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Scratch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 2AcreFarmer, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. 2AcreFarmer

    2AcreFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2014
    I was talking to my grandfather about his chickens when he used to raise them and he told me that all he fed his chickens was scratch feed. He said people are coming out with all of these new fancy feeds as money stealers. I was trying to explain to him that scratch is only about two dollars cheaper and he said chickens have lived off of grain in the wild for years. Is this true? Can my chickens live off if scratch?
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scratch today is not what it was years ago. What you see today as wild bird seed is closer to what he fed his, what we have now is mostly corn because it is cheaper. If you give them something other then layer feed, keep in mind that they will need to range to get other nutrients and they need something for a calcium source. While ranging they can pick up grit from the ground, and some types of bugs as well as some things found in a garden can give calcium. Putting chickens in a run is mostly a new thing, hence the advanced feeds. If you look at the depression era families most of them had chickens running around the propriety, this reduced the amount of feed that needed to be supplied because the chickens got most of the things they needed from the yard.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. 2AcreFarmer

    2AcreFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    So you're saying that you can feed chickens bird seed? Or something similar to that?
     
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, if you free range. You might want to think about having a bowl of oyster shell if you don't have a garden or large bug population. You will know if your girls look and act healthy, as long as they do you are doing your job right. There are threads on here about fermented feed where several people have gone to just seeds or grains. They ferment it, but you don't have to. If you read threw them they will give you a better idea on what you want to look for when picking out seeds/feed for your girls.
     
  5. AlanW

    AlanW Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2013

    Probably, but likely in poor condition.
     
  6. 2AcreFarmer

    2AcreFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay. Thanks for the reply
     
  7. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The scratch my Grandfather feed his was a three grain scratch. Corn, wheat and oats. Those three grains because that is what he grew. Most of the surrounding farmers if they fed scratch had the same three grains. What the grains chickens got depended on what was grown on the farm, If the area didn't grow millet there was no millet. The only sunflowers around here were just decorative in flower beds. So around here the scratch was nothing like the bags bird seed you buy today.
     
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  8. 2AcreFarmer

    2AcreFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    So what about just cracked corn and whole wear? Can that be the sole ration to chickens?
     
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Well you could but it wouldn't be a balanced feed at all. Yes, feed is different then what was fed years ago, we have a lot more knowledge about animal nutrition now and how to best feed our animals for the best return whether it be eggs or meat. And with the price of grain being what it is and almost the same price as a sack of commercial feed then might as well feed the one that is balanced and has the correct vitamin/mineral content for optimal laying.
     
  10. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Too much corn can be really bad for them. Like eating whole meals at McDonalds 3 times a day for your entire life bad.
     

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