1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Why do some act like Chicken Scratch should be avoided like the plague

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dizzychicken, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. dizzychicken

    dizzychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    256
    0
    129
    Feb 24, 2009
    When I was young, and my husband too, our grandmothers use to feed scratch along with kitchen scraps. Now everyone acts like scratch is to be avoided like the plaque. I want to give scratch but I am afraid they will quit laying or kill over according to peoples post.
     
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    5,930
    10
    251
    Jul 31, 2008
    I give mine table scraps and scratch all the time....with no ill affects... i use the scratch to give them something to do while they are in their run
     
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    12,147
    51
    311
    Jun 11, 2007
    Maybe we should start with a description of what "scratch" is. That would help.
    I noticed that people have differing ideas about what it consists of.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  4. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

    1,798
    16
    171
    Apr 7, 2009
    Texas
    It won't kill them but some say it raises the body temp of the birds causing them to not be able to cool down as well. I have no idea if that is actually true or not but if anything heats up anything here in Arizona it is to be avoided.

    The reason I don't give it is because it has no nutritional value really. I just choose to give treats with a little more nutrient. Why give candy when you could give green leafy goodness? If you choose to give cracked corn or scratch grains then by all means do what you feel is best. I just choose not to use it.
     
  5. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    5,930
    10
    251
    Jul 31, 2008
    i walked into my local feed store and asked for scratch ....
    they gave me a huge bag of it looks like grains with cracked corn and some other stuff
     
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I don't think it needs to be avoided....just fed in moderation. It's like if you fed your kid on a diet of M&Ms.....they'd like it much better than veggies, but that doesn't mean a diet of M&Ms would be that great for them.
     
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    13,295
    12
    291
    Aug 25, 2008
    SC
    Typical scratch grains are mostly corn, with some other stuff mixed in. It's not vey high in protein, and generates a lot of calories that make the bird warmer. Fabulous for the winter weather.

    Grandma had free range chickens, they got lots of protein from bugs, lizards and worms, even the occasional snake. The scratch was pretty much all there was in the way of prepared feed at that time. So with the free ranging, scraps and scratch, they had a pretty balanced diet.

    These days we have all this commercial food, supposedly well balanced, and scratch works better as a treat.

    I have some chickens that free range, some that don't. In 16 years I have only lost one to illness. Don't know if that means anything or not.

    I free feed commercial lay pellets, and give about 15-20% scratch during the winter. During the summer, they get lay pellets free feed, and get to free range. No scratch, but lots of scraps from the garden.

    There many opinions about this, just decide what works best for your chickens and go with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  8. Equus5O

    Equus5O Chillin' With My Peeps

    I brought my girls home May 16. I'm on my third bag of Grower Feed. I'm still on my first bag of Scratch, and have barely made a dent in it.
     
  9. GrannySue

    GrannySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    a friend of mine feeds wheat only to all her birds. Peacocks, chickens, geese, ducks. They do fine, but I think they're all free-ranged with a lot of land.
     
  10. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Quote:[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by