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Best Chicken Feed for 2020

Whether you’re just starting up a little hen hobby, or you’ve been raising chickens your whole life, finding the best chicken feed for your personal flock always takes some research.

With hordes of brands, feed types and age brackets to consider, picking the perfect pellets of nourishment for your egg layers can often feel like a minefield and getting it wrong can stunt bird growth, feather quality, egg standards and of course, impact quality of life.

So to help you find the ideal choice to increase your bird’s health and allow better waste management, we’ve outlined the very best options for every type of chicken feed, from crumbs and mash to pellets and energy balls!

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Feathers & Beaky Layers Pellets Chicken Food
    • Promotes appetising rich yellow yolks
    • Premium food for 16 weeks + birds
    • High calcium content for strong shells & bones
    Check Price
    Omlet Organic Feed Selection For Garden Chickens
    • Complete feed and mixed corn options
    • Specially formulated for garden hens
    • Promotes super golden yolks!
    Check Price
    Feldy High Energy Chicken Pecker Balls
    • High energy feed ball
    • Maximum longevity in bad weather
    • Improve feathering & general health
    Check Price

    The Top 8 Best Chicken Feed Reviewed

    1.
    Feathers & Beaky Layers Pellets Chicken Food

    An all-natural and GM-free pellet feed for your free-range peckers, Feathers & Beaky pride themselves on providing premium pellets which offer a delicious and wholesome meal for a healthy, happy chicken!

    Suitable for chickens of 16 weeks and up, it includes healthy extracts of marigold, paprika and alfalfa to give egg yolks an appetising and vibrant yellow colour, meaning your kooky chook pals will be some of the most beloved and successful egg layers for miles around!

    A revitalising concoction of wheat, barley and peas it also boasts limestone and fatty oils to help promote shell development for eggs and support strong bones!

    Features

    • Promotes appetising rich yellow yolks
    • Premium food for 16 weeks + birds
    • High calcium content for strong shells & bones

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 40 x 34 x 12 cm (15 Kg)
    • Size: 5 Kg, 15 Kg
    • Type: Layers Pellets

    2.
    Dodson & Horrell Layer Pellets

    For those looking to raise some vegetarian abiding bantams, these layer pellets from Dodson and Horrell are Vegetarian Society approved and combine an interesting blend of ingredients for the ultimate meal in chicken nourishment.

    Designed specifically to help support hens for absolute optimum egg-laying, the pellets contain a high level of amino acids for large egg size and added calcium and phosphorus to provide impressive shell strength.

    But it’s not just the outside of the egg that counts, as for us egg-eaters it’s much more important what they’re like inside! Thankfully though, D&H’s blend caters in this department too, with natural pigments from marigold, maize and citrus fruits, it helps create some of the deepest and most golden yolks possible!

    Helping to improve stamina and recovery, it also boasts the unusual inclusion of vegetables such as pumpkin, broccoli, spinach, tomato and of course all the vitamins and minerals they harness!

    Features

    • Promotes strong shell & golden yolk eggs
    • Quality GM free ingredients
    • Contains healthy amino acids, calcium & phosphorus

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 66 x 42 x 16 cm
    • Size: 20 Kg
    • Type: Layers Pellets

    3.
    Omlet Organic Feed Selection For Garden Chickens

    Easily our favourite chicken car brand, Omelet has unsurprisingly delivered a blinder when it comes to their own brand chicken feed, which is undoubtedly the most healthy option available to all you garden hen keepers.

    This twin pack contains their two best feed products, an Organic Mixed Corn and Organic Chicken Feed concoction, which are both as delicious as they are vitality-boosting for bantam friends.

    The plain organic option might well be the best feed on the market and unlike typical layer’s pellets it contains a substantial amount of extra protein, which helps garden hens lay eggs more consistently for a far longer period of time, making it ideal for people struggling for success in both quality and production.

    The eggs themselves also boast delicious deep yellow yolks and crisp, crunchy shells due to a generous limestone and manganese content.

    If that’s not enough, there’s also an incredibly long list of over 20 natural vitamins and minerals which simultaneously keep tabs on your chicken’s immune system, keep feathers plump and luscious, as well as strengthen bones.

    But it’s not just a protein and vitamin kick either as this complete and balanced meal also offers suitable levels of carbs and fibre to energise and support digestion.

    And that’s just the pellets!

    Best used as an afternoon treat, the Mixed Corn selection is GM-free, naturally appetising and also a guaranteed way to get a sunnier, more satisfactory yolk!

    Features

    • Complete feed and mixed corn options
    • Specially formulated for garden hens
    • Promotes super golden yolks!

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 48 x 40 x 24 cm
    • Size: 10 Kg (x 2)
    • Type: Mixed Corn & Layers Pellets

    4.
    Marriage's Organic Mixed Corn

    With a name like Marriage’s, you can only hope that this feed and your chicken will be a match made in heaven and we’re pleased to report this Mixed Corn option is a winner for those who swear by organic offerings.

    A nutritious blend of wheat and maize, this mixture is approved by the Organic Food Federation and so you can rest assured it is safe, traceable, nutritious and completely free of medicines, GM ingredients and other nasties.

    However, it’s not free of everything, as in place of those unwanted ingredients there is a surplus of positive, health-boosting goodies!

    An ideal late afternoon treats to accompany their normal feed, this mixed corn is full of natural yolk colourants, amino acids and more to promote optimal egg-laying!

    Features

    • Blend of organic wheat and maize
    • No GM or artificial ingredients
    • Turns egg yolk deeper yellow

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 75.2 x 41.6 x 14 cm
    • Size: 20 Kg
    • Type: Mixed Corn

    5.
    Feldy High Energy Chicken Pecker Balls

    Mixing things up from the more obvious and well-known forms of chicken feed, these exciting pecker balls from Feldy are choc-full of energy and an ideal solution to waste management.

    Standard feed, mash and crumb are almost never fully pecked and picked up by your hungry chickens as it’s simply too difficult for your hens to hoover it all up! This means so much of it is just left out in your yard, where it’s either cleaned up by yourself or just weathers away over time, which of course, doesn’t make for an attractive garden!

    These high energy balls are a game-changer in that department, offering sublime nutritional value and a firm shape which is designed to withstand the toughest of weather conditions. This means chickens can be fed at any time and there’s no chance of their feed being spoiled by the rain! It also means fewer piles of feed dotted around your garden, as these balls are easy to pick up and dispose of once past their best.

    Offering an irresistible flavour for chickens, they contain a tasty combination of aniseed and herbs and when fed often will help improve a flock’s feathering and overall health.

    For all you egg-layers, there’s also an added portion of calcium to promote some truly eggcellent produce!

    Features

    • High energy feed ball
    • Maximum longevity in bad weather
    • Improve feathering & general health

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 13 x 30 x 24 cm
    • Size: 6 Balls (600 g), 40 Balls (4 Kg)
    • Type: Pecker Balls

    6.
    Fancy Feed Chick Crumb

    Young chicks require an entirely different diet to adult chickens and rather than a balanced range of food groups, it’s much more beneficial to provide them with a high protein diet to support growth.

    They also obviously don’t need any of the vitamins designed to improve egg-laying and instead need natural additives which are just going to improve overall health and vitality.

    Not only that, but they also need it to be in a form that’s small enough for their little beaks to digest!

    That’s where Fancy Feed’s Chicken Crumb comes in, a 19% protein feed in dinky edible chunks providing a whole host of nutrition benefits!

    These include natural feeding supplements Sel-Plex and Bio-Mos to ensure they grow up with supreme gut health and a strong immune system, all while being completely medicine-free!

    It’s the perfect first feed to help you raise some groovy chicks into beautiful bantam hens!

    Features

    • Highly digestible for young birds
    • Quality protein content for muscle development
    • Suitable for all types of poultry chick

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 66 x 44.8 x 15 cm (20 Kg)
    • Size: 5 Kg, 20 Kg
    • Type: Starter Crumb

    7.
    Allen & Page Poultry Growers

    Grower pellets are for that stage between childhood and adulthood where young fowls are still well away from their egg-laying days, but need something a bit more substantial than starter feed.

    Yes, this is the food you’ll want to give your chicken during those moody teenage months between around 6 and 18 weeks of age, where the nutrients they require to thrive change substantially.

    Chickens of this age still don’t require all those egg-boosting ingredients, but rather than a high protein chick diet, they need something a little more balanced, which doesn’t contain a load of useless yolk-enhancing vitamins and minerals!

    This grower feed from Allen & Page is a great choice, with wheat, beans and linseed oils allowing the perfect balance of carbs, fatty oils and lower levels of protein and there’s also plenty of calcium and phosphate to promote good bone strength.

    Features

    • High calcium & phosphate
    • Perfect precursor to layer’s pellets

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 35 x 29 x 22.2 cm
    • Size: 5 Kg
    • Type: Growers Pellets

    8.
    Copdock Mill Range Layers Mash

    Mash is an unusual choice for chickens and usually best for young chicks who are unable to digest huge pellet-like chunks.

    This mash from Copdock Mill however is designed for laying hens and an ideal egg-boosting superfood when given 3 weeks before lay.

    It contains a slightly higher protein rate than most adult formulas and also utilises plenty of calcium and phosphate to promote really crisp and beautiful shells.

    It’s the best option for those who like to ferment their chicken feed at home!

    Features

    • Complete feed with 17% protein
    • Ideal for hens 3 weeks before lay
    • Most fermentable

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 5 cm
    • Size: 20 Kg
    • Type: Layers Mash

    Buying Guide

    Types of Chicken Feed

    Mixed Corn

    Similar to standard feed, mixed corn poultry feed is a grain mix made up primarily of maize and wheat. It’s primarily used as a treat rather than as the main food source.

    Pellets

    Pellets are probably the most common type of feed on the market, as they take all the goodness of standard chicken feed and then process it into pellet shapes. This makes them easier to manage and their compact shape reduces mess and leftover waste.

    Mash

    Chicken feed mash is exactly what it sounds like and is simply a big bag of ground-up (mashed) grains and other ingredients. This is mostly marketed at chicks and very young chickens as it’s much easier for them to gobble this up. The downside to mash is that a lot of it goes to waste on the ground. To combat this, many owners like to ferment mash by serving it wet, making it thicker in texture and easier to manage.

    Crumble

    Crumble is just the midway point between pellets and mash and is essentially just slightly ground up pellets. This just gives chicks an easier eating opportunity without creating as much mess as mash!

    Energy Balls

    Similar to suet balls you might put out for garden birds, you do on occasion see high energy balls being marketed at chickens too! These are obviously a lot easier to manage in terms of preventing waste products and their structure means they often have good longevity and can survive bad weather.

    Your Chicken’s Stage Of Growth

    When shopping for chicken feed, you are almost certain to come across hundreds of products described as layer’s feed, to the point where you may just assume this is the most popular form of chicken food and a great choice for your hens.

    But layer is actually referring to a stage of growth in a chicken’s life and to be less confusing, it essentially just means adult. You, therefore, need to pay more attention to the labels if you are caring for chickens of varying ages and make sure they are getting food more tailored for their personal growth.

    If you give chickens the wrong feed for their stage of growth, they’ll miss out on key nutrients they need to grow healthy and thrive.

    The three stages of chicken feed are these:

    Starter

    Unsurprisingly, starter feed is what you should be feeding baby chicks as adult chicken feed does not contain the correct balance of food groups they need to grow into healthy chickens. Starter feed tense to be much denser in proteins to promote growth.

    Grower

    This is the optimum choice for teenage chooks (4 – 17 weeks of age), grower feed helps move chicks on from starter feed by lowering the protein level and without the calcium content of a regular adult feed. This is because growing teenage hens don’t need all the vitamins and minerals that are in adult food, as they aren’t laying eggs and so don’t need the vitality-boosting ingredients designed to boost egg health.

    Layer

    This is the final stage of chicken food and will be the primary seed you use for the majority of your hen’s life. It is most often a completely balanced mix of proteins, calcium, vitamins, minerals and any other added ingredients which might encourage strong, colourful and healthy eggs

    What To Look For In Chicken Food

    Organic

    When browsing chicken food you will often be met with a dilemma you are often faced with when making decisions for your own diet – should you go organic or not?

    Organic as you might expect merely means feed that is free of any genetically modified (GM) additives, chemicals, man-made ingredients etc. and uses only natural ingredients.

    This is obviously the most healthy choice for your bird but due to how particular and strenuous creating organic feed is, it’s also a lot more expensive!

    Basic Feed Requirements

    In most cases chicken feed will be your birds only source of nutrition, meaning their feed needs to be able to offer high-quality nourishment, especially if you want a hen to lay healthy and strong eggs.

    But how are you meant to know if your feed contains the right ingredients to boost rooster vitality and wellbeing?

    Well, the main components you want to watch out for are these:

    Protein

    Just like with most animals on this planet, protein is an absolute must for helping chickens stay strong and energised, with most feeds being particularly high in this food group.

    Amino Acids

    If your feed does not actually list the term amino acids, look out for common ones like lysine and methionine in the ingredients list. Amino acids are vital in helping hens grow and function properly and are seen as essential for most animal diets.

    Vitamins

    We humans know all about the importance of vitamins and minerals, and chickens need them in their diet just as much as we do! Vitamins A, E, D3 and B12 as well as trace elements such as phosphorus and copper sulfate are all good for your flock.

    Enzymes

    These help with digestion of your bird and natural fibre in grains also help to do this too.

    Other Ingredients To Watch Out For

    Omega 3 Oils

    If you are raising laying hens, your feed is often entirely revolved around ensuring their eggs are strong and healthy to eat. Omega 3 in feed is often passed through to an egg’s own Omega 3 count, enhancing your product.

    Calcium

    For laying hens, you want eggs to be as strong as possible, as there’s nothing more upsetting or annoying than a fragile and easily broken egg. Plenty of calcium boosting ingredients can help strengthen these eggs up, as well as improve the bone health of your chicken!

    Other Buyers Ask...

    When should I change chicken feed?

    Knowing when to switch chicken feed is often confusing, as it’s difficult to tell at what age your chicken will suddenly need a new range of nutrients and vitamins.

    Generally, a baby chick will need starter food for the first 6 weeks of their life before moving onto grower feed.

    From there, younger fowls will need grower feed until they start laying their first eggs. More often than not, this occurs at around 18 weeks of age. At this point, you can make the change over to layer food.

    Whenever you switch over to a new feed though, you need to be careful that you do so slowly and gradually over around a period of a week. This can simply be done by slowly retracting a few grams of their current feed every day and replacing it with a small amount of the new feed. Then by the end of the week, they should have made the transition between the two.

    Doing this slowly helps prevent hens from suffering digestion issues, as sudden and extreme changes in their diet can often lead them to become ill.

    How much feed does a chicken need per day?

    A general rule of thumb for chicken feeding is to provide your flock with 125g of feed per chicken every day.

    Alternatively, you could work this out as needing around 685g of feed per chicken every week.

    So a standard 20 Kg bag of chicken feed would feed one chicken for 29 weeks (almost 7 months).

    But if you had four chickens, it would last you just one month!

    Which chicken feed is highest in protein?

    Generally, starter chicken feed for baby chicks is always the highest in protein and usually offers around 20 – 25% protein in total to help stimulate growth.

    However if you are merely just looking to boost an adult chicken’s protein intake, there are certain layer feeds which boast higher protein contents.

    The best of these is Omelet’s Organic Chicken Feed which contains just the right amount of protein to promote hens to lay eggs more consistently and over a longer period of time.