What do chickens eat? It’s a simple question, with a simple answer, but so many keepers get it wrong. (Especially first-timers.) So, in this article, we will look at the different types of feed and how to find the right one for your chickens.
What do Chickens Eat? Finding the Right Feed
A chicken’s nutritional needs will differ according to their age, and there are feeds for chickens at every stage of development. So, the type of chicken feed you need will depend on how old your chickens are.
Chicks (up to six weeks old) will eat a Chick Crumb. Growers (between six and sixteen weeks old) will eat Grower Pellets. Point of Lay Hens (sixteen weeks and older) will eat Layers Pellets or Layers Mash. (I much prefer Layers Pellets to Mash because there’s less mess and waste!)
Layers Pellets (or Mash) will provide your laying hens with almost everything they need to be healthy and to lay eggs. (They also need Mixed Grit!) There’s simply no substitute for Layers feed, and this must be the first thing that your chickens eat in the morning. (Remember, Bantams are smaller and they’ll need smaller pellets!)
How Much do Chickens Eat?
In my experience, a standard laying POL hen will eat about 150g of chicken feed a day, but this will vary from flock to flock. It won’t take you long to work out how much feed your chickens need, but they must not run out of feed at any time. (It is always better to have some leftover feed than to have hungry hens!)