Summer scratch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bossybetty, May 24, 2012.

  1. bossybetty

    bossybetty In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2012
    I have read in a chicken book recently that scratch should change for summer. Oats were recommended by the author, and corn was eliminated due to the fact that the corn based scratch can cause chickens to overheat, mainly from the energy and metabolic rate increase from digestion.

    Has anyone heard this? What has been your experience with diet changes for summer, if any?

    Thanks :)
  2. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    True, corn is high Carb/energy food I stay with the same scratch in summer though, just give less of it since they are out all day eating lots of salad and bugs. Chech with your feed supply store side there are many combo and choices of grains.
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Please don't take this the wrong way but the first thing I would do is take that book and through it in the trash and then I would never perches another book written by that author because he/she has no idea what they are talking about.

    Now, corn will not make your chicken over heat. If is would there would be a lot of chickens "over heating" since most poultry feed has a lot of corn in it and a 16% protein layer can have up to 70% corn in it.

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  4. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    My scratch contains other grains like oats and barley, the corn is cracked in small pieces. I can get other 'lighter grain mix if I want to. Check out the thread on fermented grains, I am going into that system because it just makes good sense .
    I never fed my horses corn grain in the summerbecause it would cause them to sweat more, only oats , so yeah, i does make a difference.
  5. mamas farm

    mamas farm Chirping

    Apr 5, 2012
    hmm.. I have always fed my hens horse grain, corn screening, hen scratch, laying pellets which equals to a half a can. I mix it all and feed them that twice morning and evening . In the pen is the oyster shells. My hen"s lay me allot of eggs and they look good. I always wondered if they really needed all that or can they just eat corn . In the older times didn't farmers just feed there hens corn was there all this other feed in that time.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I have to agree with Chris. The "corn will make your birds hot" is one of the most persistent pieces of incorrect folklore in poultry keeping there is. NO grain or any other food will "make your birds hot." All that "corn is a hot feed" means is that it's a rich source of easily digestible carbohydrates. Which is precisely why it is used nearly universally in almost all animal feeds.

    Having said all of that though chickens are like people in one respect. The hotter the weather the less we tend to want to eat. When appetites are suppressed then what you can get them to eat had better be nutritious. In the hot season I cut back on my use of scratch grains so that the birds will have to eat more of their balanced layer ration the better to keep egg production at a steady pace. Otherwise they may fill up on scratch then not eat as much layer feed as they ought to which in turn will lower production. This is true of any grain, not just corn.
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
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  8. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Songster

    May 26, 2011
    Roanoke County, Virginia
    How is a very real scientifically studied difference in molecular construction a myth? Note below the difference in starch between and protein between oats corn and oats. Starch converts to glucose which is either directly used for energy or stored as fat. The chickens use more energy in winter to keep warm. What happens to that excess glucose in summer? It goes into fat. Fat chickens have laying problems and organ problems. Corn is fed as a finisher feed to put a layer of fat on livestock before slaughter. Corn fed beef is known for being "well marbled" with fat.

    Corn industry in big ag is lobbying hard to protect their interests. Universities are subsidized by major industries and it is affecting the type of research done at schools as well as the outcomes to the research. Research that is unfavorable will not win funding or is shut down, not selected for publication, or countered by other research paid for by the industry.

    The following is from a site discussing horse feed so the digestion in the chart was horses.

    Let us compare this [corn] to oats. Corn is 71% starch, 4% fats, 8% protein, and 0% fermentable fiber. Oats is 53% starch, 5% fats, 12% protein, and 0% fermentable fiber.
    CORN is first % shown
    OATS is second % shown
    fermentable fiber
    small intestine digestion
    84% (good)
    large intestine digestion
    70% (bad)
    16% (good)
    starch to fiber ratio
    25/1  (bad)
    0.7/1 (good)
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  9. Clay Mudd

    Clay Mudd Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    South MS swamps
    I have to slightly disagree.

    First thing to do would be to tell us the name of the book.

    Second thing would be to throw it in the trash. ;)
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Are your percentages for poultry or another form of livestock. Please don't confuse the digestive system of a chick with one of say a bovine or a horse because a chickens digestive system is very different.

    2 people like this.

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