What Do Chickens Eat?

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Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat a variety of foods. In the wild, chickens would forage for a variety of seeds, fruits, insects, and small animals. However, in backyard flocks, chickens are typically fed a balanced diet of commercial chicken feed, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and occasional treats. Here is a guide on what chickens should eat:

  1. Commercial chicken feed: Commercial chicken feed is specially formulated to provide chickens with all the essential nutrients they need to thrive. It usually contains a mix of grains, vitamins, and minerals.

  2. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Chickens love fresh fruits and vegetables, such as greens, carrots, apples, and berries. These foods provide chickens with a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as extra fiber.

  3. Protein: Chickens need protein to support growth and egg production. You can supplement their diet with protein-rich foods such as mealworms, crickets or dried fish.

  4. Calcium: Chickens need calcium for strong eggshells and healthy bones. Oyster shells or crushed eggshells can be provided as a source of calcium.

  5. Grit: Chickens need grit to help them digest their food. Chickens will find grit on their own in the wild, but it may be necessary to supplement it when feeding chickens in captivity.

  6. Water: Chickens need a constant supply of fresh, clean water. Make sure to change the water daily, and keep the water in a clean container.

  7. Treats: Chickens love treats, such as sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and mealworms. However, treats should be given in moderation and should not make up more than 10% of their diet.

  8. Scraps: Chickens will eat a variety of kitchen scraps, such as vegetable peels, bread, and pasta. However, it's important to avoid giving them foods that are high in fat or sugar, as these can be harmful to their health.

In conclusion, chickens are omnivores and they eat a variety of foods. A balanced diet of commercial chicken feed, fresh fruits and vegetables, protein, calcium, grit, water and occasional treats is essential for their health and well-being. It's important to keep an eye on the diet of your chickens and make sure they are getting all the essential nutrients they need to thrive.

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