Wondering about the chicken scratch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Spartan22, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Crowing

    Sep 2, 2014
    NE Ohio
    Its been few years that I thought about scratch, for some reason I haven’t bought any, but today I was wondering why people really feed their chicken scratch if there’s no nutritional value to it? Is it an unnecessary expenses? Am I missing something? Depriving my chickens something? I used to free range until hawks early morning and owls at dusk hover around my property.
  2. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road

    Jun 19, 2013
    Central Florida
    I consider scratch more of a treat, to be fed occasionally, and many use it a bit more in the winter, since it's higher in carbs, so it helps them have enough to generate a bit more heat.
  3. jreardon1918

    jreardon1918 Songster

    Jul 13, 2016
    Southeast, MA
    My Coop
    I throw a bit in the run and they turn the deep litter. They love it. I also use it to get them to return to the coop if I want them in early. It is a tiny percent of their daily intake.
  4. llombardo

    llombardo Crowing

    Mar 11, 2018
    I put a little bit mixed in the food right now. Once outside I plan on taking a handful in the run for them to find. They do like it a lot.
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Higher in carbs than what? Or is it just lower in protein? :confused: Carbs and protein have the same amount of calories per gram. But NOT the same amount of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. If someone wants more calories on board for available energy seems like fat would work better than carbs.

    To me scratch is an added expense. I don't think the chickens are being deprived of anything any more than a baby not getting a slice of cake. If they don't know it they don't care. It's nice to have a treat once in a while though, I'm sure. But there are lots of enrichment options... like hanging a head of broccoli just out of reach or an ear of corn. But as stated by jreardon, calling them in and getting them to scratch around and those type of reasons are understandably good. When used correctly, it shouldn't be a problem. And chickens sure do seem to be crazy for it! So I hear... since I haven't bought it 9 years of keeping chickens. I'm a tightwad when it comes to health! :p

    I like to feed back extra scrambled eggs, or chopped corn tortillas from the bag we didn't finish. Live meal worms. I just don't need an extra 50# bag of something sitting around waiting for months to be fed out and diminishing even further it's nutrient content by age.

    I far prefer to sprout barley or wheat or anything really. Sometimes even grow it out into fodder for rainy days. Sprouting is a GREAT way to get some greens in the diet, so easy to do, and highly enjoyed by chickens in addition to being a decent source of nutrients at about 14% protein. I think peas come in at 22%. And turn around in as little as 4-8 days. ;)
    rowbow4, Bobby Basham and Spartan22 like this.

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