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Using commercial bird seed for scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ZooMummzy, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I'm sure there is a thread for this somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it yet. I was wondering if you can use commercial bird seed for your chickens as scratch? The cracked corn I buy has a mixed seed in it, but I wasn't sure if there was something in commercial bird seed they shouldn't have? Doesn't seem like there would be, but I thought I'd ask since I'm new to all this still.

  2. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I feed mine birdseed. It's mostly sunflower seeds, millet, and a few peanuts. They've never had a problem with it.
  3. PAJerry

    PAJerry Songster

    Mar 22, 2008
    Waterford, PA
    Mine like black oil sunflower. I don't give them a lot, but just a handfull out in the run for a treat.
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Someone will probably post that it is a bad idea... they usually do with this sort of thing. It is often entertaining, and occasionally enlightening, to hear what they have to say, so let's hope for it...

    I've done it with no ill effect that I could determine. Try a little and see what happens. My only concern is that bird seed will be pricey compared to mill scratch. If you have access to it in quantity for some reason, then lucky you!

    Scratch is kinda overblown. It should be kept simple. It should consist of whatever cracked grain is available at reasonable cost. Often this means second grade grain and is usually some combination of corn and wheat. It should be fed sparingly and not as the main diet.

    Check with your area grain and feed mills and see what they offer. It is usually cheaper to get it this way. I get a 50# bag for $7-8, depending on what's available. If I could buy and store it in ton-fractional lots, it would be even less.
    Note: it has gone up since the last time I got some.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2008
  5. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:That's a good deal. I get a 50# bag of scratch for $10 at the feed store, which I didn't think was too bad since it's close to my house. I was just wondering about the bird seed since I have some left from the wild birds and I see it quite often on sale here. I thought it might be something to add to my other scratch to make it last longer.
  6. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I compared my scratch to some of the cheap bird seed and they were almost identical. Cracked corn, wheat, milo, and I don't remember what else.
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I like using horse sweetfeed for scratch. It's nutritious, and about 10 bucks a bag.

  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    What IS horse sweet feed?

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