6 Years
Aug 7, 2013
Western Massachusetts
My ladies are not ready yet for their coop and run but I am thinking ahead to the whole idea of scratch. The scratch that I've looked at seems generally fairly low in protein. I was wondering if it might be a better idea to mix my own "Scratch" with cracked corn but adding other things to add protein? I saw that Manna Pro has a Harvest mix that looked good and I was thinking of extending it by adding some cracked corn. But I'm not sure if I'm off on the wrong idea? Is the point of Scratch to give them something to do or is it really meant to supplement their nutrition?
I feed mine layer or grower, with the scratch in small quantities thrown at night after lockup to give them something to do in the run until I, get home to let them out to work the yard and woods.. Keep the scratch at a lower percentage of the diet and let the main feed carry the protein. my2cents worth.
Scratch is usually mainly meant to help keep them busy so they don't get into other trouble. The usual recommendation seems to be to keep standard scratch etc at 10% of their diet or less (the feed store scratch seems to be about 10% protein) to keep their diet balanced and protein% where it needs to be. You could also feed them a higher protein% feed and feed a little more scratch, especially if they free range. A lot of the homemade diets are basically a mix of various whole grains, so you could go the route of partly making up your own diet and feeding them a mix of commercial and homemade to the numbers you want.
Hello! I agree with everyone above. Scratch is just a snack and so it is really whatever you want to do. As long as they are on a feed you are happy with nutrition wise and you are just giving them a few handfuls here and there I wouldn't worry about the protein. If you want to give them a more nutritious snack or you are looking for something that is more of a supplement to the feed and will be feeding a greater amount, then there are lots of options.

You can change your feed to a higher protein and just leave the standard scratch as is. You can mix your own scratch or grain mix from bulk whole grains (with or without corn -- I know I avoid standard scratch because I feed corn-free). For an even bigger boost you can sprout those grains or grow fodder.

If you are unhappy with scratch but want some sort of boredom buster you can make your own flock block from whole grains or do some sort of veggie treat ball.

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