Is this mix ok for chickens?

GreyFoxHomestead

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2020
7
42
28
I mix a 16% Layers pellet (5 cups), a cup of starter feed, scratch grain(3 Cups) and a cup of wheat oil together in a mash (soak in a bucket with water for 15 minutes) my Chickens love it! I wanted to know if that's a healthy mix. One friend said that was too much, another said that was not enough. I just wanted to ask you guys. If it's not good for then then i wanted to know what mix do you use? My girls hate the pellets and this is the only way I can get them to eat it. Brokentoe couldnt care either way. Food Is food.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
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Southwestern Pennsylvania
I am of the opinion that layer feed is already formulated appropriately for their needs, and anything else just dilutes the nutrition of that feed. For example, mixing as you are will slightly lower the protein (because of the scratch grain and oil), up the fat (because of the oil), and reduce the amount of calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. I personally feel you're just taking extra and unnecessary steps without any substantial benefit. Scratch grain especially is best when used sparingly as a treat, such as teaching them to come when you call.

In terms of feeding as a mash, that is purely personal preference and a mash can be made with just the feed alone. Most people don't make a mash from pellets, but crumble often leaves a lot of powder behind that might be wasted, so a lot of folks will make a mash, or ferment crumble.

Experiment what works for you. Observe your ladies and their eggs for any adverse changes, which you should always be doing anyways, and you should be fine.
 

GreyFoxHomestead

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2020
7
42
28
I am of the opinion that layer feed is already formulated appropriately for their needs, and anything else just dilutes the nutrition of that feed. For example, mixing as you are will slightly lower the protein (because of the scratch grain and oil), up the fat (because of the oil), and reduce the amount of calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. I personally feel you're just taking extra and unnecessary steps without any substantial benefit. Scratch grain especially is best when used sparingly as a treat, such as teaching them to come when you call.

In terms of feeding as a mash, that is purely personal preference and a mash can be made with just the feed alone. Most people don't make a mash from pellets, but crumble often leaves a lot of powder behind that might be wasted, so a lot of folks will make a mash, or ferment crumble.

Experiment what works for you. Observe your ladies and their eggs for any adverse changes, which you should always be doing anyways, and you should be fine.
Should I up the layers mix and lower the other stuff then? I want them to be healthy but I can't get them to eat the layers feed by itself. They will refuse to eat it.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
1,764
2,880
261
Southwestern Pennsylvania
Should I up the layers mix and lower the other stuff then? I want them to be healthy but I can't get them to eat the layers feed by itself. They will refuse to eat it.
How old are your birds? I'd stop with the scratch and use it as a fun treat only. Scratch is a whole grain so it stays good and holds it's nutritional value for quite a few months. If they won't eat pellets, continue to make a mash if that's what's working. It's unlikely that the addition of the other ingredients are what's enticing them, it's probably the mash. Do you have any other use for the wheat oil? If so, stop using that in the feed and use it for something else. If you don't have a use, reduce it to 1/4 of a cup and add it to the mix until you've used it all up. In the future, try to buy some crumble and see if they like it so you won't have to bother with the mash unless you want to.
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
May 27, 2015
8,889
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SW MO
I agree w @humblehillsfarm , you will dilute the nutrition by adding scratch. You may have to go cold turkey until they learn to eat their primary feed.
One thing to check, why don't they like it? Is it old or outdated, funky smelling, moldy?
Check the date on the bag, that will tell you when it was made. It shouldn't be more than a couple months old.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,091
22,370
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
One thing to check, why don't they like it? Is it old or outdated, funky smelling, moldy?
Check the date on the bag, that will tell you when it was made. It shouldn't be more than a couple months old.
x2. I'd check the layer feed and maybe consider switching to a different brand if they still won't eat it, even as a wet feed.

You shouldn't have to bribe your chickens to eat their feed by adding extra treats into it. That'd be like plunking Twinkies onto a salad to convince a kid to eat it.
 

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