Is cracked corn different than scratch grains?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by OHChick, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    My DH was asking me what the difference is between just regular cracked corn and the scratch grains we're buying. He said cracked corn is a lot cheaper than scratch grains. He thinks I'm crazy b/c every time I go to the barn my girls all run over to me and go 'mom give us some scratch!' so I give them a big heaping scoop. He thinks I'm spoiling them and wasting money. If we give cracked corn is that the same thing?

    I figure I can spoil them since they're giving me so many eggs that I can use. [​IMG]
  2. FluffyChickenMama

    FluffyChickenMama Songster

    Jun 13, 2007
    my scratch has cracked corn in it mixed with other different kinds of grains.. My chickens pick the corn out and leave the other grains so I figure after this bag is gone I wont pay the extra for scratch grains and just get the cracked corn.. I would imagine if they would eat the other grains that would be good for them as long as its not to much.. its like giving them candy and watch the corn when its hot out.. it can overheat the birds..
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2007
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    FCM is right, scratch grains have other stuff in it. My birds do like to eat it all though, corn and oats or whatever else. Don't give them too much though or they could get fat and have health problems down the road such as becoming egg bound.
  4. Yes, mine do the same. I must say That i have found it easier to just give scratch mix with soya meal protein powder thrown in, as mine freerange and pick grass and bugs all day as well.
    My scratch has corn and heaps of other types of seeds and pellets in it but i have added some extra corn in the mix.
    Mine leave the unwanted seed for the cockatoos which come and visit and we have some pretty cockies and parrots to add colour to my blossom trees!!! I love spring.
  5. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    Quote:hmm, i didn't know that. i'll watch it. mine eat all of the scratch grains, they don't leave anything behind. they are *BIG* birds now, but i wouldn't call them fat. yet. [​IMG] i usually do a big scoop once per day and just a smaller handful the next time they beg so that they know i still love them. haha.
  6. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    When ours were smaller they would not eat anything except the corn in the scratch... but now that they are older they eat it all. That might be what is going on with yours... not sure... I was told not to give them so much especially when it is hot out... you can give them more when it gets colder... this BIG scoop... how big? I have 50 chickens, 4 turkeys and 5 ducks... with that I only give them about 2 cups in the morning and a little more at night when they go to roost... do you have any vegies? They love vegies and takes the place of the corn and will still let them know you love them.
  7. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    i give veggies too. and watermelon. and recently some pumpkin bread. [​IMG] the scoop, is a horse feed scoop, i'll have to measure it out. if i was guessing i'd say 2-3 cups. and i have 27 chickens. plus if i spill thru the gate the alpacas eat it too. [​IMG]
  8. Gee I feel slack, Here I am sharing the chook mix with the wild birds and also from an autofeeder which is never empty summer and winter!!!
    However Goldilocks is going on 17 and laid another egg yesterday so perhaps our mix is different here, its dark now but ill go and grab the label from the bag and read it to see whats in there. They love it so I love it!!!
  9. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    I've been meaning to ask, Bantymum...

    Have you ever used supplemental light with Goldilocks? I've heard it "burns the hens out" earlier in their egg laying careers. Since Goldilocks has GOT to be the oldest hen ever to continue laying at such an age, I'm just wondering if you use (or have used) light in your coop to help stimulate more laying in the off season or not?

    (Sorry so off-topic! I just realized!)
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2007
  10. Hi Windy, No Ive never used any as I like them to go ala naturel though its a pain having to buy freerange eggs.
    I use foil insulation just to keep them warm in the coop, which is so tiny, ill post you a pic!!! they freerange then go to roost in there. Its not like the silky house which is a ramshackle hilton.
    Anyhow Our winters are mild here, we only get snow once or twice each winter. Mine go off the lay in Autumn but lay thru winter. I dont change the feed at all, I stick to the scratch mix with lettuce leaves, tomatoes and whatever else is left from dinner and breakfast. No eggs or chicken/turkey meat though. The babies get microwaved egg yolks every few days. I get a pavlova!!!
    I feel that the chickens will eat all day and if they have room to exercise will burn up the calories.

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