What To Feed Chickens To Lay Eggs: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re a chicken keeper, you want your feathered friends to lay plenty of delicious eggs. To achieve optimal egg production, it’s crucial to provide chickens with a well-balanced and nutritious diet. What you feed your chickens directly impacts their health, well-being, and egg-laying capabilities.

What To Feed Chickens To Lay Eggs? In this article, we will explore the importance of proper nutrition for egg production, the essential nutrients required for egg-laying hens, the selection of high-quality poultry feed, the incorporation of protein-rich foods, the significance of calcium for strong eggshells, the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, the importance of fresh water and grit, the inclusion of kitchen scraps and treats, and the foods to avoid for optimal health. Let’s dive into the world of chicken nutrition and discover what to feed chickens to lay eggs.

You may also want to read about the best laying mash.

Understanding the Importance of Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the overall health and egg-laying capabilities of chickens. A well-balanced diet ensures that hens have the necessary energy and nutrients to produce high-quality eggs consistently. Providing a varied and nutrient-rich diet contributes to the overall well-being of your flock.

What to feed chickens to lay eggs?

What To Feed Chickens To Lay Eggs?

Providing the Essential Nutrients

To support egg production, hens require a diet that includes the following essential nutrients:

  • Protein: Protein is crucial for egg development. It helps in the formation of egg whites and yolks. Ensure that the feed contains adequate levels of protein.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide energy to support egg-laying activities. Grains and seeds are excellent sources of carbohydrates.
  • Fats: Fats are essential for hormone production and overall health. Including a moderate amount of healthy fats in the diet is beneficial.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, and phosphorus, are necessary for proper eggshell formation and overall health.

Choosing the Right Poultry Feed

High-quality poultry feed is the foundation of a healthy diet for your chickens. Look for commercially available feeds specifically formulated for laying hens. These feeds are balanced and designed to meet the nutritional needs of egg-laying chickens. Opt for feeds that are free from antibiotics and hormones.

Incorporating Protein-Rich Foods

Protein is an essential component for egg production. Alongside a balanced feed, consider supplementing your chickens’ diet with protein-rich foods. Some excellent protein sources for chickens include:

  • Mealworms: Mealworms are highly nutritious and loved by chickens. They are rich in protein, making them an ideal treat or supplement.
  • Soybeans: Soybeans are an excellent source of plant-based protein. You can offer roasted or cooked soybeans to your flock as a nutritious snack.
  • Fish Meal: Fish meal is a protein-rich supplement that can be added to the feed. It provides essential amino acids and promotes healthy egg production.
What To Feed Chickens To Lay Eggs

What To Feed Chickens To Lay Eggs?

Ensuring Adequate Calcium Intake

Calcium is vital for the formation of strong eggshells. Hens require a steady supply of calcium to ensure the quality and durability of their eggs. You can provide calcium through the following:

  • Layer Feed: Layer feed is specifically formulated to contain adequate levels of calcium for egg-laying hens.
  • Crushed Oyster Shells: Crushed oyster shells can be offered as a separate supplement. Chickens can consume them freely as needed.

Enhancing Egg Quality with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for both chickens and the eggs they produce. These healthy fats contribute to the overall well-being of the hens and can enhance the nutritional quality of the eggs. Consider feeding your chickens flaxseeds, chia seeds, or fish oil to boost the omega-3 content of their eggs.

Hydration and Digestive Health

Fresh, clean water is essential for chickens’ overall health and egg production. Ensure that water is readily available at all times. Additionally, providing grit to your chickens helps with digestion by aiding in grinding and breaking down their food.

Supplementing with Kitchen Scraps and Healthy Treats

Kitchen scraps and healthy treats can be incorporated into your chickens’ diet to add variety and supplemental nutrition. Offer kitchen scraps such as vegetable peels, fruit leftovers, and leafy greens. However, avoid giving them foods that are harmful to chickens, such as avocado, chocolate, or anything spoiled or moldy.

Foods to Avoid for Optimal Health

While many foods are beneficial for chickens, some should be avoided to maintain their optimal health. Foods to avoid include:

  • Junk Food: Just like humans, chickens should not consume excessive amounts of junk food, sugary snacks, or processed foods.
  • High-Salt Foods: Excessive salt can negatively impact a chicken’s health. Avoid feeding them foods with high salt content.
  • Toxic Foods: Some foods, such as avocado, chocolate, onions, and garlic, are toxic to chickens and should be avoided.


What To Feed Chickens To Lay Eggs? Feeding chickens a well-balanced and nutritious diet is essential for optimal egg production and the overall health of your flock. Providing high-quality poultry feed, incorporating protein-rich foods, ensuring adequate calcium intake, and offering fresh water and grit are key elements of a healthy diet. Additionally, supplementing with kitchen scraps and healthy treats adds variety and supplemental nutrition. By understanding what to feed chickens to lay eggs, you can ensure a happy and productive flock that rewards you with delicious and nutritious eggs.

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