What Do Chickens Eat? A Chicken Treat Chart

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 15 July 2020

When it comes to feeding our chickens, it’s all well and good to give your girls their usual layer feed - but what do chickens eat for treats? We want to reward our fabulous ladies for all the delicious eggs they’ve been so productively laying, but don’t want to give them something their body doesn’t agree with.

When it comes to treats, there are some things you can happily feed your flock everyday, and some that should be left to a sometimes food (as much as the chickens would like it to be a daily treat!)

So, what do chickens eat? Well, wonder no longer. Here’s a chart of treats that chickens love, and a guide as to how often they should be fed. A great guide to keep the girls happy, and prevent some chubby chicks in your backyard!

What do chickens eat - Everyday treats

So, what do chickens eat when it comes to occasional treats? There are sometimes foods you can feed your chickens sparingly - usually because they’re very rich (and we all know what too much of a good thing does!), or they don’t have much of a nutritional benefit. Here are some treats you should reserve for special occasions once a week.

What Do Chickens Eat - Everyday chook treats

What do chickens eat - Sometimes treats

So, what do chickens eat? Now you know! So let’s go into what they can’t eat. Of course, there are some foods that should NEVER be fed to your chickens - no matter if they look like a delicious treat, or not. Chickens can’t digest everything that humans can, so leave these scraps for the rubbish bin or compost heap.

What Do Chickens Eat - Sometimes chook treats

What NOT to feed chickens

So next time you’re asking yourself what do chickens eat, and working out what food to put in the compost heap or the chicken’s scrap tin, use this chicken treat chart to put your mind at ease.

What Do Chickens Eat - Never chook treats

These treats should be given to your chickens along with a healthy diet of lay mash, shell grit for calcium and fresh water. Your chickens will stay fighting fit and laying productively on this nutrient rich diet!

Alongside choosing wholesome treats, preparing nutritious meals for optimal chicken health can be stressful and confusing. Many health issues experienced by our girls are due to an imbalanced diet. You might find yourself asking: what to feed, when to feed, how to feed, and why?! 

Cluckily, there is no need to be overwhelmed by all the options because our friends at Chickenpedia can help you find out what’s best for your flock at all ages. This is why I recommend their Feeding Pecking Chickens Course to all my readers. Through their course, unearth nutrient rich foods to help your chickens stay healthy, live longer, and produce the best eggs. Keep those yolks nice and yellow! The course shares advice and information on the best food for your flock as well as quantity control, storage, and timing for feeds.

Feeding time is also a great one for entertainment and this course provides bonus content filled with DIY boredom busters, toys, and treats for your flock. Become an eggspert and gain the confidence needed to choose the right chicken feed and know which ones to avoid.

Be sure to click here to visit Chickenpedia today to check out ALL of their amazing courses. 

Something else that will help keep the fresh eggs flowing is a coop with ample nesting box space! Chickens won’t lay eggs unless they’ve got a safe, secure spot to do it in (and if they do, it’ll be a constant search in your backyard to find them!) Our Taj MahalPenthouse and Mansion chicken coops have plenty of nesting box space for your girls to lay their delicious eggs in.

Sources and further reading