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Is Scratch necessary?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KimKimWilliamso, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. KimKimWilliamso

    KimKimWilliamso Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2012
    Nanton, AB, Canada
    I have been feeding my chicks NatureWise brand pellett/crumble feed from the start, firstly on the starter, then on the grower, and eventually they will be on the layer.
    It is the only brand available for sale for miles, so it was an easy choice. However, I have not been able to locate a Scratch. I am new to chickens, and dont know what it looks like, brand names, etc. All I know is that I cant find anything called Scratch in the feed isles at my two local feed stores.

    My chickens are free fed the crumble, and then have access to a large grassy lot all day where they eat grass, dandelions, bugs etc. plus they get granite grit. Every other day or so I give them raw corn on the cob to peck at, or a piece of Organic Sprouted Squirelly Bread or some Organic greek yogurt (plain). With all of that, is Scratch necessary?

    I know it has cracked corn, but what else would it have in it? can I make with ingredients from the Bulk section of the grocery store?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Strasburg Ohio
    Scratch is just a mixture of different grains. It's a treat really, so you don't need. If you live in an area with cold winters, you can give them some scratch before nightfall, and it helps bring up their body temperature during digestion.

    It's called scratch, because usually you throw some down for the chickens, and they scratch the ground looking for it. Chickens love to scratch around!

    So if you don't have any scratch, don't worry. My flock gets bird seed for a treat and just loves it!
    Cracked corn will have the same effect on body heat as scratch does. And they love that too.

    Take care,
    Sharon
     
  3. KimKimWilliamso

    KimKimWilliamso Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2012
    Nanton, AB, Canada
    Okay, I do have large amounts of wilde bird seed with sunflowers and corn in it, so I will just try that for now. Maybe in the winter I will head to the big city and look again. Thanks!
     
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Corn and sunflower seed are high in fat, so use the sparingly.
     
  5. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Corn is low in fat. Sunflower is high. Both are very useful treats, and even better if sprouted.
    The fat in sunflower will help make feathers shiny.
    cheers
    Erica
     
  6. KimKimWilliamso

    KimKimWilliamso Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2012
    Nanton, AB, Canada
    Yes, small amounts only. Thanks for the advice
     

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