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What age can you feed chickens scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Willow's Meadow, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. Willow's Meadow

    Willow's Meadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2010
    My chickens are 5 weeks old....can I give them scratch? What about cracked corn? Are scratch and cracked corn the same thing?
     
  2. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I give my chicks scratch at about 3 weeks, but just a little and just as a treat. Hasn't hurt any of them yet. Cracked corn can be considered scratch (I think). The scratch I buy has several different seeds in it plus cracked corn.
     
  3. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can give them scratch, but be sure that they have some sort of grit available to help them digest it. Coarse sand, parakeet grit, or you can buy "chick grit" at MPC, but it's the same thing. Scratch has cracked corn, other coarsely chopped grains and usually some whole grains, like millet, in it. They love it, must be like candy to them, and throwing it out gives them something to "scratch" around for, which must be very satisfying to a chicken.
     
  4. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I started giving it to my birds at 6wks only because they were going out side and had access to plenty of grit. they got it as a treat not a staple.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You don't ever have to feed them scratch. I use a Game Bird Feed for roosters for my "scratch", called Knockout. It is high protein, but I never start any scratch of any type until mine are about 9 weeks old or older, and even then, I use it as a lure to get them to come back from free ranging (shake the can, sound means goodies).
     
  6. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2009
    Pembroke GA
    I have heard that it's better not to give them scratch in the summer heat. Is this true? Something about it raising the body temps too much? Or is this an 'old wives tale'?
     
  7. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Quote:i wouldn't feed parakeet grit to them because some brands has oyster shells as one of the first ingredients
     
  8. bug58

    bug58 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2012
    thanks for sharing all your wisdom on this topic..
     
  9. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2011
    Central Florida
    GAchick,

    Corn is carb heavy, sweet, and is a high energy food used for the cold of winter or for rapid weight gain. We only gave it to horses in winter, too. Some cracked corn in their scratch is fine, but unless you want an over-heated fat chicken I would keep it minimal. Think about what happens to your own appetite in the summer... I know I cant stand the thought of a heavy meal, and crave veggies and salad.

    The commercials on TV about how high fructose corn syrup is the same as any other sugar cracks me up when it isnt making me mad! Sugars are not all the same and our bodies handle the various molecular arrangements differently. I personally believe it is part of the genetics passed down from our ancestors who were regionally isolated and evolved to handle their local foods. Aside from that, modern corn has been selected for its high sugar content and thus is very different, I think, from the corn used by native peoples hundreds of years go.

    Corn is not a popular food in Spain, where they consider it cow food...

    Ha ha! I guess that is more info than you asked for, so that's the end of my five minute discussion on corn!
     
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    Corn will not "over-heat" chickens!
    If that was the case chickens everywhere would be "over-heating" since most chicken feed is loaded with corn and can have up to or around 1400 lbs of corn to 2000 lbs of feed.

    Also the Dent/ Field corn is not sweet.

    Chris
     

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