Most feed stores only carry a lower quality mostly corn scratch so a low quality treat.I'm lucky mine makes one that is a gourmet meal and calls it a scratch but is higher protein and vitamins etc.
Stick with a balanced natural feed throw in some scratch for fun but don't forget the kitchen and garden yummies they like those the best
I only treat my flock with Scratch in the winter months,
and not too much .Not much nutrtional value. and I value my hens too much.
It is a very warming feed. so in the heat of summer they only get there Purina layena pellets and fruit.
I give mine a good bird seed mix with black oil sunflower seeds included. They get a god mix of seeds and corn that way. I do this so that they will keep their deep litter stirred up every day. Doing that, the new poo is exposed quickly to the diatomaceous earth on all of the wood shavings causing it to dry.
I buy the purina scratch as a treat only. They will do just about anything for it!
It's chicken candy. Not healthy enough to feed regularly though. Mine know they get a little each morning on the ground and they are now trained to hang out around my feet till they get it. With this I can get them to go in their run (if I need to put them away) at any time of the day
Purina's Scratch is $6.00 for 25 lb bag. Not expensive at all. Well I think its worth it. Like any scratch you buy it is meant as a treat or supplement.
But unlike most scratch which is mostly corn, Purnina has a little better quality of grain with less corn in it. Here is the ingredients in Purina's scratch feed. " Scratch Grains are cracked corn, milo, & wheat."
Hope this give you some idea whats out there and my personal opinion.
It depends on what scratch you get... Some scratch are just for a treat and then there are other that you can feed as a night feeding..
There are some scratch grain that you can get that is around 16% protein and seen people use that as a night feeding.. Then there are some scratch grain that are only about 9% protein and is a treat only.
I know a lot of people that use a (all grain) racing pigeon feed as there scratch grain because it is from 16% to 18% protein and you can get it with whole pop corn in it...
We have several types of scratch available to us:
Scratch grains - corn and other grains
Chops - purely cracked corn with no other grains
Scratch - finely ground corn - the only way my chickens will eat this is mixed with warm water to make a mash
Right now they are getting scratch grains. I'll be switching them over to chops as soon as this bag of grains runs out. When it gets really cold here I'll buy scratch instead. Mixed with warm water it's a good treat before roost time.