is scratch a necessity?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by midwife mama, May 24, 2010.

  1. midwife mama

    midwife mama Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't really understand the purpose of scratch. What is its function in the chicken diet? When do people start feeding it? Is it necessary?
     
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    function: Treat

    when to start: I started my girls on one scoop after they started laying...

    I dont do it everyday only when i remember
     
  3. Mr chicken dude

    Mr chicken dude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No it is not a necessity it is more of a treat to your Chickens it has little nutrition in it if you use the Deep Litter Method you can throw a little bit of scratch on the litter ad your Chickens will stir it up for you so you don't have to stir it...be sure not to give to much scratch to them though...
     
  4. midwife mama

    midwife mama Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok thanks!
     
  5. detali

    detali Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I throw bird seed instead of scratch out to the chickens when I want them to come in from their chicken pasture into the roofed hen yard. They come running. It's a neat way to call in your birds.
     
  6. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used a homemade oat and wheat scratch to slow the growth of my girls when they were young as per recommendation by the Storey's book. I've just continued every night to give them a little so they have full crops for bed. Now that they're adults I've added BOSS and in the cold of winter, a bit of corn.

    Mary
     
  7. Laurie's Silkies

    Laurie's Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I buy the Purina scratch Grains and mix in wild bird seed, cracked corn,oats and a little black oil sunflower seed. Lots of variety in it. Chickens are a hobby for me so I enjoy giving them scratch and other treats in addition to a high quality diet. No scratch is not a necessity, but giving them things they enjoy makes it fun for them and me !!!
     
  8. big medicine

    big medicine custom Brahmas

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    As stated above, the main reason I use scratch is to keep the litter stirred up. This keeps things so much more loose and dry, making the litter last much longer. An additional benifit is it gives the girls a hobby, happily scratching, searching for the last morsels, chatting away untill it is their time in the nest box. I feed a small amount( a scoop for 50 birds) first thing in the morning that they mostly clean up in a few minutes, not really affecting their intake of balanced layer ration. I also give them a little scratch(heavier on the corn) on very cold evening before they go to roost.
     

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