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hope i didnt mess up

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by anthony1536, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. anthony1536

    anthony1536 In the Brooder

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hallsboro North Carolina
    i ran out of feed so i went to Tractor Supply to get some. i was looking more at the price and less at the bag. when i got home my little girl pointed out that i picked up scratch grain instead of the scratch corn. i can see that it is a mix of corn and grains. but my question is will this work to feed them like the corn did. and if so which is better. also my chicken seem to enjoy eating off the ground more than in their metal feed tray and they don't seem to want to fight when i feed them on the ground. as long as the ground is dry is one way any better than the other. as i stated in my other posts im new to having chicken and i only want to do whats best for my new friends. so thank you all for answering my crazy questions.

  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Songster

    Sep 27, 2014
    First off corn is by far the worst.Especially if its a everyday thing.

    Next,you got scratch.I dont think you should feed this to
    them daily.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    You can feed scratch everyday, but it isn't a complete feed, which your birds will need to be as productive as they can be. You need a complete feed.

    Scratch is missing many important dietary ingredients. But then, so does corn. These basic grains need to be supplemented heavily by a complete feed such as Grower or Layer formulas, depending on your bird's age and whether or not they are laying.

    Scratch is best if limited to a small, small portion of their diet.
  4. If you want to do what is best stop giving cracked corn and scratch grains, as they are not a balanced diet... Go get a balanced diet feed that is at least 14% protein, preferably more like 16% once they are adults...

    If they are laying eggs, go with a layer feed, if they are not laying yet stay on the starter/grower feed until they are adults then you can switch to an 'all flock' feed with a side of oysters shells or go to a layer feed once they are actually laying ...

    Cracked corn and scratch grains should be a 'treat' not comprising more than about 10% of their diet...
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  5. anthony1536

    anthony1536 In the Brooder

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hallsboro North Carolina
    thanks for the help. as i said i want whats best for them. they have become good fiends and i look forward to seeing them everyday. when i get paid i will go to the local feed store and get a better food for them and maybe mix it with the scratch until the scratch is good. i got a 50lb bag and hate to waste it. they are about 8 months old and not laying so far so ill stay away from the layer for now. thanks again for the help.
  6. Best not to mix the scratch, get the better food and switch them over to that fully... To get rid of the scratch use it as a treat, take a few handfuls and toss it on the ground when you go to visit them...
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    If you mix the scratch with the grower, they'll pick out the scratch, leaving the grower behind. Expect them to throw a hissy fit and reject the grower when you give it to them. Kind of like a kid who grows up eating nothing but sugary snacks, suddenly being offered a plate of broccoli. Give them enough time to get hungry, and they'll come around. Keep them on that, b/c they need the balanced nutrients. then you can give the handfuls of scratch as treats/training tools. Don't put the grower on the ground. It'll spoil.

  8. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA

    If you were only feeding corn before and now are feeding only scratch, this is probably why you are not getting eggs from 8 month old pullets. It's not uncommon for some birds to take longer to come into lay, but if your entire flock still isn't laying, it is probably from not getting all the nutrition they need. Corn is no more a complete feed than scratch. Like others have said, start feeding a complete layer feed. They will probably start laying eggs within 4-8 weeks, perhaps even sooner.

    There are many stories of "Grandpa" who fed nothing but corn to his flock. He also likely didn't confine them in coop and they had a very rich and diverse diet of seeds, weeds and most important, protein in the forms of insects, grubs, worms, mice, small snakes, etc. So most of their diet came from free ranging off the land. Someone here on BYC once explained very well why this is not as easy as it once was. Most people i know who free range also feed a complete feed. Also, grandpa's breeds of chickens likely only laid about 100 eggs a year each, not the modern breeds that lay 300+. To lay all those eggs requires very high levels of nutrition, nutrition that most backyard flockers won't be able to reproduce in their yard.

    If they're fighting over a feed dish, I have a hunch this may change once they have the layer feed for a while. Or you could have several feed dishes spread out.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Read the labels on any bag of grains or feed, the ingredients and nutrient levels should be on the label by law.

    I like to feed an 'all flock' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat.
    I just have calcium available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    The higher protein crumble offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer regularly.
  10. anthony1536

    anthony1536 In the Brooder

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hallsboro North Carolina
    thank you all im still learning. so all the help is very appreciated

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