How much scratch to give?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mommysongbird, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Right now we have 6 chickens (2 roos and 4 pullets) the 2 roos will be LEAVING soon, so that will just leave the girls, Thank GOD!

    Any way, they are approx. 27 weeks old and we started them on scratch a few weeks ago when it got really cold. They have their crumble layer as well and my son tries to gather as much green grass as he can (they are NOT freerange). So I am wondering if they are getting enough scratch or too much. I don't give them any scratch on the warmer days except in the early AM when it is still cold.

    How much scratch should 4 pullets get per day when it is cold out??

    Also what else to feed them during the winter when all the green grass is no longer there???
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    For me? I don't even buy it anymore. Period. Here, it is just 3 common grains swept together. 8% protein with no vitamin or mineral pak at all. Funny thing? It cost the same price as 20% layer pellets at our local mill. Same!!!! You'll get a lot of different answers here, but....

    So, feed junky 8% protein scratch or balanced, mineral rich, 20% protein layer pellets for the same price? My decision was dead easy. YMMV.
     
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    May 13, 2008
    You need not feed scratch daily it is intended as a treat and sparingly at that. I only feed scratch once a week and they get only enough thrown about to supply about 1/2 a handfull per bird per week.
     
  4. CCourson05

    CCourson05 Popping like kettle corn...

    Jan 5, 2011
    Hickory Flat, MS
    I'd say 2-3 cups once a day is a good amount.

    Also, I feed cabbage, lettuce, broccoli and other vegetables in winter. I find them cheap and just buy A LOT!

    We have really harsh winters because of our humidity, so I have to give them more grains in the winter to prevent frostbite and chilled hens... I use whole corn instead of scratch though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:4 or 6 cups of scratch? Really! For 4 birds? That would constitute their entire caloric intake! Quite an unhealthy diet for a laying hen.
    The cabbage, lettuce, broccoli and other vegetables are very good, however.
     
  6. CCourson05

    CCourson05 Popping like kettle corn...

    Jan 5, 2011
    Hickory Flat, MS
    Fred's Hens :

    Quote:4 or 6 cups of scratch? Really! For 4 birds? That would constitute their entire caloric intake! Quite an unhealthy diet for a laying hen.
    The cabbage, lettuce, broccoli and other vegetables are very good, however.

    Lol. I had written 1-2 twice, but change to 2-3 once... Sorry.​
     
  7. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Quote:The OP will only have 4 pullets according to that 3 cup's of scratch per day is an entire diet. way to much, way too much IMEO.
     
  8. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Fred's Hens :

    For me? I don't even buy it anymore. Period. Here, it is just 3 common grains swept together. 8% protein with no vitamin or mineral pak at all. Funny thing? It cost the same price as 20% layer pellets at our local mill. Same!!!! You'll get a lot of different answers here, but....

    So, feed junky 8% protein scratch or balanced, mineral rich, 20% protein layer pellets for the same price? My decision was dead easy. YMMV.

    Our mill does cracked corn and wheat in their scratch. I would have to look at the tag to see what the protein and stuff is??

    Thanks​
     
  9. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    It will be low 8% at best.
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    I don't ever feed scratch; yes, they enjoy it, but they also enjoy steam-rolled oats and barley...so that's what I give for treats since it's so much healthier. I also feed BOSS as a treat, as well as dark, leafy greens such as kale and mustard greens.
     

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