More than Corn: The Proper Feeding of Poultry

Multiple chickens eating while one looks into camera

Most pet owners are very conscientious about the types of foods they provide for their pets. After all, just like humans, pets need a balanced and varied diet of nutritious foods in order to stay healthy.

While food brands for household pets like dogs and cats have advanced significantly over the years to

include all of the nutrition that these animals need to thrive, many chicken owners continue to feed their birds outdated products—like corn feed—that don’t actually contain everything these animals need in a balanced diet.

If you’re the proud owner of a flock of chickens, you want your birds to be as happy and healthy as possible. This includes providing them with the right food and nutrition. Check out our handy guide on chicken diet must-haves and tasty treats. 

Must Haves for Your Chickens' Diets

Scratch and Peck Chicken Grit

Though chickens will eat corn feed without complaint, it won’t set them up for optimal health. Instead, feed them a poultry pellet that packs a little bit of everything they need in every bite, much like kibble for a dog or cat.

Most poultry pellets contain some mixture of wheat, corn, oats, and seeds to make sure your chickens are getting a healthy mixture of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Feeding your chickens high-quality poultry feed is especially important if your chicken run doesn’t provide too much space for them to roam. Chickens typically get a significant amount of their mineral and salt intake from the ground, but if they don't have much roaming space, pellets can help provide the necessary minerals for good health.

Fun Additions to Your Chickens’ Diet

Chickens eating frozen treat during summer

While comprehensive poultry pellets should make up the core of a chicken’s diet, your feathered companions can enjoy a variety of foods that will support their health while also improving their quality of life. While corn shouldn’t be the only thing fed to your chickens, you can certainly include some corn feed as a dietary additive.

Chickens also love many different types of fruits and vegetables, such as apple cores, bananas, broccoli, and carrots. Just make sure any table foods you feed your chickens are low in salt and sugar. And whole grain foods are even better. Foods to avoid when it comes to your flock include citrus fruits, avocado, garlic, and anything that is processed.

Feeding Frequency

Woman tending to backyard chickens

You should plan your chickens’ feeding schedule around your own availability. Chickens are rather adaptable and will conform to whatever schedule you settle on.

Chicken owners that work from home or are retired will often feed their chickens small amounts multiple times a day. Owners who work away from home might offer more food during fewer feeding times. 

Everything You Need to Care for Your Chickens

Chickens need a balanced diet of more than just corn feed to keep them happy and strong enough to fend off disease. Use a high-quality poultry pellet as your dietary base, and supplement with appropriate fruits and vegetables. Following this regime will help ensure that your feathered friends enjoy optimal health.

Find everything for raising and maintaining chickens at Pets on Broadway.