"scratch" feed.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by laughingdog52, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. laughingdog52

    laughingdog52 In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2011
    Eastern Oregon
    I have some 1 yr old hens that have been laying all winter. Right now they eat layer crumbles, but should I feed some "sctatch" for a complete diet?[​IMG]

  2. bwalden

    bwalden Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    You can add "hen scratch" if you like but I dont think it will add any dietary benefit for helping produce eggs. The layer crumbles along with oyster shell is all I ever use. Works great.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I toss a few handful's of scratch out in the run each morning when I let them out. Just because they love it and it gives them something to do for a while.
  4. laughingdog52

    laughingdog52 In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2011
    Eastern Oregon
    Thanks. I wasn't sure if feeding straight crumbles was a balanced diet.[​IMG]
  5. Bobsgoodeggs

    Bobsgoodeggs Hatching

    Apr 7, 2012
    Hi I've tried "scratch feed" that resulted in egg yokes of store bought color. Found out that "Wild bird mix" produced a darker color yoke. After a while I noticed that there was a high percentage of red & white millet laying on the ground, going to waste. Not wanting to be paying for seeds the hens don't eat I started mixing my own scratch fee. Based on what they ate of the wild bird mix, & added whole oats & flax seed. Yolk color deepened nicely, to almost free range color & flavor. Eggs are now high in omega-3s and the hens love to eat all of the mix.

  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Chickens need 16-20 % protein in their balanced layer or flock raiser mix. Scratch is only 8-10% protein, and is only something you can use for a treat. They love it of course, but I only get mine enough at the end of the day that they can eat in about 10 minutes--about a small scoop for 36 chickens. They eat their regular food and yard finds during the rest of the day. To increase the deep orange color try giving them chopped kale--they love it.
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    If you want dark orange yolks feed more corn, dark green vegetables and grasses the dark green vegetables and grasses will also up the Omega Fatty Acids with out having to feed Linseed/ Flax Seed which isn't all that good for poultry.

    Here is a quote from University of California, Avian Sciences Department.


  8. birdboy15

    birdboy15 Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Quote: This only applies for regular backyard chickens. For example, many orientals need a lower protien feed to keep there growth rate slowed down as they need 2-3 years to fully develope their muscles.

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