What is SCRATCH - yeah, dumb question, but...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by joebryant, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    I honestly don't understand the term "scratch", never having bought any.

    I DO give my chickens a good-mix bird feed, however.

    QUESTION: Is the bird feed that I give a kind of "scratch".
     
  2. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i suppose "scratch" is any kind of seed/feed the chicken can 'scratch" around on the ground to eat. I throw some of my Steer's feed (cracked corn and oats mixture) on the ground for my chickens from time to time I figure that is "scratch".
     
  3. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Quote:Yes, scratch is just a mixture of seeds. Around here it's cracked corn, oats, & millet.
     
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    "Scratch" is a very generic name for a grain that can be tossed on the grown to make a bird "scratch" at the ground. it can be as simple as crack corn or a 15 grain mix.
    For the most part the "scratch:" you will get at the feed mill (cracked corn, wheat, oats, & millet) will be a low protein (9%) high carbohydrate grain mix that is OK to feed as a treat.

    I feed about 1 cup of "scratch" per 5 large fowl birds.
    I feed a 16% protein scratch grain that I mix. Basically it is a 14% all grain pigeon feed with some extras I add in [​IMG]
    The 14% pigeon feed contains grains like ( AUSTRIAN PEAS, CANADIAN PEAS, MAPLE PEAS, MUNG BEANS, VETCH PEAS, POP CORN, LINSEED (Flax), MILLET, GROATS, BROWN RICE, SAFFLOWER, BLACK OILED SUNFLOWER SEED, BUCKWHEAT, WHEAT)
    To the 14% pigeon feed I add BLACK RAPE SEED, HEMP SEED (Whole), GROUND UNSALTED PEANUTS

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The feed stores (around here) sell "Scratch" separately. I ask the clerk(s) a bunch of questions every time I go in to either of the two feed stores I frequent. Interestingly enough, all of them have said, "We sell scratch for those people who want it, but I/we don't give it to our chickens" or, alternately - "not more than a handful every few days or so, at the most."

    Why? Well, the various feeds (starter, grower, layer) are "full nutritional complement of necessary ingredients" and scratch is a TREAT. It's like candy to the chickens, and they will choose it over feed, unbalancing their nutrition.

    So, I'm sticking with treating them with a handful of BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) every day, and other treats such as shredded mozarella cheese which they eat right out of my hand, or sometimes some meal worms, but I haven't bought any Scratch for my chickens, either.
     
  6. feedstorechick

    feedstorechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scratch is a blend of grains for feeding poultry. Purina's is a mix of cracked corn, milo, and oats. Other brands vary the proportions and may add black oil sunflower seeds. My birds prefer the Purina because it has a lot of cracked corn and less milo (the little round brown seeds). They will leave the milo for last.

    It's not a totally balanced feed, like the crumbled feeds (Flock Raiser, Chick Starter, Layena). A lot of people with free range poultry feed nothing but scratch. It's cheap ($8-9 a bag), and if the birds are eating grass and bugs, it may be all they need, if the hens have some calcium available.

    I feed a mix of Flock Raiser Crumbles and Scratch with a separate dish of oystershell for the hens. It seems to be working here, my hens are laying like crazy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  7. Kacey's Krazee's

    Kacey's Krazee's Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my grandson was here visiting at Christmas time, he kept calling it itch. " Grandma, can we go and itch the chickens??? "

    He is 4.

    Sorry, you can have your thread back now!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Thanks, all, I understand now. My "birdseed" scratch has corn, black oil seeds, and several kinds of small seeds, so I'll continue with it. I throw a handful in for each chicken every day. They complain/squawk/nag if they don't get it at least once every day.
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Around here there are three different grain products that fall under the heading of "scratch" on the co-op's feed supply list and I have to be specific about which one I want to get the right thing.

    Scratch grains is cracked corn mixed with other grains like oats and seeds.
    Scratch is finely ground corn - looks like yellow cornmeal. Great for mixing with warm water to give the chickens a warm wintertime treat.
    Chops is cracked corn, without any other grains added.

    Right now my chickens have just transitioned off of the wintertime treat of chops and/or scratch. From now thru fall they will get scratch grains.
     
  10. obchix

    obchix Out Of The Brooder

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    We call it chicken "crack". Because it causes them to run around like crazy.
     
    1 person likes this.

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