Is there a traditional or established word or phrase for the way one scatters food when feeding chickens or other animals that like to scratch, scrape, and search for food? I’m translating a story and need a word/phrase to fill the following the gap:

She fed the little hens, ___ing the corn.


Your original suggestion "scattering" sounds like the perfect fit to me.

Although it was much more common in the 19th century, it's still commonly used. Ngram

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  • Thanks, didn't think to do an ngram check. "scattering" it is, then. – Daniel Harbour Mar 28 '14 at 15:14

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