Scratch supposed to effect egg production?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by joebwe25, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. joebwe25

    joebwe25 Songster

    Feb 1, 2007
    St. Louis, Mo.
    I would like to know why you shouldn't feed your hens too much scratch.
    I feed my four free range chickens a small bucket - full every day, and they're fine.
    We used to feed them poultry pellets, but they didn't like them very much.
    After that, we tried some scratch and now they're just fine.
    I would like to find out some more information.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  2. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    Scratch grain is lower in protein and essential amino acids than a laying ration. It won't harm the hens, but will lower egg production. How much??? It depends on what the hens have access to to try and supplement their protein deficiency, i.e bugs, worms, etc.
  3. joebwe25

    joebwe25 Songster

    Feb 1, 2007
    St. Louis, Mo.
    They mostly peck around the yard the whole day eating bugs and worms.
    When they do eat scratch it's usually at night when they go to bed.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  4. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Songster

    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I also wondered why... my girls get some scratch cut with black oil sunflower at the end of the day to get them back in their yard. They are all eating copious quantities of bugs during the day so I really can't see the protein thing being a problem even though they are not laying yet.
  5. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Does anyone out there have any direct experience with it cutting egg production, or have long term experience to share? Mine get whatever they can catch in the yard all day and are too young to lay, but I'd like to know personal experience before too much longer...they really like scratch and really don't like pellets or crumbles much.

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