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Scratch Feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mamamoore4, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Mamamoore4

    Mamamoore4 Hatching

    Jan 2, 2013
    Hello, I am going to buy a fully grown hen and a fully grown rooster, I originally bought a bag of Scratch feed until I read that it was not a good diet base, I was wondering what should I feed in addition to scratch? Also should I feed oyster shells to my hens? How much food should I give them each day? Thank you very much for your help!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013

  2. chickentooth

    chickentooth In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2012
    Hartland, Michigan
    I feed chicken crumbles, my chickens prefer the crumbles to the pellets. You buy crumbles according to what your chicken needs. they make chick starter, grower, finisher, and layer. all the different ones just have different amounts of what the chicken needs for what it is being used for. I feed layer cause mine lay eggs and it has extra calcium. Any feed store will have this feed. Also chicken scratch is fine for the short term and as a treat , it is just not fortified.
  3. Mamamoore4

    Mamamoore4 Hatching

    Jan 2, 2013
    Thank you very much! This helped a lot. [​IMG]
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Many folks feed an "all purpose, all flock" type feed. This is called All Flock or Flock Raiser, etc, by different feed companies. This feed can be fed to everyone. Chicks, laying hens, roosters, adolescents, everyone. Makes it simple and keeps the quality high.

    Laying hens do need a calcium supplement. Rather than having that ground into the feed, such as Layer, the hens take in the calcium from a side dish of oyster shells or similar. Birds such as roosters and chicks and pre-laying pullets don't need it and won't normally peck at it much.
  5. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Songster

    Oct 19, 2012
    Northern Arizona
    I have noticed that my chickens prefer the crumbles as well - both my adults and my new batch of 3-month-olds. If your chickens are full-grown, you can probably start them on layer feed. I fed mine "flock raiser", the next step after "starter/grower", until they turned 6 months old. Then I put them on a good layer feed. I feed them scratch more often in the winter - just toss it around on the ground and let them "scratch" for it. Always have water available for them, and I regularly add ACV (unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, with the "mother") to the water to keep them healthy and hopefully ward off disease. There are some great threads on what kinds of veggies, grains, leftovers, etc. that they love and are good for them. Mine have been enjoying baked spaghetti squash lately. Have fun with your new chickens!
  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    x2 With a hen and rooster it may be better to feed a grower or flock raiser and give calcium on the side (something like oyster shell) instead of a layer feed. Layer is really just for laying hens and you don't want your rooster eating all that calcium.
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    And just to be clear, the "shape" of the feed, crumbles, mash or pellets is simply a choice, based on feeding style and price. It says nothing about the contents. Most feeds potentially come in any of the shapes. The shape does not tell you, by itself, what the content is nor for which birds it is targeted.
    1 person likes this.

  8. Mamamoore4

    Mamamoore4 Hatching

    Jan 2, 2013
    Thank you all very much! :)
  9. I feed mine crumble (layer formula).I keep my feeder continuously full and then throw them a handful of scratch in the morning. I also have a little bucket of oyster shells so they can freely get some whenever they feel they need it. [​IMG]
  10. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I view scratch and corn as Candy for chickens. [​IMG] I only feed it when it's super cold and the chickens need a few more calories, or for a treat every now and then. Your best bet would be layer pellets, or crumbles for their main feed. I prefer pellets as there is less waste.

    ~ Aspen

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