Chicken Feed Explained

Chicken feed comes in different sizes and nutritional formulas for every stage of your chicken’s life.

  • MASH – a nutritionally complete poultry food in a ground form. Not my #1 choice, as the birds pick their favourite ingredients. I don’t like the waste.
  • PELLETS – basically they are mash that has been formed into pellets. All the ingredients in a pellet stay together, and the birds get all the nutrition they require.
  • CRUMBLES – are pellets that have been broken into granules. Used for chick feed.

The Nutritional value of the food you give your birds depends on their age:

  • 1 – 5 weeks – Chick Starter 20% Protein (Crumble)
  • 5 – 18 weeks – Grower Ration 15% Protein (Mash, Crumble or Pellet)
  • 18 weeks + – Layer Ration 17% Protein (Mash, Crumble or Pellet)

All these types of chicken feed are available in organic formulas. I personally haven’t used organic feed, all I know is it is more expensive.

Additional  Feeds used to supplement their diet.

SCRATCH – Scratch grain consists of varieties of whole, cracked, or rolled grains. Generally, scratch is scattered on the ground to supplement a balanced diet, it isn’t nutritionally complete. I don’t use scratch as my birds just eat the corn and leave the rest.

CRACKED CORN – As the name suggests, whole corn kernels that are broken into smaller pieces. I use it in place of scratch with no waste. It isn’t a nutritionally complete ration.

FERMENTED FEED – Chicken feed soaked in water for approximately 3 days. I use Mash feed and they love it.

SPROUTED GRAINS – Whole grains or seeds that are grown on water soaked material for a few days until they sprout.


Check with your feed supplier regarding nutritional values. Not all feed brands are made the same, but from my experience, they are all pretty close.