How much scratch, & when?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by FiveHens, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. FiveHens

    FiveHens Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Our four hens (contrary to my username [​IMG]) are ~9 months old. We recently got them back, and the person taking care of them was feeding them scratch, so we got some, too.
    So, my question is, how much? I've read you're not supposed to give them too there a set amount per hen?
    Also, I've read you shouldn't give it to them when it's hot, and it's been high 80s here every day. [​IMG]
    Any thoughts?


  2. hudsonhousechicks

    hudsonhousechicks Songster

    Jun 2, 2010
    I'm a little confused about scratch too. It's not just regular food? I feed mine organic pullet developer. Is scratch different than that? How is it different?
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:First you can give scratch when it is hot out...
    Now to me a lot depends on 3 things:
    (1) the type of feed,
    (2) the amount of protein of the feed and,
    (3) the type of scratch you are going to give..

    If you are feeding a feed that has animal protein in it and it around a 20% protein you can get away with a little more scratch than if you were feeding a feed that was lower in protein and /or all grain based.

    The type of scratch has a lot to do with how much scratch you can give..
    If you are using a "regular" scratch like the type that you can from most feed stores labeled "Scratch Grain" you might not want to feed as much as you would if you were using a Pigeon Grain that is around 14% protein...

    Now I would say on a average feed and scratch grain you can get away with up to 10% of there feed intake being scratch.

  4. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Songster

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    It's just a treat, the assorted grains might make it a little better than cracked corn, but it still has that in there. There's a very little amount of protein, and it's pretty much void of any other nutrients. Think of it as chicken candy, they love it, but is it good for them? It also can cause problems in heat if you feed them too much that it fattens them.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010

  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:A lot has to do with what you are using as a "scratch".
    Scratch Grain can be a good source for complex carbohydrates, oils and fats .
    Here are the grain mixes that I have used as a scratch at one time or another.

    • Racing Pigeon - 21.5% Protein - NO CORN
    Contains: Canada Peas, Maple Peas, Safflower, Austrian Peas, Whole Wheat, White Kafir, Red Milo, Vetch.
    Crude Protein (min) 21.5% Crude Fat (min) 4.0% Crude Fiber (max) 8.0%

    • Breeder/Conditioner - 16% Protein - NO CORN
    Contains: Canada Peas, Red Milo, White Kafir, Maple Peas, Oat Groats, Austrian Peas, Whole Wheat, Safflower Seed, White Millet, Red Millet, Canary Seed, Vetch, Buckwheat, Rice.
    Crude Protein (min) 16.0% Crude Fat (min) 3.5% Crude Fiber (max) 8.0%

    • Maintenance 14% Protein - W/Corn (this is what I use now.)
    Contains: Canada Peas, Milo, Whole Wheat, Small Yellow Corn, Safflower Seed, Maple Peas, Flax, Brown Rice, Vetch, Buckwheat,
    Oat Groats.
    Crude Protein (min) 14.0% Crude Fat (min) 2.0% Crude Fiber (max) 9.0%

  6. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    AT what age can you start giving them a little scratch?
  7. tree

    tree Hatching

    Aug 13, 2010
    Scratch feed can be compared to candy for kids ... I use it as a treat only. (I do dole out a bit more in the winter months, as it's quick energy for the birds and supplements their regular diet. ) Too much and they'll start liking it to the point where they don't want their regular feed .. and you'll have some fat birds ! [​IMG]

  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:I start giving Scratch at around 6 months.

  9. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    Quote:For 4-5 hens I'd give them a handful or two. That's plenty. I don't believe it makes them hot. That's been a debate on here. My scratch is wheat, barley, corn,oats, and black oil sunflower seeds. I don't think of it as candy,more like whole grains to me. Will

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