Scratch verses feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cheapcheap_jeepjeep, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. cheapcheap_jeepjeep

    cheapcheap_jeepjeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok Ok call me nuts (still learning) but what is the difference or is there one between scratch and the regular egg laying feed I give my girls? I also give them grass clipping I hand cut them and worms they love worms bread and snacks but just asking. [​IMG]
     
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Scratch is mostly corn and should be used as a treat only. Lay mash or lay pellets is what you should be giving your hens as their primary food. They can also have grass, veggies, fruits, bugs, etc.
    I learned the hard way that scratch depletes the much needed calcium from a hen's body (or they fill up on it and don't touch the lay feed) and can cause death. [​IMG]
    If you have scratch, give them a small handful as a treat. I don't give it to them in the summer because it's a hot feed.
     
  3. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also beware grass clippings, which can sometimes cause an impacted crop. If they're cut very finely it shouldn't be a problem--grass is good for them, after all. But when they eat it on their own, they nip off tiny pieces so it's easier for then to digest. When it's pre-cut (from the lawnmower, for example) the fibers/pieces can be too long to get past the crop, and can turn into a tangled mass that keep the poor birdies from getting the nutrition they need. Some birds don't seem to have a problem with grass clippings, but it's something to keep in mind.
     
  4. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    And to add to the long list of warnings, don't hunt up earth worms or other live creepy crawlies, many carry parasites that can infect chickens. Earthworms can have the gape worm and capillaria parasites. There isn't much you can do to prevent them from hunting them down, just don't tempt fate by helping them find more.
     
  5. cheapcheap_jeepjeep

    cheapcheap_jeepjeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well as far as figuring out what scratch is got it and the grass is not that tall in most of the yard and I cut it by hand and a the worms I bought them.
     
  6. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want to give your chickens a special treat give them some steamed rice they love it.
     
  7. tnokie

    tnokie Out Of The Brooder

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    I know this is 2007 and we are all smart on all the things that are bad for us,but lets not forget that Chickens have been around a long time, I was a grown man before I ever knew about "layer feeds" we fed out ckickens corn chops and or scdratch garin and let them run free and boy did they ever love eating grass and worms and bugs.And they layed beautiful eggs and hatched beautiful chicks. They can still be raised that way and would proably be very happy about it!
     
  8. joanna

    joanna Out Of The Brooder

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    mine LOVE cooked spaghetti
     
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Quote:In those good ole days their life expectancy in general wasn't very good (course that wont matter if they are destined for the pot which back then they were). Occasionally and irregularly you would have the flock that would have fewer problems, but in general the avrg lifespan without problems wasnt near what you expect today from a well cared for flock ... Same principles apply for why people live longer...they know more about what is good and what is bad for them...so don't discount all the wealth of knowledge accumalated for what is healthy (or not) for your chickens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2007
  10. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree dlhunicorn. While chickens may be able to survive without the kind of nutrition and care backyard flock owners try to provide for them today, they undoubtedly will live longer, healthier lives when they are provided with the food they need. This doesn't have to be commercial feed; I have a friend who's knowledgeable enough to mix his own. But the wild forebears of our domestic chickens were able to range as needed, not confined to a run or even to several acres--and they weren't bred to produce the number of eggs chickens can produce today, either.
     

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