How to Feed Your Chickens At Various Ages

Depending on the age of your flock, there may be specific ways you should be maximizing their feeding process.

Raising chickens is a rewarding and fulfilling pastime to beat loneliness while sustaining your own food source in a cost-effective way. Although it is relatively simple to raise your own chickens, the feeding game can get a little confusing. Chickens have specific feeding requirements based on their age. These requirements include the amount of feed to provide, the makeup and ratio of grains/nutrients, as well as how you feed your chickens. 

It’s important to ensure you have the proper knowledge on feeding your flock so you can maximize their lifespan and happiness – as well as your own. Here, we’ve briefly outlined how to feed your chickens at various ages.

Chicks From 1 Day to Approx. 18 weeks

Type of feed: New chicks need starter feed, also known as crumbles, which should include about 20% protein. The amount of protein is so high because chicks will grow an extraordinary amount in the first few months of their life and need all the support they can get. If chicks are vaccinated against coccidiosis, do not give them medicated crumble. 

Amount of feed: 1-2 ounces of feed per day for the first 8 weeks and increasingly more as they grow. Chicks require three times more water than food each day. 

Style of Feeding: Mother hens will feed their own chicks after the first 48 hours by allowing them to peck the food from their beaks. If they are unable to be fed this way, ensure both water and crumble are easily accessible. 

Layered Feeding for Chickens Age 18 Weeks to Adult

After about 18 weeks, chicks should transition to layered feeding. Do not allow chicks to access layered food prior to this time. 

Type of feed: Layered mash, pellets, crumble has 16-18% protein with added calcium. Allow your chickens to access calcium supplements as needed separately from the main feed. Limit the number of treats given. 

Amount of feed: 1.75 pounds of feed per week; 3.5-4 ounces per day. 

Style of Feeding: Using a Grandpas Feeder will ensure your older chickens can access their layered food without chicks accidentally getting into it. 

Adult Laying Chickens

Type of feed: Healthy mix of nutrients as necessary for your chickens. Limit treats.

Amount of feed: 1.75 pounds of feed per week; 3.5-4 ounces per day. 

Style of Feeding: A chicken will never overeat as an adult, so it’s important to always have food readily available to support growth and healthy laying. Having an open feeder available at all times can be beneficial. A Grandpas Feeder is perfect for giving access to chickens when hunger strikes while keeping unwanted pests and predators away from your coop.

Interested in learning more about the Grandpas Feeder’s benefits for your chickens at any age? Read more of our insightful and educational blog posts here.