Chicken Scratch Feed and Grains: Benefits, Homemade Ingredients

Have you ever tried to give your chickens some chicken scratch feed and grains? If yes, you obviously know how much they love it.

My chickens love chicken scratch feed like a delicious treat. When I supply some grains, they run towards me in no time.

When they see scratch feed spread on the floor, they will peck. You will notice the craziness when you shake your bag full of chicken scratch feed.

Before that, you may ask some questions to yourself –

Do my chickens need scratch feed and grain mixture?
Is this scratch feed perfect for my flock’s nutrition?
Can my chickens digest this scratch feed?

Yes, your chickens need chicken scratch feed because they need some treats and feed which makes them active. Most of the homemade chicken scratch feed is best for fulfilling the nutritional deficiencies in poultry birds.

Chickens can easily digest the scratch feed, but you need to understand in which age you should feed it to your flocks.

Many backyard chicken farmers are there who admire to provide enough treats to their hens. The only thing that we must be careful about is that they require an appropriate and well-adjusted diet. 

If you want to know more about chicken treats, here is the complete list.

In this guide, you will know all about chicken scratch feed and the difference between regular chicken feed and scratch grains. If you want to feed your chicken with scratch feed, here you will learn the correct method.

What Is Chicken Scratch Feed?

Chicken scratch feed is the mixture of various types of nutritional grains which help chickens to learn to forage and fulfill their nutritional deficiencies. 

These chicken grains help you ‌make a friendly relation with your flocks. Chicken scratch feed is a combination of many types of seeds, which chickens admire to eat and enjoy. 

The scratch feed is considerably similar to bird food, but the only difference is its price. The scratch feed is cheaper than the packed bird feed.

chicken scratch feed and grain mixture on a bowl
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Do you know the usual ingredients of chicken scratch feed? It comes with different other ingredients, such as rolled corn, oats, barley, sunflower seeds, milo, wheat, and millet.

Are you worried about its pricing? A chicken scratch feed with a greater amount of sunflower or milo seed will charge a little extra. The reason is these kinds of ingredients are a little classy, even though you buy them at a wholesale price.

You may think that the chicken scratch food is something ready-made for us in feed bags, but it goes back much further than bagged feeds.

Also Read:  Chicken Roosting: Types, Need, Space, & DIY Ideas

Many days before, poultry farmers used to feed their chickens with pellets and balanced nutrition. The backyard flocks love to toss additional or grownup seeds from their crops along with the extra miscellaneous feed.

Those feed might be the best poultry supplement to maintain quite a miserable diet. If you want to know more about some additional chicken vitamin supplements, here is the complete guide.

Well, this was the time-period where the origin of ‘scratch’ took its stand. The mixture of nutrient feed to provide enough nutrition to your coop flocks is defined as poultry scratch feed.

Difference Between Chicken Scratch Vs. Regular Chicken Feed

You may find this useful as your chicken feed is systematically expressed. The chicken scratch feed is necessary to offer chickens the particular aggregates of nutrients. 

Before supplying scratch feed, verify the age and type of chicken breed in your coop. You should make two comparisons which are: Chicks Vs Hen or Egg Layer Vs Meat Bird.

For instance, to understand the concept better; as you know, an amount of 16% layer feed will generate 16% protein in a single grownup chicken. This is the amount which is essential for sustained health and egg-laying of your chicken members. 

Sometimes, you may have seen that fiber and fat content alteration at the time of manufacturers preparation.

Here is the list of the ingredients that are available in chicken scratch feed-

  • Corn 
  • Soybean
  • Wheat 
  • Alfalfa grains

You will also find the following chemical ingredients such as- 

  • Selenium 
  • Copper Sulfate 
  • Ferrous Sulfate 
  • Vital amino acids (methionine) 

You will also find other supplemental ingredients which are available at a large variety of vitamins and, of course, calcium carbonate for shell making.

When the time changes, the demand for chicken scratch feed has increased. Your flocks will consider this scratch feed as a treat. They find it delicious as it shortages decent and healthy nutritional material.

You will get 8-9% protein equivalency in this feed. Further, the amount of nutrition percentage is massively negligible to the feed content.

chicken scratch feed on a beautiful DIY container
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You may take these ideas for real:

  1. Regular Starter, Finisher chicken feed is considered as a balanced meal. It is given daily in a required amount.
  2. Chicken scratch is a kind of food, just like French fries and soda. So, you need to give it twice in a week like a treat.

Proving special treats for humans and animals is quite different. You should not provide scratch feed more than the basic need to your chickens. 

Giving more than required quantity won’t give them the proper nutrition. That is why you should not develop the support of their diet with chicken scratch feed.

Your hens need a good balance added to their diet. A good diet is vital if you wish to keep them healthy and strong enough for laying when your hens are not given a proper diet that may not protect their nutritional needs.

You may notice several changes in their behavior. The first thing is that you may see that they stop laying eggs, or even if they lay, the eggs you will get are soft-shelled or shell-less.

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The body of your hens will take necessary nutrition as per the needs. They do so to maintain noble fitness. If you do not feed them with a proper diet, they will become shabby and may see dropping feathers (mini molts). 

You may notice the dull eyes, depressed demeanor, and lack of energy among the hens. So, you can see that a balanced diet is key to the health and welfare of your flock. 

You can treat them in the best way, but in small amounts and preferably not every day. If you want specific information about scratch feed formulations, keep reading this article.

Benefits of Giving Scratch Feed and Grain Mixture to Chickens

The chicken scratch feed has many benefits. You can change the habit of their diet by adding something little different and delicious other than the regular diet of the chickens. 

You can see their very interest when your pullets find the unique taste of their feed.

The list given below will show you the benefits of feeding scratch grains for chickens:

  1. Farmers provide scratch feed to enhance the training of finding the food. So, it indirectly makes chickens active foragers.
  2. This also helps your chicken to go to bed on time. Supply it in the evening for better results.
  3. You can perform the clean-up of your coop by spreading the chicken scratch feed on the coop floor. Want to know the easiest chicken coop cleaning process here is the complete guide.
  4. In cold seasons, the addition of scratch feed will be very beneficial because of its high protein and carbohydrate quantity it keeps the flock’s body warm. Here is our complete guide to keep chickens warm in winters.

How to Go for Chicken Scratch Feed?

Chickens are feeding scratch grains in a feeder
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You must have gained the information about the difference between chicken scratch and regular feed. Also, you just need to understand when to feed chicken scratch and when not?

It would help if you supplied the chicken scratch feed properly. This feed is an economical solution that your hens can’t stop without admiring it. 

Some questions to understand all about chicken scratch food strategies-

When to Give Chicken Scratch Grains to Flocks?

Many farmers choose to supply their hens with chicken scratch to build their trust. By doing so, you can easily explain to your birds what to eat from their hands.

This is an important process to take. The habit of their gathering can help the farmers to collect their eggs easier in the future. 

If you still haven’t tried yet, then you must go for it. This is the best method to teach your flocks about gathering and pecking around.

It would help if you give the chicken scratch feed to your chickens when you are trying to teach them new tricks like free-ranging, special-commands, etc. 

Also Read:  Chicken Coop Ventilation: Ideas, Design, Fans, & How To Guide

How Much Quantity of Scratch Feed Should You Give to Your Chickens?

As you know, chicken scratch has an inferior nutritional value. However, you do not know its importance. You should add the diet with perfect planning for your chickens.

When you prepare the grain mixture and then add the feed primarily, this is made up from scratch. You should involve the food within the diet by doing it carefully.

You should add nothing over 10% to the diet of your chickens. They are mostly prepared by scratch grains. Do not overfeed your chickens, it is not good for their health.

How Often to Give Scratch Feed to Poultry Flocks?

Farmers have started the good rule of thumb to feed their poultry members. The rule has its specification. 

According to it, you should not stop feeding your birds and provide them as much as they can. 

When you spread the scratch feed on the floor you must ensure your flocks eat them within 15-20 minutes

When the time is over, start cleaning up the residual scratch. It would help if you prepared it in moderation so they can prepare the chicken scratch with the laying capabilities of your hens.

When you find out the decline in egg count or health decline, you can easily recognize that you are giving a huge amount of charge.

Consulting with a veterinarian is absolutely a good option when giving a new type of feed or adding scratch feed.

Homemade Chicken Scratch Feed Ingredient

Get something extra for your chicken to feed. You may have to buy scratch in the majority. This enables you to make your chicken scratch at your household. 

You can find that arranging your chicken scratch feed is economical over and over again. This will provide you with the logic behind every accomplishment.

Making a good quality homemade chicken scratch by combination of natural seeds and grains provides a well-balanced diet for your chickens. They will admire the food you are offering through chicken scratch.

Below are the chicken scratch feed ingredients which should be taken inside a mixing bowl: 

  • Wheat = 1 part
  • Cracked corn = 1 part
  • Sunflower seeds = 1 part
  • Split peas = 1 part
  • Barley = 1 part
  • Oats = 1 part

If you want to make varieties of scratch feed, you may also try a few other seeds following:

  • Dried cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanuts


The chicken scratch feed is the crispy addition to your coop girls and boys. It has been an indispensable food for many poultry growers.

Some modern farmers apply different methods for not changing the demand and the need for scratch feed and grain mixture for chickens. 

The only advice to all poultry farmers around the world is to choose the diet wisely. If you do, you will find different optimistic benefits to your chickens.

Are you able to make chicken scratch feed after reading this guide? If yes, then must share your experience below. We will be happy to read your comments.

Chicken Scratch: Benefits with Homemade Feed Ingredients
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2 thoughts on “Chicken Scratch Feed and Grains: Benefits, Homemade Ingredients”

  1. very informative. I am new to chickens. So what would be a good layer feed to make if I need to make it? Times are getting tuff

    • Hi, thanks for writing here,
      Always provide feed with 40% of protein and must contain calcuim and other vitamin source. You can ask you nearest local store they will provide you some best feed for egg laying chickens.


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