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What to feed Chickens for Backyard or Farm

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What to feed Chickens 1

A lots of new Chicken Owners ask, what to feed chickens is something we are going to answer in this article.

So, What do you feed your chickens?

If you ask this question in a forum with lots of followers you will get lots of different answers. What I hope to do is shed some light on some of the most accepted and common foods! Many new chicken owners do not know what is good for or what is bad for their chickens! Nothing against new owners, we all have to learn the ins and outs somehow an sometime for whatever new endeavor we try.

So you have Googled, What to feed Chickens?

This search has landed you here and we hope to be a benefit to you. We work hard to provide up front and honest answers to all of our readers. If we post a food or product we will let you know if we have used it or know about it or what the rating for it is from other customers. We try to stay in the know on these things. 🙂

What to feed Chickens

When we think about feeding chickens many of us who are older remember mostly chicken scraps and ground corn. Things have a changed a lot since I was a child. Our chickens lived on the bugs and critters they found, table scraps, and field corn ground from the garden. Purchased food was a rare thing for our chickens and laying pellets? We didn’t know what a laying pellet was! Lots of good stuff to choose from now! Times have advanced and chickens have become pets and many are raised for eggs only.

Many people still raise chickens for meat as well as eggs. There are several Homesteaders out there and we applaud them. Living off the grid or land as we call it is a means of self sufficiency that makes for the best food anywhere. When you raise your own chickens and feed them yourself, whether for meat or eggs only, you know what they have been fed and how they have been doctored when sick.

So, What to feed Chickens?

There are tons of Chicken feed out there and for starters, we will mention some Starter Feed for chicks since many folks buy baby chickens to raise.

Manna Pro Chick Starter Feed,

This feed has a 4 Star rating from people who have used it. The feed is for all classes of poultry, helps develop an active immunity to coccidiosis.  For chickens from 0 – 8 weeks old.

This is one of many reviews. I am showing this to allow you to see it is good for more than just chickens.

“I used this as starter feed for guinea keets and they seemed to enjoy it, they are all healthy and happy. I believe this plus Bovidr Laboratories 4 OZ Poultry Nutri-Drench are to thank for not losing a single guinea keet this year! Awesome products for poultry of any type”!

Organic, Naturally Free Starter Chicken Feed by Scratch and Peck.

This feed has a 5 Star rating and is 100% organic. Verified Non-GMO, Soy and Corn free, Chemical and Pesticide free.

This is a review on this feed.

This customer wanted feed for their baby chicks and liked the fact that it NON-GMO. It looked very natural to her. She wanted to know what her hens were eating and felt she could trust this feed. Her hens grew very fast when she switched to this feed. She felt the delivery was efficient and she will reorder this feed again.

Manna Pro Chick Starter Non Medicated

This has a 4 Star Review. Folks use this for many reasons and one of them is in the review below.

“Delivery is always on time and is sometimes early. Our male mallard duck loves this food and it contains no medications which can be harmful for our rescue duck. Reasonably priced, on time and a quality product. We have been ordering it for almost a year.”

What to feed Chickens over 8 weeks old?

Many people keep feeding their chickens on the started feed until 15 weeks or so. Many claim this helps the growth and development of their flock. Others claim this is not necessary and they change over to grower feed for older chickens. As with most things much of this is trial and error. I assure you either way you chose is not going to hurt your chickens.

Organic, Naturally Free Grower Chicken Feed by Scratch and Peck.

This food has a 4 1/2 Star Rating from customers who use it. This feed is also 100% organic just like the starter. It is Non-GMO, Soy and Corn free and made with organic Whole Grains! This is a very good food for your flock.

This is a review from this feed.

“My husband said the chickens like this feed so much that they won’t eat the other (back-up) feed that’s there. The chickens are nice and fat and laying big, large eggs.”…


Remember, the size and egg production many times depend on the breed of the chicken and not the amount of feed you give them. These feeds do not make a super layer out of a breed of hens who typically lay only a couple of eggs a week. They will help your hens to lay more steadily and be more productive that otherwise. They will also help them stay much healthier than not feeding them these types of feeds.

Natures Best Organic Pullet Developer Feed

This feed has a 5 Star Rating from customers who have used it. It is recommended for chickens from 3 to 18 weeks of age. 100% organic, enhanced with vitamins to promote a strong system to help ward off disease. Recommended to feed until the chickens begin laying.

Customer Review from this feed.

“This feed is well liked by her chickens. She was looking for crumbles but this is pellets. Still this is what she needed. The price and delivery was in line also. Looking for an organic chicken food and this was a good one.

What to feed Chickens that are laying?

Organic, Naturally Free Layer Chicken Feed by Scratch and Peck.

This feed has a 4 1/2 Star rating. As with all the Scratch and Peck Organic feed, this is 100% Organic, Non-Gmo, Non Soy and Non Corn.

Actual customer review.

“If we are what we eat, then this customer is feeding her chickens this feed! You can see the grain in the food. This is a very good real food for our flock. This is not a snack, but a food for them to grow on.”

F.M. Brown’s Encore Natural Egg Layer Booster.

This has a 4 Star Rating. This feed is 16% protein and for hens 18 weeks or older. All natural plant proteins and free from any animal fats. Fortified with vitamins for eggs production.

Actual Customer Review.

“The price is good. The delivery price is reasonable. I pay less than $20 for food and shipping. My chickens like the food and they lay more eggs. My easter egger used to lay every other day. Now she lays almost every day. I’m happy about it.”

Organic Layer Pellets

This feed has a 4 Star Rating. This is promoted as very good food for your older chickens to help keep them laying as they age.

Actual customer review.

“After using approx half the bag the customers chickens are loving this feed. She was previously using crumble feed, Now, these pellets are being devoured by her hens. Not near as much mess. Chickens have now begun to lay eggs!!!”

Why do I need to feed my Chickens Oyster Shells?

Once your hens begin to lay I recommend you feed them Oyster Shell! Y ou can get this in ground or crushed form. Chickens use a lot of potassium when producing eggs and if they free range or if you feed them a lot of table scraps they may not get enough of it. Just put your Oyster shell in a feeder by itself and allow your birds to eat it as needed. They know when they have had enough. Your birds need this to keep their egg shell hard and thick.

Organic Hen Supplement Kit(Diatomaceous Earth + Oyster Shell + Grit) by Scratch and Peck Feeds.

This feed kit contains, Diatomaceous Earth which helps the flock with pest control both inside and outside. This is a wonderful item for so many things. Oyster Shell provides calcium for your laying hens. Grit helps your birds digest their food well.

Customer review,

“A great starter kit for those with just a few hens. Hens need calcium and the oyster shell has long been the preferred form of supplement, as one has to sterilize the shells to feed them back. They also require grit to digest their feed, and the DE is wonderful for preventing parasites.”

Manna Pro Crushed Oyster Shell.

This has a 4 Star review. Again, this provides calcium and helps your chickens lay tougher and stronger eggs. Good shells come from a good calcium intake. Oyster Shells provide this.

Customer review,

“Our eggs started falling apart from weak shells and then I realized our hens must be missing calcium – this stuff fixed the problem right away and now I always have eggshells in their coop for them.”

There are so many brands and types out there that it is impossible to list them all. I have just listed a few and just a few brands I have access to. I am not saying these are the best, but they are good feeds and have testimonies to prove it.

Please before you buy any feed online or elsewhere, always read reviews and ask questions if buying local. None of these products are listed as being a miracle or magic treatment for your chickens. They are normal products that everyday people just like you, use to keep their chickens happy and healthy!

Below are some books that might come in handy in your journey of raising chickens. We all need some guidance sometimes and I find it handy to have some good reference books lying around for my use when no one is around to ask!

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens: Care / Feeding / Facilities The Chicken Health Handbook A Guide to Raising Chickens

Now you know some of the answers as to What to feed Chickens. We have several articles on our blog dealing with this also and lots of information there.

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