Protein

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,839
21,953
907
Southeast Louisiana
If you mix equal amounts you will get 26 + 9 = 35. Divide that by 2 and you get an average of 17-1/2%.

That assumes they eat equal amounts of each. With scratch they usually don't, scratch is usually in big grains, not ground up together and put back together so it stays mixed like crumbles or pellets. So they pick out their favorites and leave the rest.

If you can feed it in a way that it is eaten equally it works. That's your challenge.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,496
39,371
1,106
southern Michigan
Feeding mixed whole grains will invite at least some birds to pick out the yummy bits and unbalance their diet. This is especially a problem in either young growing individuals, or in laying hens, where a balanced diet is so important.
Consider using the scratch as a treat, as it's meant to be fed, and getting another balanced feed if you want to get to a lower protein level.
Mary
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
3,304
11,502
707
Salisbury, North Carolina
They will fling the high protein feed out and go straight for the carbs, then poop on the good feed. You can feed both separately. Throw Scratch grains on the ground more frequently but make sure they eat the high protein feed before you give them scratch grains. I can't say this is better than just giving them 16-20% feed though.
 

MomJones

Songster
Feb 22, 2019
363
622
202
South Carolina
If you mix equal amounts you will get 26 + 9 = 35. Divide that by 2 and you get an average of 17-1/2%.

That assumes they eat equal amounts of each. With scratch they usually don't, scratch is usually in big grains, not ground up together and put back together so it stays mixed like crumbles or pellets. So they pick out their favorites and leave the rest.

If you can feed it in a way that it is eaten equally it works. That's your challenge.
Thank you @Ridgerunner . Not that I didn't know the answer or anything ....:oops:
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,451
18,019
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
You can sometimes get around the sifting behavior by wetting the mixture and presenting it in a deep feed bowl. I do as described during winter although usually with soaked oats instead of scratch grains. Care is take to make so they are fed in amounts so all is consumed.

The fermenting process can also be employed instead of wetting if you feel comfortable doing that. Both fermenting and simply wetting feed can improve palatability of many formulated feeds. I really like to invest in the improvement of palatability of some feeds I purchase from MFA (Missouri Farmers Association) as they appear to be on the bland side, At least some of the feeds packaged for backyard flocks appears to be much more tasty in dry form compare to MFA products. A lot of backyard birds can exercise choice that more tightly confined and larger flocks cannot. At first I thought darker color and sweeter smell was for buyers interest, but not so much anymore.
 

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