...what is scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by elizabethbinary, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    I don't think we call it the same thing here - because I never see it anywhere. I have no idea what it is, I think it might be what we call 'layer mash'.

    Anyway, I feed my flock a combination layer mash and layer pellets - the former being a high protein (you can SMELL the protein!) dust-textured food and the latter being much larger pieces, seeds and pellets and things.

    Whenever I hear people saying "I gave them scratch" I can't help but think it's a slang for some illegal drug - especially since the chooks love it so much!!! "Yeah man, I went to the dealer today and got myself some scratch. Gave it to the chickens - now they'll be hopped up on scratch and will HAVE to give me eggs."

    I have a very active imagination and I like it, thank you. [​IMG]

    So, what is it?
     
  2. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    The scratch I get is cracked corn mixed with some other grains. It is good as a treat but is not a balanced diet. The corn is supposed to help them "heat up" in the winter cold.
     
  3. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Quote:Oh hm. No I don't think my mash is that. I don't even think we sell it! Probably because we don't have cold winters? I probably won't get any if I do find it - my chooks get enough homecooked stuff to count as treats.

    Thank you.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Depends.

    Some feed elevators just make it up out whatever grains they have handy. Corn, wheat, and milo. Those three are pretty standard on scratch purchased at Farm&Home type stores.

    Some feed mixers add much better ingredients.

    Just check the bag label. If all that's in it is 3 or 4 grains, and the protein is 8% (typical), then yes, it but junk food for chickens and needs to kept to a small ratio of their total diet.
     
  5. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Fred's Hens :

    Depends.

    Some feed elevators just make it up out whatever grains they have handy. Corn, wheat, and milo. Those three are pretty standard on scratch purchased at Farm&Home type stores.

    Some feed mixers add much better ingredients.

    Just check the bag label. If all that's in it is 3 or 4 grains, and the protein is 8% (typical), then yes, it but junk food for chickens and needs to kept to a small ratio of their total diet.

    Well, like I said - I don't think we sell it in this country or if we do we just sell bags of grain and people mix themselves. There's no bags of anything labelled scratch to check the ingredients of! Which is why I didn't know what it was - we might call it something else - but I am not sure we do. I think we just feed pellets and mash.

    Thank you for the information!​
     
  6. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    Not sure if they sell it in Australia either, I did see some in Canada once that was just labeled mixed grains.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    Do they sell cracked corn? That's mostly what scratch is, at least the scratch I get.

    Perhaps corn is not as common in Australia as here.
     
  8. Highlander

    Highlander Tartan Terror

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    Prague
    It's just called Mixed Grain here. My feedstore looked at me very strangely the first time i went in and asked for scratch. [​IMG]
     
  9. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Quote:LOL Corn is common, trust me! haha. [​IMG]

    But Mixed Grain! YES we have that - that must be what we call it. I've never bought any. Probably still won't. Thanks everyone! [​IMG]
     
  10. johny

    johny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2010
    elizabeth,
    chickens keep busy outside in their run if you dumpsome scratch/ mixed grain every day. Just scatter it on the ground. They find it easily.
    I think it is good to encourage them to go outside and run around a bit.
    For 10 chickens I toss in 3-4 cups a day into their outdooor run.
    Some people might say that is too much but my birds are healthy and I get an average of 7eggs for 9 hens per day.

    In Canada, the scratch I buy is about 1/2 cracked corn, the rest is whole wheat, oats and barley.
    They love it.
    Again, some may say it is too low in protein but my chicken love it, lay well and keep busy pecking, scratching to clean the stff out of their run.
    I think a modest amount daily keeps them healthy by forcing them to exercise a bit.
     

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