I'm Confussed, Scratch or laying pellets or both?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Rocket Raley, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. Rocket Raley

    Rocket Raley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm Confussed, Scratch or laying pellets or both?
    Ok, I have been filling up their feeding tray every other day with Scratch (corn and wheat in a bag). But then I read on here about laying pellets and oyster shells.

    I let my babies out every evening for 2 hours in the yard to play. Plus I give them treats, (Bread, veggies, fruit, scapes, etc).
    Also, now we have our third egg since last Friday.

    So, do I put the Layer feed in the feeding tray or scratch? Or do I mix them 1/2 and 1/2 or do I put out two trays.

    About the oyster shells
    The guy at the feed and seed the other week said to just throw out a hand full on the ground about once a week. Does sound right?
     
  2. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

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    If they are laying hens you should be feeding layer feed pellets(or crumbles), pellets are suppose to cut the waste.
    the mojority of thier food chould be pellets or from freeranging not the treats and scratch

    Scratch should not be a base part of thier diet. It should be given like a treat, and when its cold, the corn gives the birds more heat(body has to work harder to process thus producing heat)

    Oyster shells should be made available if they are laying if . Usually given free choice, in a seperate feeder or bowl rather than in with regular food. I guess you could just toss on the ground, but if they are not needing it it would just get trampled into the ground.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I agree with mdbucks. Layer pellets free choice all the time. Scratch only as a night time or cold weather treat. Oyster shells free choice in a bin.
     
  4. TransplantedTexan

    TransplantedTexan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, do I put the Layer feed in the feeding tray or scratch? Or do I mix them 1/2 and 1/2 or do I put out two trays?

    Layer feed in the trough. It's the primary feed.
    Scratch is for a treat, and only when it's cool. Digestion in general, and particularly corn heats up the body. This could cause over heating when it's hot. Most ppl feed scratch as a treat, in the evening when it's cool.

    About the oyster shells - You can put it in a bowl and let them eat it at will. Always keep some in the bowl. I personaly just mix a few bowls per 50 lbs of layer feed and when I feed they get both.

    If you have gravel some where on the property where they free range your ok, but if not you better feed them some gravel as well if you are giving scratch. Oyster shell does not count as gravel.
     
  5. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

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    Quote:I give mine free choice on GRIT too, mine freerange and can get alll they want from the driveway but I give it to them anyway
     
  6. Rocket Raley

    Rocket Raley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scatch is a treat. You mean I have been feeding them junk food all this time? No wonder they are so happy!!![​IMG]

    That's what I get for going to tractor supply. They only carry starter food and scratch. Luckly I found a feed and seed.

    About the gravel. We don't have any of that. (Our property is called "ClayHill" for a reason) . There is some white sand about a 1/2 mile down our driveway. Should I just shovel some of that up and put it in there pen?

    Oh,
    I just went out there and threw about 4 cups of oyster shells on the ground. Man they love that stuff. They ate all of it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  7. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    I’ll bet they love it! It’s hard to make a shell, the lil’ guys (uh, gals) need all the help they can get.[​IMG]

    How cool you found a feed store. They probably sell grit. I bought sand for mine but they prefer to find their own ‘grit.’ I think my sand may be too fine to act as grit.
     
  8. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just began giving my gals some oyster shell and they turned up their noses (beaks) to it, not very interested. I have been giving them their own egg shells (dried and crumbled) which I was concerned wasn't enough calcium. Maybe it is enough...?[​IMG]
     
  9. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

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    Quote:Youve been feeding them CANDY for so long I bet they have no teeth left, go look we'lll wait.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Y'all are gonna have to give me a reference for this, people keep saying over and over that it's a "hot" feed, don't feed it on warm days and that it will keep them warm in the winter. What makes corn a "hot" feed vs a regular balanced ration?
     

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