DIY Chicken Scratch Wreath

Chicken Scratch is meant as a treat, and is great to warm your birds during the winter months.

| December 2013

Learn to treat your flock to a diet rich in a variety of herbs, greens, and flowers with Fresh Eggs Daily (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013). Lisa Steele offers dozens of simple and intelligent tips for “going natural” that help you avoid common ailments that plague many backyard flocks. This excerpt from “In the Winter” features instructions for a DIY chicken scratch wreath, great as both a treat and a method for keeping chickens warm in winter.

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: Fresh Eggs Daily.

More Fresh Eggs Daily:

Properly Caring for Chickens in Winter
What to Feed Chickens in Winter      
Homemade Suet Block Recipe
Things to Know Before Building a Backyard Chicken Coop
Green Choices for Chicken Coop Bedding
Easy Green Tips for Refreshing and Cleaning a Chicken Coop

Feed and Chicken Scratch for Winter

Even if the chickens are taking a break from laying, they should still be fed their layer feed and also provided free-choice oyster or eggshell. Winter is also the time when scratch makes a great treat, especially just before bedtime. Chicken scratch is considered a “treat,” not a substitute for layer feed. It contains only about half the protein of feed, but the body heat generated digesting the corn and grains in the scratch helps keep chickens warm during cold nights. It also gives them something to do when there aren’t any bugs or grass in the run to keep them occupied.

As an alternative to commercial scratch, you can easily mix up your own using bulk grains purchased from your feed store or local grocery store. I use a blend of cracked corn, oats, barley, wheat, flax seed, sunflower seed and raisins. The girls love it.

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