What should I feed my chickens?

Chickens are popular farm animals that are easy to keep and provide a steady source of eggs and meat. However, providing them with the right diet is crucial to their health and productivity. In this article, we will discuss what you should feed your chickens to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients and stay healthy.

Basic Diet

Chickens need a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to maintain their health. A basic diet for chickens includes grains such as corn, wheat, and barley, and protein-rich ingredients like soybean meal, meat, and fish meal. Corn is a popular ingredient because it is a cheap source of energy, but it is low in protein, so it should be combined with protein-rich ingredients to provide a balanced diet.

Greens and Vegetables

Chickens love greens and vegetables, which provide them with important nutrients like vitamins and minerals. You can feed your chickens a variety of greens such as spinach, lettuce, and kale, and vegetables like carrots and tomatoes. Fresh vegetables can be given as a treat, but make sure to remove any leftovers to avoid attracting rodents or other pests.


Calcium is essential for strong eggshells, so you need to provide your chickens with a source of calcium. You can give them crushed oyster shells, which are readily available in most feed stores. Alternatively, you can offer them ground-up eggshells or feed them a special layer feed that contains added calcium.


Grit is small stones that chickens need to grind their food in their gizzards. You can give them commercial grit, or they can find their own in the form of small pebbles or rocks. Make sure to provide grit free-choice, so they can access it whenever they need it.


Chickens love treats, but it is essential to offer them in moderation. Too many treats can lead to obesity and health problems. Treats can include fruits, vegetables, mealworms, and even cooked rice or pasta. Always ensure that any treats are given in small quantities and do not replace their regular feed.

Feeding your chickens a balanced diet is crucial to their health and productivity. A basic diet of grains and protein-rich ingredients, combined with greens, vegetables, calcium, grit, and occasional treats, will keep your chickens happy and healthy. Always provide fresh water and clean feeders and waterers, and your chickens will thrive.


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