Top 5 Best Chicken Scratch (2021 Buyer’s Guide)

If you want to give your chickens a healthy treat that they will love, think about chicken scratch.

Our Top 3 Picks for Chicken Scratch in 2020

With its variety of scrumptious grain and seed, it is sure to do the trick!

When I first introduced daily treats, it went from fresh vegetables to kitchen scraps. Needless to say, I ended up treating three bouts of the sour crop.

It was not a pleasant experience for the hens nor myself! 

In the following guide, we explore the top chicken scratch products of 2021 that you need to know!

Best Organic Chicken Scratch

Scratch and Peck Cluckin’ Good Organic 3-Grain Scratch

Incorporated with essential grains to increase health benefits. It is also free from medicated grain or processed ingredients, it makes for a well-balanced addition to feed.

Scratch and Peck Cluckin’ Good Organic 3-Grain Scratch

Scratch and Peck Organic 3 Grain Scratch will give the backyard flock a hearty range of raw grain and tasty seed varieties for any meal time.

While the product only provides 3 grain types, each has been carefully selected to meet chickens’ nutritional needs.

I like that I can use this chicken scratch product with layer food. It is one of the top treats you can give to poultry.

Best Hen Scratch

Manna Pro 7-Grain Ultimate Chicken Scratch

A diverse feeding scratch free of synthetic colors and flavors that can complement regular feed to help provide a well-balanced diet.

Manna Pro 7-Grain Ultimate Chicken Scratch

Manna Pro Chicken Scratch has developed a scratch specifically for a hen’s diet.

The treat is free from trans fats and MSG, which means nutritiously rich eggs!

Ingredients

This diverse grain blend can act as a supplement, and chicks will love it.

The scratch grain improves energy throughout the day, and it supports robust growth owing to its quality source of calories.

Hens can also benefit from its high fiber content to optimize digestion.

Best Budget Chicken Scratch

Kaytee Scratch Plus 3Ibs

An affordable chicken scratch that offers birds a nutritious variety of grain.

Kaytee Scratch Plus 3Ibs

The best affordable chicken scratch that offers a nutritious variety of grain, Kaytee Chicken Supplements is a budget-friendly option.

This chicken scratch is fortified with vitamins A, B12, and K.

This feed supports the development of chicks older than ten weeks.

Soybean

It provides a soybean meal that they eat and digest much more easily. Soybean meal is a fair source of amino acids for strong immune systems and feather formation.

Chicken Scratch Reviews

Small Pet Select Sustainable Chicken Scratch

A chicken scratch with great variety that helps maximize the health benefits for your flock.

Small Pet Select Sustainable Chicken Scratch

Small Pet Select Sustainable Chicken Scratch

The Small Pet Select Sustainable Chicken Scratch consists of fresh oats, barley, flaxseed, and pumpkin seed.

Ingredients

The ingredients are seasonally sourced, which maximizes its health benefits for your chooks. It is also packed with flavor encouraging your birds to scratch and pick out the seed kernels they like.

What is great about this scratch feed is its variety. Chooks need high-quality grain, whether distributed outdoors, in the coop, or the feeder.

Soy Free

Small Pet Select Chicken Scratch is corn-free and is soy-free.

Both grain types are considered wasteful ingredients because of their low nutritional value. Soy is an ingredient that cannot be digested by poultry and should be avoided.

Non-GMO

Small Pet Select Chicken Scratch is a non-genetically modified (GMO) product along with its unique grain selection. GMOs in chicken feed can increase bacterial resistance and trigger allergic reactions. It should be reduced in every day feeding. 

The grain is also small enough for bantam chickens to eat so that you can get scratch as a treat for all.

Specs

  • Organic: No
  • Grain Type: Seed and grain
  • Nutrition: 12% crude proteins.

Pros

  • A variety of seasonally sourced seeds and grain
  • No filler ingredients
  • Soy-free to prevent digestive issues

Cons

  • It is not organic
  • Only available in small bags making it less cost-effective

Best Organic Chicken Scratch

Scratch and Peck Feeds Cluckin’ Good Organic 3-Grain Scratch

Incorporated with essential grains to increase health benefits. It is also free from medicated grain or processed ingredients, it makes for a well-balanced addition to feed.

Scratch and Peck Feeds Cluckin’ Good Organic 3-Grain Scratch

This is the best organic chicken scratch from the lineup.

Scratch and Peck Feeds introduces its Cluckin’ Good Organic and 3 Grain variety with much value.

Organic

This treat is verified as organic and non-GMO. As it is free from medicated grain or processed ingredients, it makes for a well balanced addition to feed.

Use the product in moderation and keep poultry in excellent health.

Soy Free

When you choose Scratch and Peck Cluckin’ Good range you get a soy free consistency.

You need to know that soy is an inexpensive filler ingredient. It is not helpful for a chicken’s nutritional needs. Such filler ingredients should only be fed in little amounts at a time.

By choosing an organic chicken scratch, you can prevent giving your birds allergy-triggering and wasteful ingredients!

Ingredients

Organic ingredients are unprocessed and raw. The raw grain maximizes nutrient absorption, and every chicken will love it.

The 3-grain types incorporated in the product consist of organic whole oats, wheat, and barley. Oats improve poultry immune health, wheat is a good fiber source, and barley often provides energy for growth and vitality. It can be fed every day and is suitable for layers.

Specs

  • Organic: Yes
  • Grain Type: Unpelleted and raw
  • Nutrition: High fiber, 9% crude proteins, flaxseed oil for omega 3 fatty acids.

Pros

  • It is raw and organic
  • It is non-GMO and free of soy
  • It includes essential grain mixes

Cons

  • It lacks grain and seed variety

Manna Pro 7-Grain Ultimate Chicken Scratch

A diverse feeding scratch free of synthetic colors and flavors that can complement regular feed to help provide a well-balanced diet.

Manna Pro 7-Grain Ultimate Chicken Scratch

If you are looking for a scratch-free of synthetic colors and flavors, then Manna Pro 7 Grain Ultimate Chicken Scratch delivers a natural treat they will love.

Ingredients

Manna Pro is the most diverse scratch around and can be used to complement regular feed.

You can use scratch for coop bound poultry.

It offers a mix of corn barley, oats, and millet sure to keep backyard fowls stimulated. 

Manna Pro has introduced an innovative way of encouraging foraging.

This includes the addition of purple corns that instantly attracts chicks to its vibrant color.

Non-GMO

It is non-GMO and locally sourced.

Substantial quantities of such ingredients are wasteful fillers in chicken feed and supplements.

The seeds, grain, and husks are quite large and should not be offered to chicks younger than eight weeks of age.

This can prevent digestive difficulties and problems of the crop, such as impaction.

Nutrition

Give your feathered companions an interesting variety of grain with a well-balanced diet.

It is most suited to day time food in the coop or outdoors in the garden.

Poultry can pick and sort through their preferred seeds when feeding chicken scratch.

Specs

  • Organic: No
  • Grain Type: Grain and seed mix
  • Nutrition: 9% crude proteins

Pros

  • Non-GMO corn
  • Diverse grain blend

Cons

  • Added filler ingredient
  • Not organic
  • Does not state soy-free

Best Budget Chicken Scratch

Best Budget Chicken Scratch

An affordable chicken scratch that offers birds a nutritious variety of grain.

Best Budget Chicken Scratch

Kaytee Chicken Supplements is considered a basic scratch for chooks.

It is suitable for roosters and contains omega 3 fats for hens in lay.

The product consists of a fair amount of corn, which birds like, but moderation is vital because of its potential to cause crop and digestive issues.

Probiotics

What distinguishes Kaytee Chicken Supplements from other products is the addition of probiotics.

A supplement containing probiotics introduces good bacteria into the chicken diet. This facilitates digestive health and helps chooks absorb the available nutrients.

When choosing a feed supplement, you need to know that chickens older than ten weeks will enjoy the added mealworms.

Mealworms

Poultry love mealworms! It is an excellent source of protein and encourages beautiful feathers.

Kaytee Chicken Supplements is not a natural formulation.

It contains preservatives and is not certified organic or non-GMO. The chicken scratch contains vitamin A and B12. Your birds will need amino acids and energy which they can get from Kaytee Chicken Supplements.

Specs

  • Organic: No
  • Grain Type: Pelleted, ground and whole grain
  • Nutrition: 12% crude proteins, omega 3 fatty acids

Pros

  • Added vitamins and proteins

Cons

  • Not natural
  • Contains pellets

The Best Hen Scratch

Manna Pro Ultimate Scratch Grains for Chickens

Suited to all types of poultry; this non-GMO range is packed with diverse grain for fiber and energy.

Manna Pro Ultimate Scratch Grains for Chickens

Manna Pro Ultimate scratch delivers a quality scratch feed for backyard poultry.

Ingredients

I like that it is suited to all types of poultry; this non-GMO range is packed with diverse grain for fiber and energy.

Manna Pro introduces a proprietary scratch chicken range free of trans fats, MSG, and cholesterol.

Treat

It can be presented in small amounts to prevent excessive weight gain.

Mature hens can benefit from the different seeds included in the chicken scratch.

You need to know that chicken scratch cannot be given to chicks younger than ten weeks old.

Manna Pro does not reveal which grain types are incorporated in the product. It also does not state whether the scratch is soy and corn free.

No Preservatives

The shelf life of the chicken scratch feed is six months.

As it does not contain preservatives and is not medicated, it provides chickens with a safe diet. For egg-laying hen that needs extra calories and energy, the Manna Pro grains are a suitable supplement for layer feed.

Specs

  • Organic: No
  • Grain Type: Variety of grain
  • Nutrition: 8% crude proteins

Pros

  • Wholesome grain
  • Preservative-free
  • Packed with energy

Cons

  • Not organic
  • Lacks variety

Choosing a quality grain mix for your beloved chickens can be tricky, but knowing what to look for in each blend can make all the difference.

Let’s take a closer look at what scratch is and how to choose the most valuable range…

What is Chicken Scratch?

Feeding chicken scratch with a mixture of seeds and grains will keep them in beautiful condition.

It is specifically formulated for scratching through the variety of ingredients (hence the name) and encourages natural foraging.

Backyard chickens eat corn barley, wheat, millet, mustard, and even pumpkin seed in the mix. You can find scratch your birds will love that is packed with nutrition.

TIP

Use a good balance of grain, including omega 3 fatty acids, and high fiber content in your next bag of chicken scratch.

The Different Types of Chicken Scratch

Poultry Feed
Poultry Feed

Scratch chicken products range from pellets and cracked corn to a mix of oats and wheat.

When I let my hens out of their coop and spread their favorite seed on the ground, their reaction is priceless!

They love to pick up the tasty morsels while clucking and chirping away.

I like to give them soy-free ingredients because it prevents them from consuming too much grain with little to no nutritional value.

Reasons to Feed Your Chickens Scratch

We’re all guilty of feeding our chickens the occasional kitchen scrap, and their greedy reactions are part of the problem!

Scratch is the better alternative because it can be introduced a little bit at a time and without much fat.

Types

Many types of scratch treats consist of hearty grain that chickens eat.

Sunflower seeds are great for shiny feathers, while pumpkin seeds are considered a natural dewormer.

Poultry need flaxseed as a source of omega fatty acids for feather and skin health. Chooks can get oats as an excellent source of proteins.

Healthy Treat

With a good choice of scratch, you can give your pets a wholesome treat without the guilt!

A scratch can also provide a means for mental and physical stimulation.

Chickens are naturally foraging animals.

Tossing seed on the ground encourages this behavior and alleviates boredom. Yes, your chooks get bored too!

The Difference Between Chicken Feed and Scratch

Flock Eating Feeds
Eating Feeds

A balanced chicken feed consists of 16% protein and trace elements to improve growth and egg production.

Whether a starter/grower meal for chicks or a complete layer feed, you need to know that a wholesome diet must contain vitamins for strong immune systems and minerals for development.

The seed and grain blend is not a complete or standalone diet that chicks need.

It cannot be provided as a daily chicken feed.

NOTE

You need to know healthy treat alternatives, which means choosing the finest grain. When providing scratch chicken varieties should always be accompanied by freshwater and grit for crop health.

Grit vs. Scratch

Scratch is a good grain mix that is provided to chickens as a treat. When we compare it to grit, the latter consists of small stones and oyster shells, which them grind and process their food.

Give them grit as they need it for digestion. They can also get small stones from foraging outside of their coop and in the garden.

How Much Scratch Should You Feed Your Chickens? 

Think of scratch as the fast-food of the poultry world…

Don’t use too much grain and seed, as too much can cause digestive and nutritional issues. It should be a good mix that adds diversity to a complete daily meal.

Get a scratch chicken range that offers the nutrients they need.

Be sure to moderate their treats.

Amount

I give my fowls a few handfuls of mixed grain, including sunflower seeds they need, only 3 to 4 times a week. I simply toss it on the ground and allow them to forage.

If your backyard chickens are kept in the coop, be sure to add the grit they need too.

Along with grit, if you notice your hen isn’t producing eggs with strong shells, you can get vitamin enriched seed and grain to add to their daily meals.

Chickens will love to eat the seeded mix packed with amino acids, minerals, and essential elements.

What is Hen Scratch?

Hen with Chicks
Hen with Chicks

Hen scratch offers protein and omega 3 fatty acids to add to a complete daily diet for females in lay.

Use as healthy treats in moderation compared to kitchen scraps.

A good hen scratch includes much needed vitamins and minerals for layers.

Only give as a supplement to chicken feed and remove the grain your birds do not eat.

It avoids rodents and pests moving into the coop. 

Examples of a well balanced chicken scratch include Kaytee Chicken Supplements and Manna Pro Ultimate Grains for Chickens.

TIP

You can use these treats to facilitate healthy growth. It offers vitamins and minerals to make every egg much more nutritious.

The Benefits of Hen Scratch 

A nutritious scratch supports egg laying and good physical condition. It is also a much more simple way to keep your hen stimulated, especially when they’re confined to their coop during the cold winter months.

A hen scratch is beneficial when regular feed lacks the appropriate proteins, calcium, and fiber for growth.

However, small amounts are recommended especially when they contain a fair amount of fillers.

NOTE

Many people get a well-balanced feed for a hen with a good grain blend in the day time. Birds should get their primary food first thing in the morning. 

Can Chicken Scratch Be Fed Exclusively to Laying Hens?

Chicken scratch is only a treat of mixed grain and seed. A higher-quality scratch fortified with much needed vitamins is a much needed supplement for backyard fowls.

But, on its own, it cannot be used as a balanced diet for a laying bird.

Here is a brief but informational video about scratch feeding.

Feeding Scratch To Chickens

Nutritional Requirements

It merely lacks the minimum proteins, calcium, and mineral requirements that they need.

Some products provide a means to keep an egg laying female in good condition.

These include a hen scratch for layers with omega 3 fats, fiber, and minerals. Chooks can eat different seeds in the coop or outdoors.

NOTE

A grain mix is an interesting way to capture your chooks’ attention and add variety to their diet.

Chickens naturally eat grain, so adding scratch around the regular feeding time will undoubtedly contribute to healthier poultry.

Why Use Chicken Scratch?

While it should not be given too often, this scratch is sure to diversify all types of poultry diets.

Adding variety with nutritional value is beneficial as part of a well-balanced diet that will keep chicks in peak physical condition.

You can use scratch chicken varieties as a training tool too! Chicks will come running every time they hear you shake the bag. I started by using a mixed seed to get my hens into the coop in the evening.

Now all I have to do is call, and they walk into their roost without chasing after them!

Conclusion

With our top picks, you can get an affordable grain with Kaytee Chicken Supplements or an organic supplement with Scratch and Peck Feeds Cluckin Good range.

Get a mixed seed product for hens with Manna Pro Ultimate Scratch Grain. They will love the extra treat!

Take some time to find a product you can trust and afford. Feeding scratch infrequently will prevent crop and digestive complications.

Add quality seed and grain and your chooks will cluck and chirp their way to ultimate bliss!

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Jess Woods
Jess Woods
Founder of Chickens & You. I love raising chickens and creating a self sustainable homestead for my family. I like to spend my time writing and teaching skills for homesteading and self sufficient living. 🐓 👩‍🌾