Chicken Feeding Guide

 AGE OF BIRD TYPE OF FEED FEEDING RATE FOR THAT AGE GROUP OTHER SUPPLEMENTS
Layer Chicks (hatch to 8 weeks of age) Chick Starter 2-5 lbs. per bird (over the 8 weeks)

Provide access to chick grit and fresh water at all times

Broiler Chicks (hatch to 4 weeks of age) Chick Starter 2-5 lbs. per bird Provide access to chick grit and fresh water at all times
Layer Growers (8-20 weeks of age) Grower or All Purpose Poultry  10-15 lbs. per bird (over the 12 weeks) Provide access to grower grit and fresh water at all times
Broiler Growers (4 weeks to harvest) Grower, Broiler, or All Purpose Poultry 10-15 lbs. per bird
Provide access to grower grit and fresh water at all times
Layer (21+ weeks of age/when egg production begins) Grower (with calcium supplementation) or Layer Roughly 1/4 lb. per bird each day (depends on breed and access to free range)

Provide access to hen grit, oyster shells, and fresh water at all times


Supplements

Treats should be withheld for the first few weeks and the chicks primary diet should be their starter feed. Check out our "Treat Guide" to see what is safe to feed your chicken.

Grit is needed for all ages of chickens to help them digest their food. If they are on soil they may not need grit on a regular basis.

Oyster shells are given to laying hens to add calcium to their diet and create strong egg shells.

NOTE: Chickens can regulate the amount of grit and oyster shells they need quite well. We typically recommend just having a separate small feeder for these ingredients. Usually you can repurpose your chick feeder into a grit or oyster shell feeder as the chickens grow larger.

Watering tips

Observe your birds drinking behavior. If they crowd the waterer and need refills several times a day, you may want to increase the size of your waterer. Keep water fresh, clean, and cool. It is best to keep the waterer out of direct sun on hot days to ensure the water is not too hot to drink. In the winter, you will need to check the waterer on days when temperatures drop below freezing to make sure the birds have access to drinkable water.

Feeding tips

Observe your birds eating behavior. If they crowd the feeder and need refills several times in the day, you may want to increase the size of your feeder. Start chicks on small trough feeders and graduate to larger self feeders as they get older. It is best practice to only give the chickens what they can eat during the day, and then removing the feed at night. This will help to reduce rodent activity in your coop. If you notice your chickens are suddenly eating a lot more food, then you may be feeding your local rat population!