Scratch and Grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by szieg1, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. szieg1

    szieg1 Out Of The Brooder

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    whats the difference in scratch and grit and in what ratio should i give them 2 my chickens. and can i mix the feeds together
     
  2. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scratch is food for chickens. Not a complete food, mind you. It is usually comprised of Cracked Corn and Wheat or something. Its Protein is typically around the 10% mark. Scratch is a great TREAT but will not sustain your birds properly if they get too much.

    Grit is what is fed to birds so they can digest food properly. It is not food in itself. A chickens gizzard holds grit so that it can help chew food before it goes down farther into the digestive tract.
     
  3. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Scratch is a grain, Grit is usually crushed granite rock.

    Scratch should be given sparingly, or as a daily treat.

    Grit should be given free choice to cooped birds not having access to ranging.
     
  4. szieg1

    szieg1 Out Of The Brooder

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    we have scratch mixed with laying mix a 50:50 ratio is this good, should the grit be added to the food or spread on the floor of the coop until I turn them out in the pen area? thank you in advance
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  5. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, the last two posts say that Scratch is a TREAT.

    If you eat half of a balanced, good diet and half cotton candy, do you think that is a good idea? What do you think your health repercussions will be? Obesity, lack of energy... Its the same thing for chickens.

    Giving your chickens as best a balanced diet as you can supply them will help you in the long run. Your birds will be better layers and last longer because they are in overall better health.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. szieg1

    szieg1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Middle of nowhere VA
    should the grit be added to the food or spread on the floor of the coop until I turn them out in the pen area? thank you in advance
     
  7. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Either adding to their food or giving them a bowl full will be just fine. I feel that if its just put on the floor of their coop that it will get 'lost' with everything else that is there. (poop, dirt, shavings)

    If they have access to a bowl of it, then they can take as much of it as they feel like they need.

    Hope that helps.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:People do it a lot of different ways. I suggest having a small bowl or feeder that holds the grit. That way they can control how much grit they get . If you mix it with their food, they won't be able to control the amount as well and it might teach them that grit is food, which it is not.

    Throwing it on the floor of the coop would work but most will be wasted.

    I personally like to offer grit about day two. If the chicks get nothing but starter mix, they don't need grit, but I always wonder what would happen if a hard-shelled bug or something else got into their area. I don't see that offering them grit hurts anything and is just a little insurance against them eating something you don't know about. Plus you can give them treats if they have grit.

    As far as scratch and treats. Scratch is a generic name for grain or mixtures of grains that can be given as treats. It does not give them a balanced diet. They get the balanced diet fromthe starter mix. Treat scratch and treats like you would give a child candy. Only in small amounts after they have eaen their regular food. And don't give scratch to young chicks.

    The link below is to the Learning Center which tells you what you can give a chicken for treats. Once they are outside, any of these goes, but while in the brooder, I like to just introduce one treat at a time and see how their system reacts. After a couple of days and they have no adverse reaction, I would introduce another treat and see how that goes. Some treats may give them the runs, but a little loose is better than constipation. Key word "little".

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

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