What should I try to avoid?


Free Ranging
Apr 9, 2016
California's Redwood Coast
What are some of the things that I should try to avoid when purchasing chicken feed or scratch?
What name will antibiotics be under?
Anything else?
Antibiotics are illegal in US chicken feed. Medicated starter feeds have amprolium which mimics thiamine on order to starve out (not actively kill) or slow the growth of coccidia.

I agree to avoid scratch all together... it is low in protein and doesn't have the added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that a formulated ration does. Protein builds muscle, excess calories build fat. You are what you eat and I like nutrients. Good nutition is the foundation to everything IMHO. :confused:

Avoid any mill date older than 6 weeks as nutrients do oxidize. Also if the bag looks heavily dusty could be a sign of grain mite infestation.

I avoid calcium levels above 2% for non layer by using a flock raiser with oyster shell on the side. I prefer not less than 18-20% protein for my dual purpose birds and not less than 20% for any chicks or growing birds as feathers are made from 90% protein and its amino acids. For this reason I avoid manna pro feeds.

One final word... many of the words that we don't recognize on labels are the vitamins and mineral additives or a stabilizer for them.

Good luck! :pop


Spring has sprung!
Jul 23, 2018
Edgewood, KY
My Coop
My Coop
I agree no scratch empty calories, too much fat, not enough protein. :)

Depends on age of birds:
If mixed flock of age or roosters: Purina Flock Raiser or other all flock feed for laying hens with chick grit. Oyster shell on side if some 15 weeks or greater. Use medicated feed if mixed flock with less than 8 week olds.

Otherwise if less than eight weeks:
Starter grower medicated with 20% protein. Chick grit on the side.

If older than 8 weeks: Starter grower 18% or grower feed with poultry grit on the side.

At 15 weeks or greater oyster shell on the side.

After 18 weeks or in lay a 16% layer feed with poultry grit and oyster shell on the side.

If roosters older than 8 weeks in flock, can also use grower feed.

Avoid treats and keep less than 10% of daily diet. Can add after 3-4 weeks old but limit and use greens, cabbage leaves, and dried mealworms for protein. This should give you best growth! :)


I kissed a Bully and liked it!
Premium member
Apr 9, 2013
My Coop
My Coop
If you have a rooster then an all flock or flock raiser with oyster shell on the side is best in my opinion. The rooster doesn't need the calcium, it's not good for chicks and the hens will have the oyster shell as needed.

Lots of greens, they like fruits and vegetables too. Bugs of various sorts. Mealworms, black soldier flies and crickets are popular here. The local lizard population starts a frenzy.

I don't see any reason not to give scratch. It doesn't have to be corn or soy based and chickens enjoy foraging and pecking at the ground when they eat. They like seeds as all birds do. I give my flock Bar Ale 6 way scratch and pick up pigeon feed without corn in it from a local feed store.

When your chickens molt they'll do well with added protein which they need to regrow feathers. My flock likes fresh or canned salmon, cooked hamburger and poached poultry.


Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Why do people think scratch is bad? If use sparingly, it's great for them..... I sometimes mix them with regular feed and they love it.
I feel it's fine in moderation. But some people seem to think that a cup or two a day for a tiny backyard flock is just fine, so the birds aren't getting a balanced diet like they should be eating.
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