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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ilovechickensrock, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. ilovechickensrock

    ilovechickensrock In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2011
    i feed my chickens scratch all the time as thier normal food is it bad for them

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Depending on how many grains your scratch has (mix it in in higher concentrations for example if it is 11 grain scratch with higher protein), it can be successfully mixed into feed if you start with a nice high protein percentage feed such as Flock Raiser (20%), with oyster shells on the side for the layers.

    The simplest thing to do is to only buy layer pellets or crumble (pellets usually waste less), as they are usually 16% protein, and throw out a handful of scratch per day or two, depending on flock size. I have 58 right now, so treats to me means a horse scoop quantity, which I throw everywhere to give everyone a chance at it. I still recommend oyster shell being available in case they need it.

    Corn has around 7-9% protein, and the scratch that I have bought in the past (which has wheat in it too) is 10% protein. So since eggs are protein, you can see that you will probably get a lot more eggs if you feed higher protein.

    Free ranging can give them a lot of their diet, but I recommend giving them at least 16% protein when they come to the feeder. You can throw pellets on the ground too, but when the rain hits them they turn to mush and moldy eventually. I do throw limited quantities of pellets around when I have them (not often).

    I like my mix (see my BYC page) because if they don't eat it all after I broadcast it everywhere, it sprouts and I get lots of millet plants or wheat grass growing (happening right now, lol) which they chow down on too.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  3. Queen of the chickens

    Queen of the chickens Chirping

    Oct 7, 2011
    Unionville, MO
    If your chickens are free ranging and you have provided grit and some form of calcium for layers, they will probably be alright. However, you will get best results from feeding a high quality feed designed for their specific age range. We used to buy whatever feed was cheapest, but this year we chose a specific brand because my son was planning to show them for his 4-H project. Our chickens have been very healthy and actually began laying earlier and with more regularity than in previous years. I can't swear that it is the feed, but that's been the biggest change that we made.
  4. ilovechickensrock

    ilovechickensrock In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2011
    i dont free range my chickens:oops: and i have oats mixed in with the scratch the scratch looks like birdfood basicly so i should check how much protien there is in the scratch? my chickns are not laying yet they still have about a month to go should i start on layer feed? [​IMG]
  5. chic-a-deee

    chic-a-deee Songster

    Hi. I just got a 12month old Rooster from the animal welfare. He is beautiful. A chinese silky & you can sit him on your lap & pat him
    & he will fall asleep. They told me they have never heard him crow. BUT 5 mins after we got him home he started to crow. We have
    close by neighbours, so I hope this wont annoy them too much as its pretty loud!! I was wondering do I have to trim those hard
    feathers around his feet??? They seem so big & in the way. We have had lots of rain recently & the run is pretty boggy. Ihope this
    wont be bad for his feathery feet??
    Also, what sort of food scraps can we feed them?? My neighbour used to feed hers vege scraps.
    I have 3 bantam hens waiting to go into the coop in 2 weeks. They are four weeks old this week. Hopefully they will be good company
    for him. And I hope he wont try to copulate before they are 6 months old??? Is that what happens?? Im not sure.
    He sure is crowing alot!! This is my first day with him....Im dreading the time he starts to crow in the morning!!! 0.o
    His name is Rocky.


  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:If you don't have that many chickens (and so can't get through a 50 lb bag quickly), then I'd go on and buy layer feed if they are around 5 months old. If you can, it would be very good to buy grower feed for them. It has a little more protein (and you can keep feeding it- just offer oyster shell on the side for them).

    If they are 4 months old, I'd try to buy some grower for them. But many just switch to layer at that age without problems. Be aware though that layer feed has added calcium- too much for those not laying and it can damage the kidneys.

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