Scratch Grain and Grit and Corn

KB3GZW

In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 24, 2008
39
28
24
Lehigh County, Pa
Ok, What's the difference and when is it given?

I have Scratch Grain, Chick Grit and Poultry Grit. I can assume Chick Grit is for chicks(duh). But what about the others?

Also about Whole and Cracked Corn? From what I have been reading, Whole Corn should be given during the winter months for warmth. But what about cracked? When should that be given?
 

bigzio

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 20, 2007
5,185
976
381
Wisconsin
Being prepared is more important than starting.....

Healthy chickens need a good nutritional diet to be able to perform the duties of laying eggs for long periods of time.

Layer feeds of at least 16% to 18% protein are needed to maintain a healthy flock.

Scratch grains and corn, either whole or cracked, are to be fed as a treat only....kept at a minimum, because it reduces the protein % in the total diet.

Treats like scratch and corn don't provide even half the necessary protein needed to keep the girls healthy.

Grit is needed to digest the grains in the gizzard, and be able to optain the nutrition from the feed....

bigzio
 

KB3GZW

In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 24, 2008
39
28
24
Lehigh County, Pa
Actually I worded that wrong, I dont have anything yet, but I have SEEN all of the three. I am still researching alot.

So, is it safe to say that scratch grains and corn serve the same purpose?
 

Brian

Songster
12 Years
Sep 30, 2007
387
13
141
Jacksonville, ORegon
Scratch grains can be a lot of different grains. Corn, milo, barley, oats and wheat are common "scratch grains." These grains have one thing in common: they are high in carbohydrates, and low in fiber. Also, they are very economical. Some of these grains are higher in energy than others (corn especially). They are all insufficient in protein however, and that is why people feed them to chickens as a treat, or during particularly cold weather when they feel their birds would benefit from additional energy (to meet the metabolic needs of staying warm).


The grains listed above offer around 8-9% protein. Laying hens require around 16%.

Finally, a few people like to give their hens more scratch grain treats, and then make up the difference with a higher protein feed, such as "grower" pellets or crumble (which contains around 21% protein).

Hope this helps.
 

hensdeliverthegoods

Songster
12 Years
Dec 18, 2007
693
0
149
Catawba County, NC
Quote:What a great statement! I totally agree; I regularly read this forum and many other sources before I even got my chickens. We've had a few bumps in the road, but I think we avoided far more by doing our research before we got the birds.

That being said, I still have a newbie question
Some grit contains oyster shell (first on the ingredient list). Is that sufficient or do you also need to add straight oyster shell?
 

CUDA

Songster
11 Years
Mar 4, 2008
1,272
36
181
Michigan
You only need grit if your birds don't have access to the ground. They will get all they need from the soil. I prefer to feed a non laying crumble, and provide oyster shell for them to eat separately. You can find out more info on feeding, and a calculator to figure out your feed percentages on my site HERE . Good luck!
 

bigzio

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 20, 2007
5,185
976
381
Wisconsin
The older your hens are, the more added stress from laying they aquire.

Pullets usually don't consume alot of oyster shell, making new chicken fanciers think it's not a big deal. However older hens will eat quite alot more than one would think. Providing in a free choice feeder will tell the truth.

Quality of your egg shells will inform you if the oyster shell in the grit is enough. Once the shells become thin or poor quality is the clue to add the additional oyster shell feeder.

bigzio
 

KB3GZW

In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 24, 2008
39
28
24
Lehigh County, Pa
Well thanks all. That helped quite a bit. If I have any more questions, I know where to look.


Unfortunately TSC said they were going to have chicks on the 13th of April here in Pa, then it was the 15th now its the 18th. I can't wait till they get there.
 

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