Feeding Scratch Grains to Chickens

Wonder if you should be feeding scratch to your chickens? Listen in as Nutrena Poultry Consultant Twain Lockhart explains how to feed it properly.

Let us know if you have any comments or questions!

7 Replies to “Feeding Scratch Grains to Chickens”

  1. I feed my ladies scratch in the morning but they have their feed dish with layer crumbles and I mix scratch in it too just a cup of it is this ok

    1. Sounds good! As long as you aren’t feeding over 10 – 15% scratch in the total diet, you should be just fine!

    1. SherryK, thanks for your comment! Scratch is a great thing all year round but especially in the winter. It gives them something to do when they can’t always be outside due to cold! I know my girls appreciate a few piles of scratch in the coop everyday when I collect eggs. I have weighed a mason jar I keep in the scratch so I know how much I’m giving them. They peck around at it and it gives me a chance to spend a few minutes to enjoy them…before I start to shiver! Brrr!
      In addition to their regular feed, you can feed scratch at 10-15% of their total diet. Laying hens eat at average of 0.25 lbs of feed a day, so you could feed them 0.025 lb per chicken. That’s a half pound of scratch for 20 chickens, per day. Remember, if you’re giving them kitchen scraps, that should be factored in to the 10-15% so you don’t see a drop in egg production. More won’t hurt them, but you will be changing the nutrition they are getting. Any change in their feed routine, chickens tend to decrease eggs produced.

  2. Scratch grains is what I’ve been feeding my chickens and sometimes layer pellets.i didn’t know scratch is mainly a treat.what feed should i be giving them? Sometimes i have Milo i throw them and raw rice…i want to feed them right so thank you for any help

    1. Hello Sharon – Thanks for the question! Definitely invest in some Layer Feed. Ask at your local feed store where you get the scratch grain – they should have Layer Feed in stock. You will want that to provide more protein, as well as lots of calcium, so their egg production and the quality of the egg shells improve. They should also be healthier in general from a more balanced diet, as the scratch grains, milo, and rice contain very little in the way of vitamins.
      Thank you ~ Gina T.

  3. free range chickens are free to eat wvtaeher they find, while cooped up chicken are fed a steady stream of the same food. animals taste what they eat. cooped up chicken are usually fed corn, while free range chicken eat bugs, grass, corn, and wvtaeher they can find. fat adds flavor. free range chicken gets exercise, so they’re not as fat as cooped up chicken, thus less flavor.

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