Chicken Feed

Chicken Feed

Healthy chickens will require a good diet packed with nutrition and to stay hydrated with fresh, clean water.

Fresh and clean water should in in constant supply for your hens and chickens. A galvanised or plastic water feeder can be placed in your chicken outdoor run to prevent damp and mould inside the coop. You can buy easy-to-clean water feeders and it is worth having more than one so that all chickens get the opportunity for a drink. They should also be at the correct height for accessibility. Take care in winter to ensure it does not become frozen. In extreme circumstances, move it into the coop but not at night. A water feeder may be an issue inside a small coop, alongside issues that can be caused by the wetness.

Hens and chickens also require daily feeding, with access to a feeder or feeders depending on how many poultry you have. It should be contained to prevent wild birds or vermin having access to it; usually placed outdoors, within their run along with water.

An adult hen will consume approximately 100-120g of feed daily. Therefore, you will require a feeder that holds enough to feed your flock sufficiently for a day to a few days. Alike, water, fresh food should be offered with a mixture of nutrients.

Mealworms are a hen's favourite, however, DEFRA banned feeding mealworms to chickens in 2014 due to the disease it potentially passes on within its imported ingredients that may have come in to contact with or contain animal protein.

You can buy readily available bags of corn and pellets to feed hens and chickens and they can also eat fresh produce - Handy for an allotment grower!

It is illegal to feed chickens kitchen (cooked) scraps due to the potential risk of contamination in the UK.

Select fruits, vegetables and grains will keep chickens happy and ensure they are receiving a nutritionally balanced diet. Good choices include leafy greens, cooked beans, corn, non-sugary cereals and grains, berries, apples and most other fruits and vegetables.


The better diet they have within your budget, the healthier your flock will be and the better eggs they will produce! Luckily allotment growers always have a surplus of crops they can offer.

Foods that can be toxic to chickens are breads, raw meat, raw eggs, avocado pits and skins, fruit pit and seeds, rhubarb and rhubarb leaf, garlic, onion, raw potato and potato peel, green potatoes, green tomatoes, raw beans, dried beans or undercooked beans, processed foods, greasy foods, salty foods, caffeine, chocolate and produce with mould.

Safe foods are cooked grains, wheat, corn and oats, watermelon, strawberries and blueberries. Fruits with pits and seeds removed - Apples, pears, cherries, apricots, plums, and peaches.

Most vegetables are safe; cucumber, lettuce, kale, broccoli, carrots and pumpkin are popular. Herbs like basil and oregano are great for their immune system. Cooked beans and grass cuttings - if no chemicals have been used to treat the lawn.

Egg shells crushed into small pieces are full of calcium. Chickens love eggs too!

Shelled, unsalted nuts and cooked meats cut into small pieces. 

They will also forage in their natural habitat for worms, slugs and snails which provide protein.

It is important that the chickens' diet is well balanced; not too many treats and are given all the essential nutrients to continue being a good layer of great quality eggs. Protein is especially important for egg-laying.

Grit is another important ingredient! Grit helps chickens digest their food; the grit helps to grind up food in their Gizzard. Egg shells or seafood shells crushed up are a great source of nutrients for chickens.

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