girls feeding backyard chickens

Different Ways You Can Feed Your Backyard Chickens

Chickens are omnivores and will eat just about anything, including non-food items. Did you know there are numerous ways to feed chickens?

Considering different ways to feed backyard chickens can help you give your chickens a varied diet and control feed costs.

What Are the Different Ways of Feeding Chickens?

To introduce something new to their diet, you can feed your chickens with:

  • Layer feed: If you have egg-laying chickens, try layer feed. Layer feed such as 16% Organic Egg Layer Crumbles from Nature’s Best Organic Feeds are carefully formulated with all the necessary nutrients. A quality formula ensures your chickens have the nutritional support they need at every stage.
  • Foraging: Chickens love to roam and find their own food. If you can create a pasture or foraging spot for them in your yard so they can go free-range, your chickens will be happy with the various plants and insects they can scratch up. When setting up a free-range spot, however, keep in mind chickens can damage a flower, fruit, herb or vegetable garden. You may want to give them their own designated area.
  • Grains: Lentils, wheat, millet, oats, cracked corn, and rice, among other grains, are beneficial for chickens.
  • Vegetation: Almost anything you put into your compost, including weeds, fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings and more, will be appreciated by your chickens.
  • Human food: Chickens will eat just about anything, including plain Greek yogurt, cooked meat, leftovers, table scraps, stale bread, pizza, and many other things. Do not give your chickens anything too salty or too filled with sugar, but they can eat most foods that you do.
  • Insects: Mealworms are a terrific snack for chickens, and they’re full of nutrients. You can purchase mealworms frozen or live.
  • Soaked feed: Soaking feed or fermenting it aids with digestion — chickens may need less feed when they eat it soaked. You can soak your own feed by covering it with water for 24 hours, keeping the water about three inches above the feed. You can ferment the feed by letting it sit for up to four days. Fermenting and soaking work best with feed other than pellets, which can fall apart in water. Crumbles, whole grain, or mash is ideal.
  • Fodder: Fodder is grass or grain grown without soil, forming a solid mat of roots. Chickens consume every part of the fodder, and this feed is rich in nutrients. You can grow your own fodder by planting grains or grass in a shallow container. Pour up to two inches of grains in a shallow dish and keep them damp, but not soaked, for about seven days. By then, you will have a dense mat of fodder to feed your chickens.

Try a New Way to Feed Your Chickens With Nature’s Best Organic Feeds

Nature’s Best Organic Feeds is a family-owned and operated company with almost 75 years of experience in the industry! We offer a range of livestock and poultry products both in bagged and bulk amounts. For your peace of mind, our chicken feed is organic, non-medicated, and Non-GMO Project-Verified. We are passionate about quality and have created a range of products to nutritionally support your chickens through every stage of their lives. Check out our store locator to find feed near you.