What to Feed Chickens

Having chickens is very rewarding, but it can be frustrating when the chickens aren't eating well or laying eggs like you had hoped.  The best way to ensure a good egg layer, is to make sure they are feed adequately.  

A happy chicken is a well feed chicken. However, that doesn't mean you have to spend tons of money or buy super special food. It does, however, mean you have to be consistent.

Learn the basics of what to feed chickens and how to feed chickens.
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    What Chickens Like to Eat

    Chickens are omnivores, which means that they will pretty much eat anything you put in front of them. However, there are some things that chickens like to eat more than others. 

    One of their favorites is chicken scratch, which is a mix of either cracked corn, barley, wheat, sunflower seeds and oats. We feed our chickens a nice layer mix with cracked corn from a farm locally.  We also grow our own sunflower seeds to add to their mix in the fall.

    What to Feed Chickens

    Chickens also love to eat bugs, and they will often scratch around in the dirt to find them. If you have space to allow your chickens to free range, they will keep your lawn and yard free from bugs and creepy crawlers.

    In addition, chickens really love greens such as lettuce and kale. We keep what we call the "chicken bucket" in our kitchen to add vegetable and fruit scraps from our meals.  It is always a nice treat for the chickens.

    Learn the basics of what to feed chickens and how to feed chickens.

     What Not to Feed Chickens

    Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of raising chickens knows that they are not particularly picky eaters. In fact, it seems like they will eat just about anything. 

    However, there are a few things that you should avoid feeding your feathered friends. For example, raw beans and uncooked rice can expand in their stomachs, causing fatal blockages. Avocados contain a toxin that can kill chickens, so it's best to steer clear of those as well. 

    And while some people swear by the benefits of garlic, it can actually cause anemia in chickens. Other no-no's include chocolate, caffeine, raw beans, potatoes and citrus fruit.

    So, when it comes to feeding your chickens, it's best to err on the side of caution and stick to a healthy diet of grains, vegetables, and fruit.

    What to Feed Chickens

    VIDEO  - What to Feed Chickens and Poultry

    How Much to Feed Chickens

    When thinking of getting chickens, one of the first questions you might have is 'how much should I feed them?' It's a valid question - after all, you don't want your feathered friends to go hungry. But it's not always as simple as just dumping a bunch of food in their bowl. In fact, there are a few things you need to consider when it comes to chicken feed.

    The amount to feed a chicken will vary depending on the age and size of your chickens, as well as how active they are. A good rule of thumb is to give them about 1/4 cup of food per day for each chicken. If you have particularly large birds or very active chickens, you might need just a bit more.

    One way to make their food last longer is to give them table scraps or kitchen scraps, as long as they're safe for chickens to eat. Just stay away from anything that's spicy or salty, as it can make them sick.

    how to feed chickens

    When and How to Feed Chickens

    Chickens are not the most demanding of creatures, but they do need a little care and attention if you want them to lay healthy eggs. Chickens typically eat a variety of foods, including insects, greens, and grains. You can either let them free range in your yard, or you can provide them with a chicken feeder filled with chicken feed. 

    Chicken feed is available at most pet stores and farm stores, and it is important to make sure that the feed you select is suitable for chickens. Chickens also need access to clean water at all times. A water dispenser or waterer is an essential piece of equipment for any chicken coop. 

    Be sure to clean and refill the dispenser or waterer regularly to prevent bacteria from buildup. 

    how to feed chickens

    Chickens should also have access to grit, which helps them digest their food properly. We like to use oyster shells for this.

    Learning what to feed chickens really isn't as difficult as it seems.  Just provide them with a healthy diet of grains, feed them appropriate table scraps and free range them for a bug free yard.

    Learn the basics of what to feed chickens and how to feed chickens.

    Free Chicken Breed Guide


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