Scratch and B.O. Sunflower Seeds.... how much is healthy?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SeaChick, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    We have 6 chickens. They get organic layer pellets free choice and some table scraps every day. They get to go out in the yard for an hour or so a day, where they eat lots of grass and some bugs.

    I finally bought some organic scratch and BOSunflower Seeds (in the shell) now that it's getting cold. I have been giving them about 1 cup of each per day. Is that too much?

    6 hens = how much scratch, BOS?

    Thanks everyone...
  2. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    SeaChick, what I've noticed is that the ones who get to the bowl first will hog whatever they want. Some will get lots and some will get whatever might be leftover. My boldest girls always get the lion's share of the oatmeal for instance.

    So there's no way you can evenly portion out anything so that each bird gets the same amount. But to answer your question, I think two cups of seeds shared by six girls is reasonable.

    Best of luck with your girls. You need some peaceful times with those girls. Tell them "no more drama!".
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks, Buff Hooligans!

    I usually throw the seeds around the run to give them something to do in there, so they probably all get at least SOME.

    I hear you on the drama.... man it's been crazy. Still, they are giving us so much joy. It's rmarkable, really, how we all get so much pleasure from them. My DH is bummed these days because it's dark by the time he gets home and they are already roosting, so he doesn't get to hang with them! He was disappointed last night that Penelope wasn't inside in her crate so he could say "hi" (I think she is doing better so she's just outside now).

    Non-chicken people really have no idea how cool chickens are and how much joy they can give you, do they?

  4. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    That's nice that your DH likes them a lot too. Mine loved them as tiny chicks, then got less enamoured when they went through their raucus adolescent hooliganism phase. Now he likes them but still calls them "Your" chickens.

    I don't get to hang out with my girls either any more after getting home from work. I do miss sitting in the run with them and having them hop on my knee and try to steal my earrings...
  5. 3peeps

    3peeps Songster

    Jul 4, 2007
    I've been wondering the same thing about the amount of scratch. I've just been throwing in a big handful before "bedtime." And I agree with spreading it around. The further you throw it, the more time it takes and the more exercise they get.

    I will also separate it into two or three batches so if one of the bossy ones gets it first (even though we only have three) the others get a decent share. I toss one way, they run, I toss again a different way, one or two run, I toss again, etc., fun, fun, fun!
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    My chickens diet (9 hens + 1 evil silkie):

    Nutrina Layer - Free choice
    Grit & oyster shell - free choice
    Free range goodies - Less with shorter days but maybe 12 hours per week

    Scratch - 1 cup nightly + another 1/2 cup spread around or hand fed
    Oatmeal - 1/2 cup nightly hand fed

    Cooked rice - Couple cups cooked per week

    Fruits & vegies - every couple days a pound or two of whatever we have left over.

    Misc treats - chicken on the bone (They go nuts for it), bread, muffins, spinach,
    romaine lettuce, apple cores, etc...

    Chicks (30 and growing)

    Blue Seal nonmedicated game bird starter free choice
    Oatmeal mash - handfed

    Grit @ 3 weeks

    If your more aggressive birds are getting more food then spread out the food
    or hand feed more. Throwing scratch into the wood chips or in the run occupies
    them for hours.

    Our little (evil) silkie gets pounced by the standard hens so I tend to hand feed
    her more or put a pile on the ground in front of her. She still hates me though.
  7. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    i spread my stuff around too. there is one i call skinny chicken and i always try to hide a few things off behind so she can find them. people had said that the boss will help regrow feathers and i belive it now. i had one who came to me plucked raw in some places from bullying. it was icky and i wondered if she might die the first night. as i could afford, i bought a big bag, forty pounds or so, of the boss and fed the bag in a much faster rate than i would have otherwise. (to everyone, not just her. goats were my best friend.) anyway, i looked up one day, and you couldn't even tell the trauma she'd been through. yeah! it really does help.
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    Quote:But when you do this it is always a possibility that there will be a few uneaten grains which can get moldy and cause problems later. Living in such a wet country such as Holland has made me extremely aware of how quickly something can go moldy...(and you do not always see it). I give any scratch in a place where I can clean it up after ... I used to throw it in my yard (and it was just a little bit so I assumed they would find and eat it all>not so as I discovered mandy moldy ones a few weeks later)

    I have read that the total (of anything additional to their feed) should not exceed in total 5%

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