheat
    White (soft) Wheat
    Oats
    Safflower Seeds
    Meal Worms
    Black Soldier Fly Larva
     
  3. SurbFarmGirl

    SurbFarmGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2015
    Awesome thank you! Where do you find all that?? Feed store?

    And did I hurt my girls by giving them those few things with no grit?? :( I'm kinda worried now!!
     
  4. Torch404

    Torch404 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Northern Cali
    You can still give them grit now. You want to, if you are giving them treats. I read some where you want to wait till about 6 weeks to give treats as they are growing so fast they need all the protein in the starter food and treats generally are low protein. In the long run I doubt it maters much, when they are with a momma hen they start eating grass and everything else low protein right away. Sit back and enjoy the chicks [​IMG]
     
  5. Honey B

    Honey B Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only have two hens so smaller quantities are a must for me. That being said, I find a great deal of organic "scratch" grains at Wholefoods. I also sprout my grain mixture for a nutrition boost before giving them to the girls. Glad you are enjoying yor new flock.
     
  6. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They just can't properly digest it without grit, so they could have crop issues (like sour crop). If they're behaving normally, you're probably ok, but I'd get some chick grit from the store ASAP and certainly before giving them any more treats. Mine got all kinds of stuff when they were small, because I think imitating a natural foraging diet is healthier than just commercial feed. Many people do not agree. *shrug* My chickens, my rules.

    I get all the grain and seeds from either my local feed store or from the bulk section at the grocery store.
     
  7. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine LOVE sprouts. I started with sprouted clover when they were little and now they get sprouted BOSS and wheat. And wheat grass. Man do they go crazy for the wheat grass.
     
  8. SurbFarmGirl

    SurbFarmGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2015
    That sounds interesting! I saw something out that on pinterest. I have a whole chicken folder now :)
     
  9. SurbFarmGirl

    SurbFarmGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2015
    Should I avoid cracked corn in the summer since it gets so hot here?? I read that it raises body temperature.
     
  10. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I've heard that, and I've heard people who know their stuff say it's a myth. Corn is a major part of most commercial feeds, so I don't think there's any real point in avoiding it, but you totally can.
     

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