Scratch Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Hayden, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Hayden

    Hayden New Egg

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    Nov 7, 2007
    Hi, this is my first time to the website/forum. After reading about the chicken scratch I felt I needed HELP!! I am an "accidental chicken mom!" We live in the city-fied country if you know what I mean. We are huge animal lovers, my son found a Tyson Chicken, that obviously fell off of the truck, in the road and brought it home. "Tyson" is now a very loving BYC pet! Then, thinking it lonely we went to the local "Country Feed & Seed" and bought another chicken. The person there sold us a large bag of "Scratch Feed" and said it is all we need. Label says "Crude Protein 9.00%; crude fat 2.00%; crude fiber 4.00%; Ingredients: yellow cracked corn and wheat" Is this really all I need? or am I feeding them nothing but "treat"?? Any "feed"back (LOL) would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    No, that's a treat. They need more protein for proper nutrition. An all purpose poultry feed will be more like 15-20% protein, depending on the brand. The Tyson bird is bred to be killed at six to eight weeks old, so it will eat itself to death and you need to get it off of a heavy-corn diet. A younster needs starter/grower feed and a pullet about to lay needs layer feed; is the other chicken a pullet, or do you know?
     
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I am sure you'll get loads more advice from more knowledgeable folks, but here's what I know:
    Scratch is a treat and not a balanced food. You need chicken food, probably grower mash.

    Also, I hate to tell you this, but you should probably be aware that it the Tyson chicken was a meat chicken, it may not live very long. Other folks can tell you more, but I think they are Cornish Crosses and are bred only to survive a few months until slaughtered...... I think some poeple here can tell you more about how to try to keep it alive though. I would hate for your son to get a broken heart. Is the new chicken you bought a laying hen? If she's young, she's likely to live a good long time.

    Good for you for rescuing the poor thing. At the very least, he'll be able to actually ENJOY some of his life, rather than living all his life in a big warehouse and then being killed. Enjoy your new pets and welcome to the BYC forum. It is a great community. We're new chicken owners this year and we've learned so much here!

    Good luck
    Stacey
     
  4. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    First of welcome to BYC!!! Second of all glad your son rescued "Tyson" LOL... fitting name LOL.

    Okay.... SCRATCH is CANDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, you are feeding them "treats" only! You will also need either grower or layer feed. No sure what to tell you to buy. Not to sure of the age... If it came off the truck I would say it is approx 4-5 months old. How old are the others? In this case you will want to purchace Grower feed 22% this gives them the correct nutrients that they will need. I know someone else will come along and either correct me or tell you the exact same thing. Good luck!!!!!!!! Please go get those poor babies the right feed.
    Tes

    Edited to add: good thing Cyn came along LOL.... I was wrong on the percentage oppss
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2007
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You weren't necessarily wrong, Tes. Percentages do vary-my Layer pellets are 22% protein. I'll be changing back to slightly lower protein levels after they finish molting, though. No matter what, 8% is way too low and corn has little nutrition to live on.
     
  6. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    No matter what, 8% is way too low and corn has little nutrition to live on.

    Thanks Cyn, and I will agree with what you said... corn just does not give enough!​
     
  7. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Good luck with the chicken - you've already gotten good feed advice - so I'll just say WELCOME to the forum! You're in good company here.
     
  8. pipermark

    pipermark Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2007
    Arkansas
    scratch is cheap and what country folks use to feed to their barnyard chickens as a little extra and to fatten them up a little.

    The ingredients in scratch are high starch, which fattens and increases metabolism , which increase body temp, this makes scratch a great treat to give daily in the winter.

    If your birds have plenty of grass, bugs and all available (lots a land to run on). Then you may not need any additional feed.

    If they are in a pen, then todays poultry feed has been scientifically formulated to have the proper amount of nutrients during different stages of the birds life.

    They usually are
    Chick feed
    Grower feed
    Layer feed

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Mark, my grandparents had lots of mixed breed bantams and game chickens and they just ran wild. They threw out handfuls of corn and that was about it. They did get to eat grains from the mules and cattle, though. These are skinny birds, not really a mouthful of meat on their bones, and if they died, they just shrugged it off and tossed the carcass or plucked it and ate it. Simpler times, they were. Today, we really spoil our birds, but I bet we get more eggs from them, though, than these scratch-fed, wild chickens ever laid. And I bet the birds live longer, as well.
     

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