Scratch on the Ground vs. Feeder

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chukster, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. chukster

    chukster In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2008
    We are new in this great hobby and I just finished a book on raising chickens and this book never debated whether throwing feed on the ground for them to eat whenever they want or whether to install feeders whetherr hanging or wall mount.

    Also, what is the best.....keeping feed available 24-7 or only feed at certain times of the day.
    We have 5 Buff Orpingtons, 1- Roo and 4 girls. Mainly raising for eggs and fun in our retirement.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    you can feed your hens either throwing feed out on the ground for them.or you can use a feeder for them 24/7.

    SHELLY Songster

    May 7, 2007
    Southwest Missouri
    This is what I do...

    I throw scratch on the ground, holler "here biddy biddy" and watch them run to me. This is my most favorite part of the day.

    I keep layer rations available free choice at all times as well as clean water. And, they get all the leftover spaghetti because they love it.

    Throwing scratch inside the coop on the floor helps encourage the chickens to scratch their litter and generate heat in the winter.

    I hope you come to enjoy your birds as much as I do mine.
  4. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * In my case there are two problems with feed and treats on the ground. First is my hen has a sight problem & can't see food om the ground, second is we get a LOT of rain and I worry about her eating wet, spoiled food-- so, I use feed dishes most of the time.
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I would give their layer feed 24/7 in a feeder, and put the scratch on the ground where ever you want them to dig up and stir. You could put it in a feeder, but then you'd risk the girls eating too much scratch and not getting enough nutrition from their regular feed.
  6. chukster

    chukster In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2008
    Wow...thanks so much for these quick responses!

    We have been throwing the scratch out when we visit and they love our visit. The only problem is I accuse my wife of throwing out too much as the next day we still have enough scratch for them to eat again.
    Also, took an old fish stringer, the kind that has a ground spike attached to a piece of nylon rope and stick the spike into the vine end of a cabbage and tie it about back high and the 4 hens are demolishing a head of cabbage in about 3 days.

    Thanks so much for this user friendly forum.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Oh, yes, about the too much scratch. If they are leaving any behind on the ground... that's going to be a prime target for rats! Just give them enough to gobble up in a bit. I do just one hand full to about a dozen birds as a treat. And my one hand full is probably only like a quarter cup.
  8. hooligan

    hooligan Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    I scatter some on the ground for them, good exercize and if there is any left the House Sparrows that lurk on the fence fly down and get them. No waste here!

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