10 Best Chicken Feed For Laying Hens (Natural, Organic & Non-GMO)
If you’re serious about raising chicken, then you MUST be well knowledgeable of the best chicken feed to give them.
As a beginner or semi-experienced chicken keeper, you can easily find yourself between a rock and a hard place whenever they try to buy commercial feeds.
You’ll get exposed to a whole list of strange jargon—from starters, layers, pellets, name them! —and with limited knowledge on these types of chicken feed, choosing the right feed becomes almost impossible for you.
But we’re at your help;
In the following exhaustive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about chicken feeds—including different types of feeds, how to choose the right one for your chicken, and some top feeds on the market today.
Let’s begin by rolling out the complete list of the common types of feeds you’ll find on the market today for your chicken…
Types Of Chicken Feed
Overall, the type of feed to give your chicken will simply depend on the age of your chicks and whether they’re layers or meat birds.
10 Best Chicken Feed Reviews:
1. PICKY NEB 100% Non-GMO Dried Mealworms
Picky Neb is one of the most trusted names in the chicken feed world. They pride themselves in producing feeds that are 100% free of additives, GMOs, preservatives, and dust. In other words, all their foods are completely safe for your hens.
This particular package from the manufacturer is essentially dried mealworms which will go a long way in boosting the immune system and overall health of your hens. The meal acts as an excellent source of proteins which helps your chicks grow back their feathers faster during the molting season.
Feeding your egg-laying hens with thus feed will also help them produce eggs at peak.
Other than your hens, you can also feed your hedgehog, fish ducks, turtles, etc., with this food to help complement their protein intake.
Keep in mind that this feed comes packed in a sturdy, releasable bag that’s incredibly easy to use and store.
2. Scratch and Peck Feeds - Naturally Free Organic Layer Feed
If you’re looking for the best organic chicken feed for your egg-laying hens, you can’t go wrong with this Naturally Free Organic Layer Feed from Scratch and Peck Feeds—another trusted manufacturers of chicken feeds.
This layer feed is USDA certified and non-GMO—assuring you that you’re getting the healthiest, highest quality food for your chooks. It’s a whole grain, unpelletized feed which means it has retained the optimal nutrition for better absorption.
Because of its raw and unprocessed nature, this is the perfect food for fermenting, for a chicken keeper who prefers fermenting their chicken feeds for improved health benefits.
Something else worth noting is that this food contains no soy and corn. You might not know this, but some brands use soy as an inexpensive protein in the animal feeds, which animals don’t even need. If you want to avoid corn diet, feeding your chicken with this feed will also ensure that potential allergens don’t end up in your meals.
Overall, this food has a minimum of 16% proteins and has been professionally formulated to help provide a balanced, nutritious diet for your hens. You can give it to chicken aged 20 weeks and over.
3. Kaytee Laying Hen Diet
Kaytee Laying Hen Diet is another best chicken feed for laying hens. The balanced, nutritious feed for your layers is a completely vegetarian diet packed with proteins and calcium that your layers need for egg production.
As with any typical layers feed, this die contains up to 16% proteins with balanced amino acids that significantly help in egg production. The diet also contains probiotics that help support digestive function.
Other ingredients used to make this food include flax seeds for Omega-3 rich eggs, marigold extract for rick colored egg yolk, and calcium for eggs with stronger shells.
Available in pellet form, this feed is ideal for chicken over the age of 18 weeks or when your hens start laying eggs. Feeding them with this food throughout the laying cycle is highly advised for the best results.
And oh! Keep in mind that they come in a resealable bag which promotes easy storage and prevent insect infestation which is possible with all whole grain seed products.
4. FLYGRUBS Superior to Dried Mealworms for Chickens
Here comes a high-protein, healthier, and more affordable chicken that you can give to your chicken, ducks, and birds.
Made from the black soldier fly larvae, this feed is an excellent alternative to the dried mealworms. The former (the larvae) contains up t 85x more calcium than the latter (dried worms) and has a reputation for promoting stronger egg shells in the layers. What’s more, this feed acts as an excellent molting supplement that will help your chicken grow healthier feathers than ever before.
The nutrition composition of this feed is as follows: 25-30% healthy fat, 36-42% protein, 2-5% calcium & phosphorous, lysine, fiber, and dietary fat.
Other than your egg-laying hens, you can also give this feed to your bearded dragons and hedgehogs.
Unlike most of the brands out there, Flygrubs packs this feed in a resealable (and recyclable) plastic bag which is then carefully packed into a box you receive it without broken pieces.
5. Manna Pro Chick Starter Crumbles and Starter Kits
If you’ve got baby chicks in your yard, then you’ll definitely need to feed with them starter feed. And Manna Pro Chick Starter Crumbles and Starter Kits is a perfect, affordable choice for you.
The feed comes in crumbled form for easy intake for your baby chicks. It comes fortified with all the essentials minerals and vitamins that your small chicks require to thrive.
It boasts of up to 18% protein concentration. This acts as an assurance that this feed will truly promote weight gain and the development of muscles and feathers in your young chicks.
Another reason why you should choose this feed for your baby chicks is that it comes medicated with Amprolium. This helps promote the development of active immunity in your chicken to the Coccidiosis and other deadly diseases that are notorious for causing the death of young chicks.
We advise you to give it your chicks as a sole feed from the age of 0 to 8 weeks.
6. Kaytee Chicken Supplements
Do you have chickens that are in their final stage of transiting into full-grown chickens? If yes, then you’ll need a different kind of diet that contains not only protein but a given amount of calcium.
Kaytee Chicken Supplements is an excellent example of that diet.
It has a perfect balance of proteins, calcium, and minerals—all of which come together to promote stronger bones and eggshell development. This mixture is also rich in omega-3 fatty acid which helps in egg nutrition and proper growth of chicken.
Probiotics also take a significant proportion in the composition of this feed. And its main job is to help neutralize all the food in your chicken’s system and eliminate all the toxins available. What’s more, its presence makes your chicken feel full all the time—reducing the amount of food they consume in a given day (and saving you money!)
Keep in mind that this is a fermented feed which helps boost the digestion process in your chicken. It’s not recommended for baby chicks.
7. Happy Hen Treats Party Mix Seed And Mealworm
This Party Mix Seed And Mealworm is another excellent chicken feed for laying hens. This feed is truly and is the ideal way to treat your flock and get the party started.
Made using 100% natural ingredients, this feed comes with all the necessary ingredients required for healthier chickens. The included ingredients are corn, black oil sunflower seeds flax seed, sunflower kernels, and dried worms.
The dried worms are responsible for the protein content of this diet and help promote nutritious eggs production in your hens.
As we’ve seen in most of the other feeds above, this feed also comes packaged in a resealable bag to ensure easy use and storage. Always ensure you close the bag correctly to prevent insect infestation.
8. Manna Pro Organic Layer Pellets
If you’re still looking for the best organic chicken feed for layers, here’s another ideal choice by the name Manna Pro Organic Layer Pellets.
The complete feed for layers comes ready to meets the nutritional needs of your girls as they grow. They’re specially formulated for mature hens from age 16 weeks and above.
The feed contains up to 16% protein which helps your girls gain weight and produce eggs. Keep in mind that protein is one of the building blocks that make everything possible in eggshell production.
Other contents of these pellets include: 4.5% calcium, 0.5% phosphorus, 5% crude fat, 0.75% lysine, 0.25% methionine, 0.8% salt, 0.5% sodium, 5% crude fiber, and max 18% ash.
It’s also worth noting that this is 100% FREE food for your girls as it contains no pesticides, medications, or any genetically modified ingredients. It’s packed in a 10lb resealable bag for hassle-free usage and storage.
9. Happy Hen Treats Party Mix Mealworm and Oats
Spoil your flock with this Happy Hen Treats Party Mix Mealworm and Oats. Like the other feed from happy Hen Treats, this one is also made using 100% natural ingredients—making not only tasty but also safe for your chicken.
The deliciously healthy feed is a mixture of dried mealworms and oat. Its ingredients include high protein mealworms, sunflower kernels, tasty oat groats, and raisins.
You can opt to give this treat t your feed from your hand or place in a chicken coop. Or you can simply scatter it along the ground for extra excitement. The feed comes packed in a resealable bag to ensure easy storage.
Again, this treat is great for training, taming, or treating. It should only be fed to adult hens.
10. H and H Feed Amazingly Tasty Layer Feed for Hens
Last but not least, we have this H and H Feed Amazingly Tasty Layer Feed for. This is not just the best chicken feed for layers but also for show/breeding birds which are just before the onset of laying eggs and continuing their lives.
This unique blend comprises of 100% non-GMO loose grains and seeds with tasty protein pellets for your chooks total enjoyment.
All the H and H feeds are made fresh every week, unlike others that are warehoused. The feed also comes with organic fertell nutria-balancer minerals and vitamins to help maximize the absorption of vitamins and minerals—thus providing you with the healthiest eggs.
The feed has 19% protein level plus oyster shells which translates to a complete feed ration. Remember that this feed also contains roasted milo (which resembles popcorn) to facilitate maximum nutrition absorption, unlike in the unroasted milo.
What To Look For Before Buying?
In this section, we take a look at the key considerations to help you pick the best feed for chickens…
Age of your chicks
Probably the FIRST thing that should ring in your mind when looking for the best food for your chicken is the age of your chooks.
This will enable you to easily determine the ideal type of feed to buy for them (see our list of different types of chicken feeds above).
If you’ve got baby chicks aged 0-8 weeks, you’ll need to look for starters; for chicks aged between 6 weeks and the time they start laying, you’ll need growers; and for egg-laying hens, you’ll need layers.
If you keep chicken for meat, then you’ll be better off with broiler feed.
The brand is another crucial feature in determining the best food for your chickens.
Some brands manufacture high-quality chicken feeds while some manufacture low-quality pellets are lacking in the nutrients required for proper growth of your chicken.
Even if a brand praises its product and promises you it’s nutrition-packed, go ahead and see what previous users of their products are saying about it.
An extra tip to keep in mind when selecting the ideal brand is to choose one whose products are readily available within your locality to help you make orders rapidly.
There’s no point of blindly buying a chicken feed without looking its nutrition composition.
You don’t need any special knowledge to understand the feed you want to buy is made of. Just go through the ingredient list on the side of the package to see the contents.
And keep in mind that if you’re buying food for layers, it should come with a high level of calcium and proteins (usually 16%) for better egg production.
Mediated vs. Unmedicated feed
When buying chicken food, you might come across foods labeled medicated and unmedicated.
What it means to be “Medicated?”
Medicated chicken feeds contain Amprolium chemical that helps prevent your chicks from contacting dangerous and deadly diseases.
However, you should AVOID buying medicated food if you have already vaccinated your chicken.
Form of the feed
The different types of chicken feeds can come in up to 3 forms namely pellets, crumbles, or mash.
Crumble might be a good choice but pellets are usually the only available option. Mash is usually fed to baby chicks.
Some of the commercially available chicken feeds also come in fermented form.
What’s fermented chicken feed?
Fermented feed is made by mixing your feed of choice with warm water and then putting it in an airtight bucker or container for around 2-5 days to trigger the fermentation process.
The resulting feed has good bacteria in it. It has improved enzyme and vitamin content which translates to improved digestion.
Above all, fermented makes your chicken full most of the time, meaning reduced food consumption and less spending on chicken feed.
Keep in mind that you can also ferment your own chicken at the comfort of your home.
What is Bad For Chickens To Eat?
You’ll all agree that the chickens are an excellent example of little food munching machines that can eat just anything they come across.
But this doesn’t mean you should let them eat everything they feel like.
Below, we outline a list of hazardous foods you should NEVER let your chooks eat:
What To Feed Laying Chickens?
One of the most amazing things about your girls (the layers) is that they can give you an EGGCELLENT production of eggs if you give them the right diet.
In this section, we’ll show you what to feed them to ensure they produce quality eggs with strong shells, rich yolk, and packed with nutrients.
EXPERT TIP: Allows your girls to free roam!
Free roaming is beneficial for your chicken in the sense that it enables them to supplement their diet with seeds, insects, worms, berries, grains, stones, etc. around your backyard, garden, patio, etc. this can go a long way in helping boost their egg production.
BEWARE: While feeding your hens with table scraps is also an excellent way to supplement their diet, you should be cautious about how you do it. Food scraps with too many nutrients can make your layers grow overweight and unhealthy—greatly affecting their egg production. Foods with strong tastes (say garlic and onion) and spicy foods aren’t recommended for layers as the taste will end up in the produced eggs.Food scraps containing any of the unsafe foods for chicken (listed above) should also be avoided.
How Many Times a Day Should I Feed?
Knowing how many times to feed your chickens per day can be mind-wrecking especially if you’re a beginner raiser.
Naturally, chickens tend to eat small amounts frequently.
With that in mind, we suggest that you let them “free feed” throughout the day. That is, leave their feeder full and their “wells” full of water at all times. This way, you’ll be able to meet their feeding needs without (unknowingly) depriving them.
Even if your chickens are roaming around hunting the pastures, you should only view free-ranging as a way of supplementing their diet.
You can fill their feeders in the morning and in the evening, or you can invest in a feeder that holds days’ worth of chicken feed.
If you’re just beginning to raise chickens or don’t have much experience in this field, you can get overwhelmed as you try to figure what types of feed to give them, how much to feed them, and when to feed them.
This guide takes you through everything you need to know about chicken feeding—including the different types of chicken feeds available, how to choose the ideal one for you, what to feed the egg-laying hens, and how many times a day to feed your chickens.
We’ve also prepared for you a list of the 10 best chicken foods on the market today to help you easily choose the ideal food to feed your birds.
Happy chicken rearing!