Chicken Feed

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Watch a naturalist from the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Drumlin Farm provide information about chicken feed in this free online video.

Part of the Video Series: Understanding Chickens & Eggs
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Video Transcript

Okay chicken feed. This is your basic commercial chicken feed. This happens to be an organic mix that we get from Vermont. It is a mixture of ground up various grains and vitamins and minerals as well as some grit. Chicken's need to have grit. They need to have some kind of sand or grain, grainy pebbles in their gizzard in order to digest their food. Remember birds have no teeth so this stuff they can swallow but then to grind it up, they've got to have the grit in it that helps them digest it. Now in addition to that, there is what is called scratch and this is essentially the same type of material. You can see corn and grains. You can see them whole. Chickens love to scratch for food off the grain and this is what a lot of people use as a ground food. The differences are basically protein content. You don't want to give too much protein to your chickens as you will just get big heavy chickens. Now when you do need your protein, here is in the chic feed. It is just a very finely ground up mixture of grains and corn and grit along with any kind of vitamins or minerals they might need. So all of these are complete diets. However, chickens also love to eat bugs, worms, grubs, weeds. They are just terrific sort of wandering feeders. They will eat all kinds of bugs if you let them loose in your lawn, they will help keep the bugs down in your grass. Much better than using commercial pesticides. That will enhance both their health and happiness and it will improve the taste of their eggs. The color of egg yolks or something is something that people wonder about all the time and that is accomplished by adding things to these basic feeds. You have to add things like miracle flower petals which is what is often done in commercial poultry houses. They add that to the fee to create a nice orange yolk.

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