No Scratch Grains in Summer???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chrisrapp4, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. chrisrapp4

    chrisrapp4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2011
    Jackson, NJ
    Ok, newbie here. Just read somewhere, you don't feed scratch grain in summer??? I've been throwing a couple of handfuls out to my 9 week old girls in the morning when I let them out. Is this a bad thing??? [​IMG]
     
  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I believe that scratch is something that is a 'filler' that's given in the winter to help them put on a little weight (to keep warm?).
    Someone please let me know if that's not correct...I hate to give out bad info.
     
  3. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cracked corn and scratch helps the chickens keep warm in the winter if you feed before bed. I dont give it to them in the summer because it makes their body produce heat. Its still pretty cool here so I am still givng my girls a little. Dont mix with their food cause then they will pick out the scratch and not eat their food. It should only be given as a treat.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    It doesn't matter what the season is -- there is a myth that scratch, or corn, makes them hot. Simply put, digesting any food generates heat. Scratch is a treat, and a little in any season is fine, but it should only be a little. I used to give 15 or so chickens maybe half a cup of it a day. Now I buy wild bird seed and black oil sunflower seed and mix them to make a little treat some days. I also find an animal protein source to give them instead, two or three times a week, since most of the feed around here has no animal protein in it.
     
  5. Silkie Sue

    Silkie Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sarnia, Ontario
    Yikes~~~
    I feed my chickens scratch All the Time..... [​IMG]
    i mix it with layer ration
    i haven't had any ill effects
    i have Silkies and Polish
     
  6. chrisrapp4

    chrisrapp4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2011
    Jackson, NJ
    Thank you..I throw it out so they have something to do in their run, they have eaten all the grass in there and now there is just dirt. So a couple of handfuls of BOSS and wild bird food would be better than the scratch? How about some hay?
    I just made them a flock block, using a recipe I found on here, I did include chick feed in with the scratch grains and dried fruit.
     
  7. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tucson, AZ
    Quote:THANK YOU! All this talk about low protein and carbs...keeping good protein as "occasional" dietary treats..makes absolutely no sense!!
     
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    Quote:
    Cracked corn and scratch helps the chickens keep warm in the winter if you feed before bed

    This is False.
    the summer because it makes their body produce heat.

    And this is False.
    Dont mix with their food cause then they will pick out the scratch and not eat their food

    It depends on the chicken and how they were feed from a chick. I mix grain in my feed every day and have no problem with chickens only eating the grain.
    It should only be given as a treat

    It depend on the Scratch Grain that you are using. If you are feeding a cheaper Scratch say one of the 7 to 9 percent protein types then yes you would want to feed it as a treat or just top there feed with it but, if you are feeding a good scratch or grain mix say one that is from 12 to 18 percent protein then you don't have to feed it as a treat.
    My feed mix is 20% grain mix and the remaining 80 % is a mixture concentrates.

    Chris​
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  9. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    I mix dry cat food in with the scratch to add protein,and they have layer pellets ad lib. I also made a chicken run garden in one run yesterday. It's a 4'x6' wooden box. I filled the bottom with goat poo, covered it with hay. Stretch chicken wire over the top so they can't dig it up. Seed with grass seed, spinach, clover and whatever else I think they might enjoy. I was tired of looking at mud in there.;-)
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    Quote:Agreed. I've never seen scratch around here over about 7%, and it has no vitamins or minerals. Guess I should specify what I mean by scratch, then.

    Dry cat food is questionable if it should be fed at all. See the note at the bottom of the BYC treats chart:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart

    A lot of people do feed it but if it is damaging them it is not going to be immediately apparent. If mine had access to cat food i put out for cats, i would try to feed them once or twice daily and take up leftover food to limit this.

    I believe there have been studies done of chickens fed a high vs. a low amount of scratch. They are smaller, weaker, and don't lay as well on more scratch (or corn.) One of these days I need to dig up a link for that. The traditional chicken feeding program around here is table scraps, forage and cracked corn. Of course how well they fare will depend on the forage and table scraps.
     

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