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Scratch Grains ???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by netty74, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. netty74

    netty74 In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2013
    Conway , SC
    How important are scratch grains ? I have 8 , 11 week old birds in one coop , and groups of 3 in 3 separate coops . all of the birds have adequate nest box , run and coop space . the floors in the runs are dirt and inside are shavings . The 11 week old birds are being fed grower/finisher and the adult birds are getting layer feed . I also supplement them with Oyster shell and leftover kitchen scraps ( only about once a week ) Do they need scratch grains , if so do i free feed or just give them some on occasion ?? Thanks :) I also throw them some fresh grass every other day .

  2. DanEP

    DanEP Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Scratch is not really needed as long as you are feeding a a good feed. It's more of a treat for the girls but they love it, it does make getting them back in the run when you need to easier tho. Most chickens will follow you anywhere for their scratch.
    I use it to train new girls to go into their run if I need to put them up before dark. Once they now what container that you use for scratch they will follow you right back into the run with no herding involved.Scratch is a great treat for your chickens but should never be more than 10% of their diet as it is about 8% protein compared to 16% in most layer feeds.
  3. Country4ever

    Country4ever Songster

    Oct 26, 2007
    I agree with what DanEP said. But I also want to say that when I was feeding my hens scratch, they had a high incidence of impacted crop. I think its the corn. I switched to only black oil sunflower seed as a treat, and no one has gotten an impacted crop since.
  4. netty74

    netty74 In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2013
    Conway , SC
    Great !! That's good to know . I feed them Dumor layer feed , and I mix in some cracked corn as a treat . Thanks for your help !!!
  5. I give my chooks scratch at night before they go to bed I fill a 2 lb.coffee can and I have 34 chickens. It is good for training them to go into their run.
  6. I also only use scratch as a treat and "training tool". I also use it to fill my bird feeders, so I am always on the lookout for the best price. So far, the TSC "Wild Bird Feed" that comes in 35# bags is the best value when it is on sale for $9/bag. I stock up and keep the bags in the tackroom or garage so they store well.

    I've found the scratch can vary greatly in price from one store to another, and it is all basically the same product. I won't always go with the cheapest manufacturer on a processed feed, because you can never tell what exactly is in it... but scratch grains are whole grains so you can easily tell *what* is in the bag.
  7. bbishop

    bbishop Chirping

    Sep 7, 2013
    Green forest Arkansas
    I use pen pals scratch grain but not high in protein layer scratch is 20% protein
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013

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