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What to Feed Chickens - Keep your Chooks happy and Healthy

What to Feed Chickens

The heathy development of chickens is somewhat complex. By no means are we at Dine a Chook ‘Poultry Nutritional Experts’ however having read lots of great information online from many different sources and speaking with some highly knowledgeable experts in the field of poultry nutrition, we fully understand the importance of a quality commercially produced feed which is formulated to ensure that chickens get the required nutrition that they need on a daily basis and the difference in feed types required through the various stages of growth. We have also learned the importance of limiting additional treats and leftovers from the fridge so as to not dilute the nutritional benefits of a balanced purpose made feed.

The following is what we have learned and what we also use in our situation. Always read the guidelines on the particular feed that you buy.

Scratch mix. What is it, and why on earth are so many people feeding it to their chickens? Scratch mix is not ‘Chicken Feed’ It is not a good source of Proteins, Vitamins and minerals yet every week we talk to customers that are feeding this to there chickens everyday. If it says on the bag ‘supplementary feed’, use it sparingly if at all.


8-18 Weeks Old – Pullet Grower

If you’re a newcomer to keeping chickens, chances are that you will buy your chooks when they are either ‘Point of Lay’ or for most people we find that they are buying chickens from the age of 8 weeks. You can expect that a chicken in this age range will consume approximately 90-100 grams of feed per day. This equates to around 4kg of feed per bird during this growth period.

It is important at this early stage of development that your chickens are feed a ‘ Pullet Grower’ feed mix. Containing a minimum of 15.5% Protein

The Key Benefits of a quality commercial Pullet Grower mix are

  • It is formulated and nutritionally balanced to support the growth and development of young pullets.

  • Most commercially available Pullet Grower feeds contain an anti coccidial to assist in the prevention caecal and intestinal coccidiosis.


18 weeks to Layer and beyond.

Layer Mix is available in 2 common forms. Mash and Pellets. From many years of talking with customers, we would love a dollar for every time a customer has said to us…..’my girls won’t eat the pellets’. We cant really blame them, they would be the closest thing to eating dry Weetbix everyday that you could possibly get.

Layer Feed, Mash or pellets generally contains between 16 and 18% Protein. With the addition of higher levels of Calcium for strong eggshell production.


The Key features of a Complete Layer Feed are

  • It is nutritionally balanced to support egg production and health of laying hens.

  • Formulated to provide balanced levels of Energy, Protein, Vitamins and Minerals.