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Feeding Guide For Chickens 101

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From just hatched out of the egg to their aging years, I’ll share how much, and what, you need to feed your chickens in this feeding guide.

PLUS, I’ve included a FREE printable so you can place it right on your coop wall and never have to wonder how much to feed them. 

Feeding your chickens a balanced and nutritious diet is essential to keep them healthy. Happy, and productive. 

Before we cover exactly how much to feed your chickens in this guide, I’m going to go over some basic feeding essentials. 


Offer Your Chickens Clean, Fresh Water At All Times

Chickens require fresh, clean water every day to stay hydrated and maintain their health. 

This is especially important if you are raising broilers. 

Broiler chickens can not digest their food without an adequate supply of water. 

In the absence of water, they may start to eat more to compensate for their first. Which isn’t good for their health. 

Feed Your Chickens A Good, Quality Feed

We offer 3 AMAZING homemade natural chicken feed recipes for you to make. Our recipes include a basic chicken feed, one for laying hens and one for broilers. 

Choose the feed recipe that is appropriate for your flock.

If you’re not up for making your own homemade chicken feed, no worries, just shop for a Non-GMO feed or organic feed. 

Supplement Your Chickens Feed


Chickens are HUGE fans of treats, plus they need some extra nutrients. 

The best way to help supplement your chickens diet is by letting them forage and free range. 

Chickens love to scratch and find delicious bugs to devour. 

Another way to supplement their diets is by planting them their own chicken garden with fresh vegetables and herbs. 

In addition to planting their own garden, you can grow some fodder right inside your home. Growing fodder is incredibly easy and you don’t need much space. 

Fodder will also provide your chickens fresh greens when the snow has covered the ground and they can’t forage. 

One of their favorite treats that also provide protein are mealworms. You can actually train your chickens using mealworms.

Hens that are of egg-laying age need additional calcium in order to produce hard egg shells. You can give them this by offering crushed oyster shells, egg shells, or limestone.  

Lastly, you can give your chickens kitchen scraps to help supplement their diet. 

Avoid feeding them onions, potatoes, citrus, avocados, and asparagus. 

Always make sure the scraps are free of mold and aren’t rotten. 

Keep A Feeding Schedule 

Much like dogs, chickens are creatures of habit and can easily be trained with food. Try to keep them on a regular feeding schedule, checking their water dish a couple times a day. 

Feed containers should be washed out weekly. 

The Beginners Guide To Chickens Breeds is a great gift for anyone who wants chcikens

Feeding Guide For Chickens

AgeType of FeedAmount
Weeks 1-6Starter Feed 20% Protein1 oz. Per Day
Weeks 7-15Grower Feed 18% Protein3 oz. Per Day
Weeks 16+ On Layer Feed 16-18% Protein4 oz. Per Day
Roosters Grower Feed 18% Protein4 oz. Per Day
Old Non-Laying HensGrower Feed 18% Protein4 oz Per Day

Roosters and older hens that are past their egg-laying years don’t require the extra calcium that is in layer feed. 

Feeding Guide For Broilers

AgeType of FeedAmount
1Meat Bird Starter 16% 4.2 oz
2Meat Bird Starter 16% 9.2 oz
3Meat Bird Starter 16% 14 oz. 
4Meat Bird Grower 22% Protein18.8 oz. 
5Meat Bird Grower 22% Protein26.1 oz.
6Meat Bird Grower 22% Protein34.5 oz
7Meat Bird Finisher 15-18% Protein38.5 oz.
8Meat Bird Finisher 15-18% Protein46.2 oz.
9Meat Bird Finisher 15-18% Protein46.5 oz.
10Meat Bird Finisher 15-18% Protein48 oz.
11Meat Bird Finisher 15-18% Protein48 oz.

Use this feeding guide for chickens in conjunction with our recipes for homemade chicken feed, and you’ll have a happy and healthy flock! 

As promised, here is your FREE Feeding Guide For Chickens printable. 

Print it out and place it in your coop or by your chicken feed as a quick guide to have on hand. 


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Saturday 12th of August 2023

I am new too raising a Rooster and hens. We actually only have a Rooster right now. He showed up 2-2.5 months ago. No one claimed him so we started feeding him, the lady at Tractor Supply helped my husband. I really want to make sure he is getting the best food. We will be building a coop and then find some hens. Would I feed them two different things? What should I feed my Rooster?

Amber Bradshaw

Sunday 13th of August 2023

You are already showing great signs of a chicken owner! Congrats! Roosters require higher protein and less calcium than laying hens. I would recommend feeding him starter grower feed. This will be the same feed your hens will start out on. When hends get to egg-laying age between 16-22 weeks, they need a layer feed which is higher in calcium. We don't worry so much about protein because our chickens free range and eat bugs all day. Keep in mind that your rooster will need around 3-5 ladies to himself. Any less than 3, he will be a little abusive to them. Lots of love to go around! Best of luck and keep me posted!