Your Chicken Feeding Guide

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Ensure your flock is eating the right diet–their age or breed –with these guidelines out of

One of the most gratifying elements of chicken keeping is feeding your birds. It’s a blast to see that your chickens become excited if you deliver their chow. The kind and quantity of food that you need to give your chickens varies, depending on their age and goal. Young chicks have different nutritional requirements from older chickens, and levels must be fed a different diet than birds.

Feeding approaches vary among chicken keepers, however, it’s normal to provide quality meals according to a chicken’s era and purpose. Here’s a guide to get you started the best ways to feed your birds.

Baby Chicks

Newly hatched baby chicks can live for a few days away the yolk out of their eggs, but then, they have to have food which meets their specific requirements.

Mash or Crumble

Chicks possess a high protein requirement–considerably higher than pullets or mature chickens. Commercial chick starter feed, also referred to as mash or crumble, is designed to fulfill these protein requirements as well as provide a balanced diet. Starter feed is also finely ground, making it small enough for young chicks to pick up and consume.

You’ll find different kinds of chick feed the market. Most will have 18 percentage protein content, which is vital for young birds to rise. Some feeds will have prebiotics and probiotics to assist chicks remain healthier. Medicated chick feeds will also be available and are designed to ward off possible infections of coccidiosis, a potentially deadly parasite which may take hold in young chicks.

Chicks want free-choice feed until they’re about 16 weeks older. They are growing quickly during this time and also have a high caloric requirement to sustain that growth. It’s vital to maintain a source of beginner meals inside your brooder–or coop if your chicks are being raised by their mothers–in most times.


Grit is another important ingredient in chicks’ diet which helps them properly digest food. (Chickens do not have teethso they search out tiny stones which grind up food in their gizzards.) Free-ranging birds may find grit in their environment, but for brooder chicks, supplemental grit is required to help them digest their meals. Use finely ground chick grit, which is little enough for the tiny ones to consume.


Probiotics may also be a very helpful addition to the diet of young chicks. Added to new water daily the first two weeks after hatching, probiotics designed specifically for use in chickens will help promote healthy digestive and immune systems.


The water that you provide your chicks must be fresh and clean, and must remain available. In reality, water is likely the most crucial portion of a chick’s dietwithout it, a young chicken will not live long.


If you would like to give snacks for the chicks, attempt hard-boiled egg yolk, mealworms, chopped blueberries and yogurt.

When a chicken reaches 4 weeks old, it qualifies as a pullet. The manner you feed your pullet will determine whether it’s destined to become a coating or a meat bird.

Layer Pullets

If that your pullet will develop to provide you with eggs, it is possible to switch it out of chick newcomer to commercial laying pellets after at 4 weeks old. Laying pellets have the right proportions of protein, minerals and carbohydrates to promote cows to begin laying, as wellas lots of calcium to encourage egg production.

These commercial laying pellets come in a variety of types. Some include flaxseed to assist create eggs rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to be healthier for human consumption, while others contain grit and oyster shell and also are designed to be complete feeds, eliminating the must supplement with these components. They additionally include all the vitamins and minerals chickens will need to maintain a wholesome body.

Although that your pullets will not begin producing eggs until they are approximately 6 weeks old, it’s a fantastic idea to begin them on laying pellets as soon as they have outgrown chick newcomer, as the upgraded feed will prepare their bodies for the demanding task of laying eggs.

Broiler Pullets

With young broilers destined for the dining table, lots of chicken keepers begin feeding commercial broiler grower at 4 weeks old. When they achieve the age of 7 to 9 weeks, they are then switched to some broiler finisher diet. This food is high in energy and will promote rapid expansion for birds which will be slaughtered around 10 to 18 weeks old.

When switching your chicks from beginner food to laying pellets or broiler grower, you ought to do this slowly so you won’t upset their digestive processes. Start by making a quarter of the meal with the fresh food, and also do this for 2 days. Then, create the fresh food with half the meal. Maintain this for 2 more days until you feed them an entire meal the food that is fresh.

Both forms of pullets must be allowed free-choice access to feed. You may also provide them with snacks, like mealworms, and low-sugar fruits, like berries. Greens, including spinach and spinach, and boiled egg could make great snacks. Just be sure whatever treats you give are clean, and avoid feeding anything that is spoiled or moldy. Wash fruits and veggies prior to feeding. If possible, feed your birds organic produce to decrease the quantity of pesticides they ingest.

Adult Birds

Chickens are considered completely increased by 6 weeks, and cows will begin laying around this time. In order to get the nutrients they have to create eggs, they ought to be fed a portion of coating pellets daily.

Laying Pellets

Standard size buds ought to get 1⁄4 into 1⁄3 pound of laying pellets daily if this is their sole food. Free-ranging hens will supplement their diets with insects, greens and anything else they could find that is palatable, so they might not consume as much pelleted feed confined chickens. They must still be provided the same quantity of feed hens in coops to make certain they receive enough calories and nutrition to generate quality eggs.


Laying hens also needs to have access to free-choice grit. Hens that free-range or have dirt in their coops can find their own grit, but these stored on shavings or other bedding will require a grit nutritional supplement.

Oyster Shells

Oyster shells should always be available for a laying hens. Although a quality laying pellet should provide lots of calcium such as layers, free-choice oyster shells provide another source if the hens want it.


Adult chickens love snacks and will appreciate nearly anything you provide them. Giving treats is particularly important if your cows live in a coop and have limited access to food variety. The healthiest bites you can give include:

Low-sugar fruits, like berries and apples

Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale and arugula


hard-boiled eggs


Chickens go mad over mealworms, live or freeze-dried, although these ought to be fed in moderation due to their high protein content.

Chicken scrape –a mix of a variety of grains which could include barley, wheat, barley and corn–is another favorite cure with chickens but also needs to be consumed in moderation since it has limited nutritional value and is high in carbs.

Avoid This

One meals to avoid feeding to chickens is avocado. It could be toxic in large enough quantities and is best avoided altogether. Also, avoid giving table bits which are fatty and high in fat. This kind of meals does not make for a wholesome treat.


Although roosters do not lay eggs, they still require quality nutrition to remain healthy and active. Roosters housed with cows don’t have to eat a different diet than their female counterparts and will do well on laying pellets. In reality, you will have a difficult time finding a commercial chicken issuer which is not designed for laying hens. Roosters additionally like the same treats like hens and will be the first ones to sample and then urge fresh foods to the girls in the flock.

Proper Food Storage

To maintain your chickens’ meals clean and free of mold and insects, pick an region to store your feed that is cool and dry. A warm, moist environment will promote mould. You possess the option of keeping feed in the original luggage, but storing it in a metal bin with a secure cover is a far superior way to prevent rodents out of helping themselves into a chicken food.

Purchase just as much feed as your own chickens could consume in a few months. Storing it for more than this reduces the nutritional quality of the feed and increases the likelihood of mould and insects invading your supplies.

When adding fresh food into a feed bin, eliminate any leftover meals, as it can get rancid and moldy, which is not safe for the birds. Also, clean up any spills, as complimentary meals brings other insects, as well as predators.

How To Feed Chickens


The manner you feed your chickens are often as important to their own health as what you feed them, and this is especially true for chickens living in a coop environment.

In their normal condition, chickens roam spending the afternoon looking for things to eat. They dig in the soil for insects, poke about in the bud for greens as well as chase mice on occasion. But when stored in a coop environment, chickens have little opportunity to search for their food.

To aid provide your chickens with psychological and physical stimulation, consider feeding them in a means that will make them work to their meals. Instead of putting their pellets in a bowl, then throw them into the coop in order that they must look for them the floor. Provide them snacks in a means that will prompt them to make use of their meals. Hang a package of greens in their own hometown where they can pull them, and set a little, hollowed-out round skillet on the floor and let them peck at it.

Adult chickens should have to work a little for their meals, but if you’ve got small chicks, you will have to keep their finely floor mash in a container feeder so that it does not scatter around, causing waste. Chick feeders are available in farm-supply shops and provide a shallow dish in which feed hastens and can be attained by the chicks.

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