Chickens, like many animals, can look for their own food. By habit, they scratch on soils to look for worms and insects to fill their daily diet. However, if you are raising your chickens to provide you some breakfast eggs, their primitive food hunting style isn’t enough. Of course, you would want your eggs to be nutritious, so you should provide your chickens proper nutrition. To do this, the way to go is to invest only in the best chicken feeds available at the store.
Chicken feeds are in two categories, one is best for baby chicks and the other for adult chickens.
For the baby chicks, the best chicks starters include:
- Coyote Creek Certified Organic Chick Starter Feed
- Manna Pro Medicated Starter Crumble Feed.
Both of these chick starters are conveniently economical for their nutrient density.
Moreover, there are quite a bigger number of feeds for egg layers or fully grown chickens. The best ones include:
- Prairie’s Choice Non-GMO Backyard Chicken Grower
- Small Pet Select Layer
- Naturally Free Organic Feeds.
- Kaytee Scratch Plus Poultry Supplement
- Brown’s Layer Booster Poultry Feed
- Manna Pro Oyster Shell
- Kalmbach All-Natural Layer Crumbles
- Nutrena Naturewise Layer Feed.
Actually, no matter how much you believe in brands, the best way to get the best feed is to research. Not to research for the cheapest and most nutrition-packed ones, but ultimately which nutrients to look out for. Beyond that, it is as important to know what specific nutrients do specific-age chickens require. Therefore, this article is here to help look out not only for brands but their specific nutrient contents as well.
Best Chicken Feeds for Egg Layers or Fully Grown Chickens
Prairie’s Choice Non-GMO Backyard Chicken Grower Feed
As its name suggests, Prairie’s Choice is a non-GMO, which means that it is a safe and organic feed option. It has the reputation as probably the best chicken feed among all that there is in the market. No wonder, as it has been tailored to sustain chickens with a nutritious diet for a happy and healthy life.
Prairie’s Choice grower feed is made out of soybeans that had not been chemically processed. It comes in the form of crumble for the chickens’ easy eating and digestion. As it is a non-GMO that this feed is considerably denser and easier to digestion.
Deliberately, Prairie’s Choice grower feed contains a significant amount of nutrients that are essential for egg layers. These nutrients include a balance of vitamins, calcium, proteins, and other nutrients. Specifically, the vitamins that are present are vitamins A, D-3, E, and B-12. Also, a good amount of fat, fiber, phosphorous, salt, and folic acid are present as added nutrients. It’s important to note that salt is vital to a chicken’s diet.
|Non-GMO||A bit more costly compared to other feed brands|
|Not chemically processed|
|Contains a significant amount of balanced nutrients|
|Comes in the form of crumbles|
|Best chicken feed for egg layers|
|Can be eaten by growing chicks|
Small Pet Select Layer Feed
Small Pet Select layer feed is packed with fresh and natural ingredients, locally sourced in the Pacific Northwest. It is manufactured with the aim of producing a safe and non-GMO product for the healthiest chicken feed. Also, it is totally free of corn and soy, but contains everything needed for successful layers.
This mix is a combination of essential high protein pellets and grains. It also has seeds with moderate basting of Omega-3 vegetable oil. More specifically, the ingredients include wheat, peas, oats, pumpkin, sunflower, and flax seeds. Additionally, it also has a fish meal, millet, kelp, vitamins, and many other essential nutrients. Ultimately, it contains calcium to do you some convenience by not adding it separately.
With all that being said, the Small Pet Select layer feed contains an excellent combination of essential ingredients. This ensures that the chickens are fed with all the necessary nutrients in a protein meal. Aside from being nutritious, this feed is very tasty so that the chickens will love it.
|Very economical cost||Pellets are a bit big for small chicks|
|All natural local ingredients|
|Corn and soy-free|
|Contains rich protein levels and omega-3 oils|
|Contains herbs and seeds|
Naturally Free Organic Chicken Feed
This option also has a reputation of being at the top among a wide variety of supposed best chicken feeds. Its name primarily suggests how safe a choice it is to pick this as an option. It is an organic layer feed that is free of soy and free. Also, it is a verified non-GMO project, sustainably farmed in the Pacific Northwest.
Naturally Free layer feed is made of organic whole grains with about 16% protein. It is particularly tailored to supply the chickens with a highly nutritious and perfectly balanced diet. Additionally, it contains a good amount of calcium that is helpful in producing sturdy eggshells. This is the reason why it should specifically be fed to laying or will-be laying hens.
Moreover, Naturally Free layer feed can be given to chickens that are over 20 weeks of age. Not only can it be fed to chickens, but also to ducks, geese, and all waterfowl. Also, this feed has a long shelf life and comes in minimal packaging – very efficient for minimizing carbon footprint.
|Non-GMO project verified|
|USDA certified organic|
|Complete chicken feed|
|Can be fed to ducks, geese, and many other waterfowl|
|Unprocessed whole grain for finest nutrition|
|A product of sustainable farming|
Kaytee Scratch Plus Poultry Supplement
Kaytee Scratch Plus is on top of the list for the best chicken feeds, particularly for fully grown chickens. It is specially formulated to meet the different diets required for adult birds.
Practically, Kaytee Scratch Plus contains all the varieties of nutrients that cannot be found in the traditional scratch. These nutrients include calcium, proteins, and minerals, which are vital for strong bones and strong eggshells for layer chickens. Also, it has omega-3 fatty acids, which are also essential for the eggs. Other than that, it helps for fine growth and smooth digestion.
Moreover, this chicken feed contains significant probiotics that help in neutralizing the food that enters the birds’ system. Aside from that, this nutrient also contributes more by eliminating toxins.
This product is made out of fermentation, specifically aimed at better digestion for the chickens. Because it is packed with nutrients, it helps prevent diseases, reduce stress, and mortality rates within a flock. Other than that, it also helps prevent immune suppression, weight loss, low egg production, loss of feathers, and more.
|Good for digestion||A bit lesser amount of proteins|
|Keeps the birds full for longer periods|
|Rich in Omega 3 for enhanced nutrition|
|Contains calcium for strong bones and eggs|
|Contains probiotics to aid digestion|
|Very economically priced chicken supplements|
Brown’s Layer Booster Poultry Feed
The main reason why Brown’s Layer Booster feed is among the best chicken feeds is its being nutrient-dense. It significantly uses natural plant proteins along with the freshest and wholesome sun-ripened grains. Also, its formula has everything that is necessary so that the hens grow strong and healthy. It guarantees that the birds are to lay eggs that have strong shells and rich yellow yolks.
Specifically, the feed’s formula contains 16% protein content and high calcium needed by 18 weeks old or older hens. As mentioned, it does not contain animal proteins and fats, as it only uses natural plant proteins. Aside from that, it is also fortified with minerals and vitamins for optimal production of eggs.
This feed is among the best chicken feeds, particularly egg layers, available in the market for the price. For its price, it efficiently works on hens, allowing them to produce more eggs than average.
|Contains 16% protein for optimal strength and growth||Relatively high in corn content filler|
|High calcium content for strong eggshells and bones||Not as many vitamins or supplements as other feeds|
|Made of natural plant proteins|
|Has no animal protein or fat content|
|Fortified with minerals and vitamins for fine egg production|
Manna Pro Oyster Shell Poultry Feed
The oyster feed is a definite must-have for laying hens. This is because it is such a great source of calcium, which is vital for strong bones and eggshells. Besides that, it also contains significant amounts of minerals and nutrients for all fully grown chickens. Also, this feed is heat-treated that ensures the highest level of purity.
This feed is created out of fermentation, which ensures that the pullets are properly digested by the birds. With this, the chickens are granted a full nurturing and satisfying diet. Specifically, this feed should be fed to the chickens that are 18 weeks old and older. This should go on until their entire laying period. This can be given free of choice in separate feeders. Otherwise, a pound of it can be added to every 20 pounds of layer feed.
|Rich in calcium for strong bones and eggshells||Not advised for protein-deficient chickens|
|Can easily be consumed for its pellet size|
|Heat-treated to ensure the highest purity level|
|Fermented for better digestion|
Kalmbach All-Natural Layer Crumbles
As its name suggests, this feed is an organic one with high Omega, essential for egg-layer chickens.
Kalmbach All-Natural Layer Crumbles contains a high amount of calcium content, which aids in developing strong bones and eggs. Moreover, its ingredients include soybean meal, corn, grains, and wheat middlings. Besides that, it also has a large variety of vitamins and supplements that will ensure optimum growth and development.
For its price, Kalmbach All-Natural Layer Crumbles is among the best chicken feeds for its high nutrient density.
|Contains a wide variety of nutrients||Not non-GMO|
|Economical cost for its quantity|
|Great for layer chickens|
Nutrena Naturewise Layer Feed
This feed is specially tailored to meet the specific needs of laying hens. Early consumption of this feed can help the chickens lay strong-shelled eggs. However, it is important to remember that no other supplement should be fed at the same time as this one.
Nutrena Naturewise layer feed contains a wide variety of nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Also, it has probiotics and prebiotics to aid in digestive concerns. This layer feed is packed with Aztec Marigold as well.
This layer feed is an all-natural product that guarantees a boost in the chickens’ overall health. It is a mixture of both crumbles and pellets so that the chickens can digest it easily. Apart from that, they will experience a fair amount of curiosity upon eating the mixture. Ultimately, this product is suitable for both free-range or home-raised chickens.
|Vegetarian ingredients||A bit costly compared to other brands|
|Features added probiotics and prebiotics for digestive health|
|Contains 16% protein|
|A mix of minerals and vitamins|
|Saves money for additional supplements|
Best Chicken Feeds for Baby Chicks
Manna Pro Medicated Starter Crumble Feed
Obviously, as a starter feed, Manna Pro Medicated Starter Crumble Feed is one of the best chicken feed for chicks. Specifically, this is best supplied to the baby chicks during their initial stage. Also, as it is a medicated feed, it significantly helps keep the pullets away from probable diseases.
This chick starter is made high in proteins, which is essential for the chickens at an early stage. Aside from that, it is also greatly fortified with minerals and vitamins for optimum growth and development. As recommended, Manna Pro medicated chick starter should be given to the chicks on their first six weeks. It is within this period that they are expected to grow healthy, especially with the 18% protein from Manna Pro.
Additionally, this chick starter is medicated with Amprolium that has bentonite, which is essential for all classes of poultry. It is also vital in developing strong immunity against coccidiosis.
However, if the chicks are already vaccinated, Manna Pro Medicated Starter Crumble may not be advised. This is because Amprolium will cause a bad reaction to already vaccinated chicks. An unmedicated variant is available through from the same brand.
|Medicated to discourage the development of diseases||It is largely in powder form|
|Significant amount of protein content|
|Suitable for all classes of poultry|
Coyote Creek Certified Organic Chick Starter Feed
Coyote Creek chick starter is a tasty feed option specifically for chicks, growing pullets, and egg layers. It is made of non-GMO ingredients that are balanced for the birds’ daily diet. Specifically, the feed is composed of organic corn, soybean meal, milo, and roughage materials. Also, it contains significant added amounts of vitamins and supplements.
Coyote Creek’s richness in proteins and vitamins are helpful in developing the chicks’ immune system. Therefore, it also helps as well in raising the chicks to be strong and healthy. Ultimately, it is made with no artificial preservatives added to its composition. Aside from proteins and vitamins, the Coyote Creek chick starter also has calcium and carbonate.
Ideally, the feed should be given to the chicks since their hatching until their sixth week. It should be coupled with plenty of freshwater when given.
This feed option has good feedback when it comes to likability for the baby chicks. Also, there are testimonies of its observed efficiency to the chicks’ growth rate.
|Contains a variety of vitamins and supplements||A bit non-economical cost|
|Made of organic ingredients|
|Boosts the chicks’ immune system|
How do you provide treats to your chickens?
Chickens can identify you as their owner or perhaps the one that gives them food. Therefore, when your chickens come running at you when you arrive, you can prepare some treats to make them happy. However, remember to keep the treats healthy and in moderate amounts. Good treat examples are blackberries, blueberries, mealworms, scratch, and birdseed.
Furthermore, supplements should be given along with treats like grit and oyster shells. Grit is necessary for all kinds of poultry, but most especially for the chicks. This is because grit functions by allowing the birds to process their food properly and easily. For the chicks, it allows them to process new food other than their feed. Oyster shell, on the other hand, is essential for the health of hens and for the strength of the eggshells. Hens that are deficient in calcium tend to start taking the nutrient out of their body. Most of the time, it leads to potential fractures. Thus, oyster shell is a must.
Can you DIY (do it yourself) your chicken feed?
Yes. Making homemade chicken feed is practiced by some hobby farmers. However, it is important to know the exact required nutrients of the chickens to do so. This is most important to ensure optimal health for them, which you most likely want. Certainly, a good chicken feed contains about 18 to 20 percent of protein. That is at least for the starter and grower rations. Other than that, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and calcium are also as important.
Usually, poultry stores sell raw ingredients for a chicken mix or feed. You can just buy them and formulate the mix at home. Of course, a container big enough to do the mix will be needed. Measuring equipment should also be necessary for precise amounts of ingredients. You will not have to create too much mix, though. Be aware that a feed that is left for long periods of time will start molding. Thus, mixing about 50 pounds for every three chickens is perhaps not the best idea.