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Learn What To Feed Your Chickens

baby chicks in a wooden box - Star Milling Co.

Feeding homemade mixes or kitchen scraps to your birds can cause major nutritional deficiencies. The best way to ensure your chickens get the nutrition they need is to feed a complete diet that is formulated for their age and nutrient requirements. The list below explains the types of feeds that are suited for the chickens’ various life stages.

Crumbles or Mash? What to Feed Your Chickens

Feeding your chickens a crumble form or mash form is really just a matter of personal preference. Chick Starter Mash and Grow Mash provide tailored nutrition specic to the different phases of growth. Starter/Grow Crumbles don’t get kicked around as much as mash and your chicks can eat the same feed from day one through 18 weeks. Whichever you choose, it’s best to stick with the same texture through adulthood.

The Importance of Water

Chickens must have water with their feed to be able to digest properly. A chicken is more than 20% water and a large chicken will drink 1 to 2 cups a day, depending on the weather. Chickens drink water in small increments, so they must drink frequently throught the day. Eggs are 65% water, and if a hen is unable to get enough water she will not lay properly. If she is deprived of water, even for only a short time, her laying ability may be seriously impaired.


Ages 0 – 8 Weeks

Egg Layers

Ages 0 – 8 Weeks

Ages 8 – 18 Weeks

  • Feed Ace Hi Grow Mash or Kelley’s Grow Mash. This feed is slightly lower in protein due to the slowing growth rate of chickens at this age. It is a little more coarsely ground and is a good transition from chick starter to their adult food.


Ages 0 – 18 Weeks

Ages 18+ Weeks

  • Feed a Lay Feed like Ace Hi Big Feeder or Kelley’s All Purpose. Both brands are available as mash, crumble, and pellet, and have the protein, vitamins, and minerals that adult birds need. Lay feeds also have the calcium that hens need to produce strong egg shells.

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