Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
How often do you guys offer scratch? My husband just brought home 5 grain scratch, I haven't offered any before and don't want to over do it. Is once a week ok?
They don't need scratch, it's just not something they have to have. But, for various reasons, many people like to feed them scratch or some other treats. Nothing wrong with that, one bite won't kill or injure them.

Their normal chicken feed contains all the nutrients they need for a balanced diet. Not just protein but all the other nutrients they need. If you let them forage for a good part of their food you've lost the ability to micromanage that but you still don't want to feed them so much of one treat to upset that general balance.

I personally do not feed scratch but mine get garden and orchard excesses and wastes and kitchen scraps. The same rule of thump applies, you want their main chicken feed to comprise about 90% or more of their diet. That maintains enough of a balanced diet so they can do fine.

So how do you know what is that 10% or less of their daily intake? You generally don't unless you have a doctorate in that specialty and really micromanage what they eat. So we use a rule of thumb. If they can clean it up in 10 to 15 minutes you are under that 10%. So that is my suggestion. Whether you offer it daily, weekly, or on some other schedule try to keep the time they need to clean it up around 10 to 15 minutes.

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