1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Scratch and "hot chickens"

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gander111, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. gander111

    gander111 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    2
    31
    Oct 3, 2011
    Jamul, CA
    I hear people say that scratch makes their chickens "hot", what exactly does this mean?
     
  2. mgnum21

    mgnum21 Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Aug 4, 2011
    SW Washington
    Cracked Corn for example is high in carbohydrates and low in protein, it is easily digested and high in sugar which causes the chickens body temp to raise. It is good to use in the winter when temps are cool. In the summer it is best to use a mix of grains that are slower digesting like wheat, barley, or oats to prevent potential overheating. Hope that helps.
     
  3. gander111

    gander111 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    2
    31
    Oct 3, 2011
    Jamul, CA
    Thank you so much! That about wraps it up! Love my chickies!
     
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Just like to add that cracked corn should be used as a warmer by feeding a small amount in the evening on really cold days. It should not replace their normal feed as it does not comprise a balanced diet.......Pop
     
  5. gander111

    gander111 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    2
    31
    Oct 3, 2011
    Jamul, CA
    When can I start feeding scratch, (what age)?
     
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,390
    126
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    This is one of the most persistent myths of poultry keeping there is in my opinion.

    It's a misunderstanding of what a "hot feed" means. Corn is a rich source of easily digested carbohydrates which in the parlance of feed composition makes it "hot." What it does NOT do is make your birds hot. There is a certain amount of heat liberated during the digestive process but this is normal and it occurs with any feed component, particularly the fibrous ones. It's normal, natural, and your birds are quite capable of adjusting their internal thermostats to keep their body temperatures where it should be so far as the heat of digestion is concerned.

    Now whether you want to feed scratch to your birds depends on what else they are eating. If they are free ranging and finding plenty of bugs and other good things to eat you can throw down the scratch with a free hand. They'll generally balance things out on their own. If your birds are confined to a yard or otherwise restricted from foraging for themselves due to cold weather, drought, or whatnot then restrict the scratch to about a half a handful per bird per day if their main feed is the typical 15-16% protein content of most layer feeds. Feed a lot of scratch in that case would only serve to dilute their protein intake which in turn would lower their egg production.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  7. Covey Rise Plantation

    Covey Rise Plantation Out Of The Brooder

    68
    2
    31
    Nov 27, 2010
    Camilla
    A.T. Hagan :

    This is one of the most persistent myths of poultry keeping there is in my opinion.

    It's a misunderstanding of what a "hot feed" means. Corn is a rich source of easily digested carbohydrates which in the parlance of feed composition makes it "hot." What it does NOT do is make your birds hot. There is a certain amount of heat liberated during the digestive process but this is normal and it occurs with any feed component, particularly the fibrous ones. It's normal, natural, and your birds are quite capable of adjusting their internal thermostats to keep their body temperatures where it should be so far as the heat of digestion is concerned.

    Now whether you want to feed scratch to your birds depends on what else they are eating. If they are free ranging and finding plenty of bugs and other good things to eat you can throw down the scratch with a free hand. They'll generally balance things out on their own. If your birds are confined to a yard or otherwise restricted from foraging for themselves due to cold weather, drought, or whatnot then restrict the scratch to about a half a handful per bird per day if their main feed is the typical 15-16% protein content of most layer feeds. Feed a lot of scratch in that case would only serve to dilute their protein intake which in turn would lower their egg production.

    I see not to long ago you believed the myth also...
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=3059097
     
  8. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    This whole thread should be deleted due to the massive amount of misinformation about corn being a "hot" feed.
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Many of us heard that old myth, but were fortunate enough to keep reading and later discovered that is simply wasn't true about corn raising body temperature. Everyone learns new things and changes their belief based on newly acquired information. Nothing wrong with that. There is a good older thread here by mac in abilene siting references disproving the corn theory. Live and learn, folks. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by