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How much scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Agilityscots, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    I keep a standard-sized coffee mug in my bag of scratch, and I've been giving one or two mugs a day to my girls. But in this cold weather, is more okay? Can I give them four or five mugs a day? I have four, 6.5 month old pullets...I know you're not supposed to overdo scratch or they can get fat, so just making sure.

    Amy
     
  2. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    That's a good question. I have six that I give about a cup to twice a day and I wondered if that was too much. I don't want them to lose interest in the regular feed, so I try not to over do it on the scratch. They get snacks daily too and a little free range time [​IMG]
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I give one 16 ounce soup can of scratch to 22 chickens per day. Judge about how much layer or grower they are eating, and figure out about how much 10% of that is. It is best to make sure that the scratch you are feeding, is less than that 10%. Too much scratch lowers the protein they are getting and makes hens fat. Fat hens often have prolapse issues as they age or start laying in the spring.
     
  4. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Quote:Mine too...they get lots of fruit, occasional pasta, once in a while a small hunk of cheese, canned cat food (which they go berserk for), etc. I try to limit their treats, but they sure are great garbage disposals. [​IMG]

    I love the pic of your Irish Setter in your avatar!

    Amy
     
  5. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Quote:Excellent, Silkie! This helps a LOT.

    Amy
     
  6. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 1, 2008
    I was told by my supplier that you should not give too much scratch because it is more of a treat and does not have the nutrients of the feed.

    This man wants to make money so I believe it.

    He also said to only give what they can eat within a few minutes. In the winter it should be given near bedtime to keep them warm.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    I give a cup in the morning and a cup at night - 14 chickens (8 standards and 4 bantams)

    I don't know what I'm going to do come spring or summer, I don't want them eating too much in the warm months, and they're so darn used to that cup when I open the coop and the cup before bed.. they are WAITING for me 20 minutes before the treat time!...
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:Both are true. In most areas the scratch is just cracked corn with some barley which means it is about 8% protein, chicken feeds have 16% or more. Corn is in their regular feed, but so are other vitamins and minerals. And I'm certain the supplier wants to make money. LOL
     
  9. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I don't keep track of how much scratch I give mine -- most of it gets left anyway. They're only interested in a few of the grains, the rest become lovely little patches of grass. I guess my property has better treats to offer in the form of bugs and worms and such.
     

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