How much scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kchopper, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. kchopper

    kchopper Out Of The Brooder

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    How much scratch would 18 chickens go through in a week or month? Do you give it to them daily? How much at a time?(a cup, 1 gallon, etc..)
     
  2. awesomefowl

    awesomefowl Argues with Goats

    Scratch should only be fed, if at all, as an occasional treat, as it can make hens fat. Feed it on cold days to help them generate body heat--but just feed a little.
    Scratch is like chicken candy. Feed your chickens proper chicken feed. Hope this helps! [​IMG]
     
  3. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The scoop I have is made out of a Clorox bottle cut at an angle so I can use the bottle handle. I have about 40 +/- chickens and 10 +/- Guineas. They get a scoop a day which ends up having to buy about 3 bags of scratch a month.(150#) They have a large Run with mulberry trees in it and now, in the fall, I've let them in to pilfer whats left in the Garden that they have been staring at through the fence all summer long. I would hate to think having to buy all their food year round. They have lots of greens during the spring/summer and garden gleanings during the fall. During the winter, they get more scratch (two scoops) with a little dry catfood added to it to compensate for bugs/insects not available.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  4. kchopper

    kchopper Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2010
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    Sorry, I should have been more clear. I know what scratch is. We feed only organic and have an opportunity to buy some organic corn. The corn will be used for scratch. I am going to give them the corn as treats since they will not get the grass, weeds, etc... in winter. How much and how often can I give it to them?
     
  5. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is scratch? Is that like cracked corn?
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Our feed supplier recommends no more than 5% of the hens' ration per day, to keep from diluting the hens' ration too much. So, for 18 hens that would be around a quarter pound per day, less than a cups worth. A little more in winter, as they tend to eat more in cold weather, but don't necessarily need the extra protein and minerals that comes with the extra consumption.

    Winter feeding of corn doesn't necessarily make them warmer, as they will eat what they need of their layer ration to keep warm, but as I said, they don't need the extra protein and minerals, so the corn can help by diluting the ration in cold weather.

    Feeding corn at bedtime to keep them warm, as some will suggest, isn't the the best thing to do. They do most of their shell production at night, through the next morning until they lay, and they need a crop full of layer feed (with its calcium) to get them through the night until they can get up in the morning, get more layer feed, and finish producing that egg. In the absence of calcium in the crop/gizzard, they draw on their own calcium reserves, still produce that egg, and then stock up on calcium later, but it can possibly lead to poorer quality shells, especially in older hens.
     
  7. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Scratch is just mixed grains of no specific formula. It isn't a complete layer ration and doesn't have the required amount of protein and added vitamins and minerals that are formulated into a complete layer ration.
     
  8. Tiniest Animal

    Tiniest Animal Out Of The Brooder

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    I just bought some fancy scratch feed for my chickens. It was on sale. [​IMG] Do I need to buy some other food?? to switch out with the scratch? thats what it sound like yall are saying. Just need to know what I should feed them now I am getting them off of chick starter and what kid of feed do I need to use for all around egg,health, for winter and then when its get warmer what should I do Thanks
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:If they are laying they need layer ration, not to switch out with, but to be fed as their regular feed. Scratch is a snack, should be maybe 5% of their diet at most.
     

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