Scratch feed: Is it just a waste of $$?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jmc, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    As you know, scratch feed is NOT a nutritionally balanced thing. If I am giving my little babies a nutritionally balance feed, why should I spend money on scratch, since about all they'll get out of it is some exercise when one tosses it into the coop, e.g. I can think of better ways--at least in the warm months--to have my little ones get exercise: and it costs no $$!

    Big BYC bros and sisses, comments???
  2. GaDawg

    GaDawg Songster

    May 16, 2008
    North GA
    sounds good to me...
    i got several bags for free, but still saving it for winter.
  3. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    I never thought of it that way. I do give it to mine but not very often. I guess I rate it up there with dog treats. They arn't necesary either, but it sure makes them happy! I am curious to hear some other opinions on this.
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Yep... doggie treats is a good way to put it - a handful now and again for them to scratch around after makes them happy and gives them exercise too, so it's not entirely a waste - especially if you have chickens that are confined all the time to a run where they don't have lot to scratch for.
  5. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    What about in the winter? I thought it helps to keep them warm.

    I know it's the hottest month in the year and I'm in Texas, but I can't wait to say that I'm going to buy some scratch. lol
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I feed it as a treat in warm months, a 50# bag lasts about 2- 2 1/2 months in warm weather, in winter we use a bag a month, helps keep them warm at night if you feed right before dusk.
  7. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    As far as treats go, it's pretty inexpensive. Just don't buy so much and use it sparingly. I paid about $3 for a 10 lb bag, and it's going to last me forever! Whereas one watermelon cost me well over $3 and will only last a week at most. I'd say that's pretty cost efficient.
  8. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    That is a good point one the scratch, but I try to find something to keep them from being bored in the winter. They tend to pick at each other if I don't.

    However, I had a thought. I read the latest Backyard Poultry Mag. and it suggests laying down hay in the run and leaves and something else and letting your chickens scratch through it and turn it and poop in it and in about a year it makes good soil. I was thinking it might be a good busy thing for them to do picking for those hay seeds. Would be cheaper than scratch.
  9. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Never feed our chickens scratch feed.
  10. chicksgalore

    chicksgalore Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    I don't feed my chickens "scratch feed" but I do let them scratch for their "real feed". I started buying pellets instead of crumble so it's easier to find and then I can scatter it over a larger area for more chickens (so they're not clamoring at the feeder) and it gives them exercise/something to do. I still sometimes put some in a feeder and they seem to prefer to scratch as they always go to this last.

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