When did you start feeding scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chocobo, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Chocobo

    Chocobo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I understand I can keep feeding my chicks Starter feed until they start to lay and they'll never actually NEED scratch but I've also read that the act of digging through grass for chicken scratch is very enjoyable for them as well as more "natural".
    So when did you all start feeding scratch to your chickens?
    Is there a type of scratch that's better for younger chickens?
    Should I start tossing the Starter feed into the grass to get them used to the idea?
     
  2. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually don't offer scratch until about 8 weeks. It's important to make sure they have grit available. They love it so much, you won't need to get them used to the idea. It's also great if you want to tame them, they will want to eat it out of your hand, it is so delicious to them. I prefer Purina, I think the grains are smaller, IMO.
     
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hello! Good questions!

    Now, this is just me, but while my chicks are in the brooder, I don't feed anything but chick starter. Then I have an A-frame coop (the baby coop) LOL And once they are outside in that coop/run I will throw down just a little handful to them so they can scratch around, plus it's a good bribe when I want them back into their chicken run.

    I will let them free range and I'll watch them....(very entertaining), and then when I want them back inside the run, I throw a small handful of scratch or cracked corn into the run, and they all just run inside to eat it.

    Even my mature chickens just get a handful in the evenings, when I want to get them inside. (They free range most of the day during the summer months.)

    That's what I do, and I'm sure others will share.....

    Sharon
     
  4. amenfarm

    amenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I've been reading it's chicken candy. I plan on using it to "tame" and to get them into the coop, and in emergencies, go in now there is a chicken eating __ in the pasture. Also, I've read that throwing dowm scratch on the coldest night gives them something extra in their crop for warmth over night, + their mixing the litter for you.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Any feed at night will provide the calories, (which is a kind of unit of heat). That scratch or corn has this magical heat making power is pretty much myth. No matter how many times it gets repeated and repeated.

    I haven't purchase scratch in almost a year. The price went through the roof and I am not going to $10 or $11 for a sack of woefully nutrition incomplete 3 grain cereal.
    $.02
     
  6. Aubrinator

    Aubrinator Out Of The Brooder

    8 weeks sounds good. BTW Scratching for scratch warms them up so its a great winter treat.
     
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    I don't start feeding scratch or "extras" till there around 4 to 6 months.

    Chris
     
  8. Gardengirl Sandi

    Gardengirl Sandi Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, My chicks are now 7 weeks old. They are still eating their "baby food" but I have been adding some other items for interest. Should I be giving them grit too? What is scratch? I am definitely the "new kid" but love getting everyone's ideas. I started letting them out in the garden (in a chicken tractor) last week and now they are in their coop & run. I just want to make certain that they are getting everything they need. Also what is the best type of watering system for them in their coop and run? I am still using the little water system that came with them when I bought them. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sandi

    1 Astralop, 1 Barred Plymouth Rock, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Buff Brahma, 1 Golden Lace Wyandotte & 1 Gold Sexlink! ---1 Border Collie (ready to herd them at any time, but very careful too. [​IMG] 1 Parakeet, and ME=Sandi
     
  9. Tenmore

    Tenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] Hello and welcome to BYC they shouldnt need grit at 7 weeks while eating the starter grower. and scratch is a mix of cracked corn and other seeds that can be thrown out for the chickens to "scratch" around and eat. as to the watering system its a personal opinion I started with what you a simple plastic bottle waterer and than I moved on to a 3 gallon galvanized waterer that I hang from the ceiling of the coop. But I am currantly waiting for my water nipples to arrive to build and use that system to save space and water good luck
     

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