Chapter 8

Feeding Your Flock


Bullet Understanding the nutritional needs of chickens

Bullet Choosing the right chicken diet

Bullet Using treats, scraps, and supplements

Bullet Knowing what not to feed your chickens

Probably more controversy swirls over feeding chickens than any other part of chicken raising — everybody has an opinion. Some believe you don’t need to feed chickens at all; they say you just turn the birds loose to find their own feed. Others devise elaborate diets that chickens love but that really aren’t necessary. Chickens aren’t fussy eaters; they’ll eat just about anything. However, they’re like small children: When faced with an abundance of choices, they don’t always make the wise ones.

In this chapter, we explain why thoughtful diet planning is an important part of chicken-keeping, and we cover the spectrum of what nutrients chickens need, what options you have for providing those nutrients, and what special considerations you need to take into account depending on your chickens’ ages and purposes (laying, providing meat, and so on). We also tell you when you need to supplement ...

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