Chickens love to scratch about for insects and worms and also enjoy a good selection of greens but they will need a properly formulated chicken feed that is the correct type for their age, for growth, sustenance and to produce eggs if they are hens of egg laying age. We have a useful guide to help you choose the best food to keep your chicken happy and healthy.
There are basically 3 different types of chicken feed that you can give to your chickens that are specially designed for their different stages in life.
- Chicks (0 – 8 weeks) – chick crumbs (or mash). These are small enough for your little chicks to eat and contain all the nutrients they need. Chick crumbs typically contain fine kibbles of wheat, barley, peas, alfalfa pellets, soya and linseed as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Growers (8 – 18 weeks) – growers pellets. These are made to help your chicks grow strong and healthy. Growers pellets can also be fed to chickens that you want to fatten for the table.
- Layers (18 weeks onwards) – layers pellets. These are manufactured to help your chickens produce eggs and contain calcium and phosphorous to promote good shell strength. Some layers pellets also contain natural pigments from marigold, maize and citrus fruits for a deep yolk colour.
- Visit our chicken Products section for our wide range of chick crumbs, growers pellets and layers pellets
Mixed corn is usually fed as a treat. Mixed corn contains wheat, maize and soya oil.
The maize (yellow in colour) is very fattening but can be useful during very cold weather to help your hens keep warm.
Chickens don’t have teeth so they use grit in their gizzards to grind up food. There are two types of grit which you can give your chickens: hard grit and oyster shell (this helps produce strong egg shells for laying birds).
Always prove fresh clean drinking water for your chickens. Chickens can not sweat so they cool down by drinking lots of water and passing more fluids out in their droppings to get rid of heat.
- Add a little apple cider vinegar to your chicken's water as this will help to keep your hens free from worms, disease and is a natural organic, anti-bacterial, anti-coccidial tonic.
Chickens love greens, fruit and vegetables and they are a good supplement to their diet. You can feed cabbage, spinach, broccoli, grass cuttings, weeds and offcuts from cabbages, cauliflowers, brussels sprouts, kale, carrots, peas, apples (remove pip), bananas, peaches (remove stone), pears (remove pip) and cherries (remove stone), dandelions, chickweed and grass.
- Lettuce should be fed in moderation because it has very little nutritional value and can cause diarrhea.
- Raw potato
- Dry rice
- Call Vet Clinic at Petstop