Which breed scratches the most?

Compost King

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One of my favorite behaviors that chickens have is scratching up the ground. Composting is very important part of my Nursery operation and chicken scratching actually speeds up and improves my composting. Some breeds I am finding do not scratch as much as others. I would love to hear stories about people's chickens that scratched so much it either annoyed them or if they are like me it pleased them. This officially makes my chickens beasts of burden, like the Oxen plowing the fields centuries ago. My Chickens turn compost piles.
Do the long legged upright (Game) breeds scratch the most? my short legged breeds (Dorkings, Japanese Bantams) do not scratch so much. I noticed most bantam breeds scratch more often but larger fowl seem to cover more ground and break down more leaves. So far my best Scratchers are my Old English Game Bantams but the Productions Reds can seem to break down more leaves in the same amount of time. I recall leghorns constantly scratching when I had them, but that was before I started penning up birds. I will be getting leghorns again in February and they will be in breeding pens and I will see if they compost well in confinement.
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
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I never noticed the breed differences in scratching abilities, but leghorns definitely are experts.
gardening (3 of 1).jpg
 

Granny Hatchet

Tastes like chicken
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I was going to say the ones that itch the worst but I never paid attention to this. LOL I probably will be keeping an eye out now but I dont think mine scratch too much at all and I have a mixed flock. I have noticed that my red hen helps me scatter the pine shavings pretty good when I dump a bag in. Unfortunately I dont know her breed.
 

keesmom

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For me, the lightweight Mediterranean types have been the most vigorous diggers. The Leghorns have dug halfway to China, with the Minorcas not far behind. Buttercups, Austrawhites (a hybrid, but seem to take after the Leghorn side), Fayoumis and Anconas have all been active as well. We found the Fayoumis to be bonkers though, and would probably not get them again.
 

Compost King

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I really want to thank those who shared their experiences. This will help me plan which breeds to get. I will be getting some ornamental Leghorns from McMurray in Feb. TSC or another feed store will have white leghorns or California Whites. I loved my leghorns when I had them.
 

VyeFye

Songster
Nov 7, 2018
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I have a cream legbar that is only 10 weeks old and she can clear the yard. I also have a Golden Cuckoo Marans that would much rather scratch and peck on the ground than eat from a feeder, so I am guessing she is going to be a good scratcher too.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
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Dec 25, 2012
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I have seen both game hens and game roosters sling dirt and litter 6 feet behind them.

Besides being more active these breeds also have better developed leg muscles.

Here is a video that demonstrates that.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...13FDDADCF32F5505117013FDDADCF32F&&FORM=VDRVRV

It has more to do with the body type than anything else. Big fat lazy fluffy bottomed hens do not scratch much. They depend more on their keepers to keep them in groceries than they are able to free range or make their own living.
 

Amer

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Nov 8, 2017
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For me, the lightweight Mediterranean types have been the most vigorous diggers. The Leghorns have dug halfway to China, with the Minorcas not far behind. Buttercups, Austrawhites (a hybrid, but seem to take after the Leghorn side), Fayoumis and Anconas have all been active as well. We found the Fayoumis to be bonkers though, and would probably not get them again.
Yes. Sure do.
I'd say my Anconas, Dominique bantams, and Welsummers scratch the most.
 

MANNA-PRO

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