Is scratch ok to give in Summer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cabela, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. cabela

    cabela In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2010
    [​IMG] I bought a bag of scratch before I heard that somewhere that you shouldn't give it in the Summer. Does anyone know if it will last until Winter inside a Rubbermaid tote or will it spoil? Thanks....
  2. NarleevilleClucks

    NarleevilleClucks In the Brooder

    May 27, 2009
    Linthicum, Maryland
    I've never heard that you shouldn't give scratch in the summer and it's mixed in with my chics food...all year round...this is strange. Although if you want to stop giving it in the summer I'm sure it would keep well in a rubbermaid tote if it was kept very dry.
  3. SallyF

    SallyF Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    I still give a little scratch in the summer, because it is the treat my flock responds to best when it is time to get them into the run after free-ranging. I just cut down on the amount. I keep the bag in a plastic trash can with a tight lid and it seems to last a fairly long time. You may have moths hatch in it after a while; most dried corn products seem to be contaminated with moth larvae.
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Scratch varies from company to company. It is usually corn, for the most part. As I see it, here are 2 problems with feeding very much corn in the summer:

    Let's say you have a laying hen. She's not very big but she lays a full-sized egg nearly every day right through the year.

    Your hen eats exactly 100 grams of food each day. That's what she wants and if it is available that is the limit of what she will eat: 100 gram.

    During cold weather, your hen needs 340 calories each day. During hot weather, she only needs 260 calories each day. Her activity level is the same winter or summer but to stay warm, she needs quite a few more calories in winter than in summer. Once her summer requirement is met, the excess calories may just go to making her fat. That isn't healthy so in the summer she really should only have 260 calories.

    She lays an egg almost every day. An egg has quite a lot of protein. On any day, winter or summer, to maintain her own body and to produce that egg - your hen needs 17 grams of protein.

    Corn has a lot of calories and little protein.

    100 grams of corn
    360 calories
    8 grams of protein

    USDA National Nutrient Database
    Nutrition for Backyard Chicken Flocks, Auburn University, Poultry Science

  5. Debob

    Debob In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Mineget a McDee's small coffe cup of whole corn in the morning,throwen to them . In the evening they get a cup of whole corn & 1/2 cup of cracked corn in the out side feeder. They also have a feeder in the coop with curmbles all the time. With 11 hens there is not any left outside when the are put up at night. If any were to be left I'd just cut back on the evening feeding. This is addition to any treats .
  6. nsanywhere

    nsanywhere Songster

    Jan 8, 2010
    never heard of that. I give scratch all year round, just much less in the warm months.

    I have 30 chickens - keep layer pellets in the feeder 24/7 for free feed and also give them all the kitchen scraps. For scratch:

    ~ 1 cup morning and evening, scattered in the run (it is scratch, after all :). The evening scratch is mostly to get them in from a day of free ranging.

    In the winter I almost triple that, but play around with amounts based on the cold.

    I have to keep all my food in metal garbage cans with tight lids. Even in the feed shed, something will get in there and eat right through a rubber or plastic container, no mater how thick. I also found that leaving the food in the 50 lb. bags and turning them down (like potato chip bags) helps keep out moisture, which makes the food go bad.
  7. MikasGirl

    MikasGirl Songster

    Apr 17, 2009
    Coos Bay, OR
    You are not supposed to give large amounts of scratch during warm weather because it can raise their body temperature and possibly cause heat stroke. I still give mine a little, but definitely not as much as during the winter.
  8. sjh

    sjh Songster

    Apr 23, 2009
    Quote:Bad info!!
    Why will this not dy.
  9. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

    Aug 11, 2009
    Taunton, MA
    Quote:Bad info!!
    Why will this not dy.

    No need to be rude, he didnt know
  10. easton coop

    easton coop Songster

    Feb 5, 2010
    Winchester UK
    I have also stopped giving them mixed grain as the weather is so so hot at the moment. I did hear that it does raise their body temperature, is this not true.

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