What do chickens eat

What Do Chickens Eat for Treats and in the Wild? 7 Excellent Ideas Every Poultry Farmer Should Know

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 wonderful hens for all the delicious eggs they’ve been so productively laying. Still, we don’t want to give them something their body doesn’t agree with.

Different Ingredients Go Into Poultry Feeds Formulation
Different Ingredients Go Into Poultry Feeds Formulation

Commercial chicken feeds are a mix of numerous various kinds of active ingredients. The feed provides the chickens with the energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins they require to grow and be healthy.

An excellent diet is essential for hens to lay eggs. Like humans, chickens are omnivores. That suggests they can eat plant and animal foods.

The energy part of chicken feed originates from grains like corn, wheat, and barley. Corn is most typical in the United States, while other nations like Europe and Canada utilize more wheat and barley. Some locations in Africa use sorghum grain.

Chickens Love to eat Anything in the Wild
Chickens Love to eat Anything in the Wild.

The protein part of the feed is granted by both plant and animal sources. Plant sources consist of the product left after the oil has been eliminated from soybeans, canola, or sunflower seeds (to produce cooking oils).

Another typical plant protein source utilized in other nations is field peas. Some specific animal sources consist of fishmeal and by-products from the slaughter market referred to as meat and bone meal.

There are various types of feed. You must provide the ideal meal to the right bird. There are feeds for growing chickens, which are more in protein than mashes for egg-laying hens. Feed for egg-laying hens are likewise should be more in calcium. For good eggshells, calcium is a necessary ingredient.

Sprout Grains for Chickens
Sprout Grains for Chickens

Even when provided all the chicken feed they might eat, chickens will still forage for more food. That is, they will scratch the ground, trying to find food. They are searching for pests, insects, and worms, an excellent source of additional chicken protein.

The hens will moreover eat any little grains they can discover while they are scratching around. They similarly will chew on a few of the plant leaves. The chickens do not get plenty of nutrients from the grass lawn or alfalfa/clover (since chickens are not cows). However, they like to eat them, which includes a little fiber to their diet plan.


what do chicken eat
What do Chicken Eat- Chickens Eating Watermelon Treat

What Do Chickens Eat for Treats

When it comes to treats, there are some things you can happily feed your chickens every day, and some that should be left to a sometimes food (as much as the chickens would like it to be a daily treat!) We will also consider what chickens should not eat for pleasure.

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So, what do chickens eat?

Well, wonder no longer. Here’s a chart of treats that chickens love and guides how often they should be fed. An excellent companion to keep the girls happy and prevent some chubby chicks in your backyard!

It pertains to feeding our chickens; it’s all well and great to provide your hens their typical layer feed – however, what do chickens eat for treats? We wish to reward our incredible girls for all the tasty eggs they have been so proficiently laying. However, we do not want to provide something their body does not concur with.

What Do Chickens Eat- Everyday Treats for Chickens

So, what do chickens eat when it concerns occasional treats? In some cases, there are foods you can feed your chickens moderately – since they’re incredibly abundant (and all of us understand what too much of a great thing does!), or they do not have much of a dietary advantage. Here are some treats that you can give to your chickens every day.

Everyday Chicken Treats
Everyday Chicken Treats

You Can Treat This Sometimes for Your Chickens to Eat

So, what do chickens eat? Now you understand! So let’s discuss what they can’t eat. Naturally, some foods ought to NEVER be fed to your chickens – no matter if they appear like a tasty reward or not. Chickens can’t absorb whatever that human being can, so leave these scraps for the trashcan.

Treats You Can Give Your Chickens Sometimes
Treats You Can Give Your Chickens Sometimes

Avoid These Foods for The Chickens. Next time you’re asking yourself what chickens eat and working out what food to put in the compost pile or the chicken’s scrap tin, utilize this chicken reward chart to put your mind at ease.

Avoid These Treats to Chickens
Avoid These Treats to Chickens

These chicken treats need to be offered to your chickens in addition to a healthy diet plan of lay mash, shell grit for calcium, and most importantly, freshwater. Your chickens will remain healthy, vigorous, and laying proficiently and effectively on these abundant nutrient food treats that you’ll give them!

What Do Chickens Eat in the Wild

A long time ago, chickens were wild animals, roaming around in their natural environment and scratching and searching food. So before they could pop down to the store and purchase themselves some lay mash, what in the world did the wild chickens eat for food?

To start with, what do we imply by ‘wild chicken’? Well, among the very first recognizable types of wild chicken was the ‘Jungle Fowl.’ This type is the original breed of all chicken types we know and enjoy today! The Jungle Fowl can still be seen in the wild in places like India, Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

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how long do chickens live

You can likewise see them in Australia. Nevertheless, they are not running loose – lots of individuals continue to reproduce and breed them for their magnificent and impressive colors.

So when we describe the ‘wild chickens’ that comprise our domesticated chicken’s ancestors, consider the Jungle Fowl!

Many poultry keepers ask this concern since they wish to reproduce the chicken’s natural diet plan instead of providing them industrial or commercial feed.

Well, before the chickens were given fed their scraps at 5 pm from their keepers, their diet was composed of a variety of various food sources.

chicken ranching
Chicken Ranching

Well, if you’re interested in bringing your chickens’ diet plan back to that of their forebearers (within reason) and learning what chickens eat in the wild, here’s a guide to the food of the Jungle Fowls.

Wild Chickens love to eat crunchy, tasty, and juicy insects.

A Baby Chicken Love to Eat Worms in the Wild
A Baby Chicken Love to Eat Worms in the Wild

Bugs, pests, and insects discovered from foraging were the staple of the wild chickens’ diet plan. Ants, termites even insects like grasshoppers, are abundant in protein and nutrients and too delicious for our little chickens!

Another scrumptious reward that a scratching, foraging chicken would likewise discover is a huge, fat, juicy worm! Mmm … worms are another terrific source of protein for active chickens, to assist and help keep them healthy and active.

chickens eating mealworms
Chickens Eating Mealworms

Should we Still Feed Insects to our Chickens?

Modern domesticated chickens that are free-ranging still prefer bugs, pests, and insects’ gratifying advantages as they peck them up off the ground and out of our valuable garden plots.

A pest-free garden is instead an advantage for the passionate garden enthusiast!

smart chickens

Chickens can likewise take pleasure in delicious mealworms as a reward or treat. However, provide it to them in little amounts as excessive protein is bad for them.

Can you think of it if the wild chickens got fed a handful of mealworms without working for it? They would have gone, well, fantastic!

Nature’s Plants are the Heavenly Foods for Chickens

Before there was home-grown garden produce to peck at, chickens got their natural nutrient foods from edible plants growing around their environment.

They likewise enjoyed pecking at wild berries and fruits within reach of their beak (no surprise, they still like berries a lot!). Leaves from young plants completed their 100% natural diet plan.

can chicken eat banana

Should we Still Feed Edible Plants to our Chickens?

It’s still an excellent concept to feed your domesticated chickens some fresh fruit and vegetables and plant-based foods to keep their nutrients up.

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Spinach, kale, cabbage, and things like pumpkin and potato will help keep your chickens healthy and vigorous. Fresh or frozen berries are still a poultry favorite in our yard flocks.

bird owners

They are healthy and tasty for them, so keep feeding! Perhaps you can spread them around the yard so the chickens can act like their wild ancestors and ‘forage’ for berries. Absolutely nothing provides a reward or incentive to workout like food!

Chickens in the Wild like to Eat Anything

Nowadays, the few ‘wild chickens’ that still exist practically consume any human food they can get their beaks on. Hey, you got to endure how you got to survive!

This suggests some wild birds have actually consumed all sorts of insane food – popcorn, white bread when they’re desperate. They’ll eat anything they can get their beaks on!

california chickens

Can we Still feed These to our Chickens?

Chickens can consume and eat some human food like cooked rice, pasta, little bits of whole-grain bread, and naturally fresh leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables.

However, when it pertains to things like popcorn (we mean the items packed in butter and salt), it’s most likely best to avoid it!

Chickens will not have the ability to absorb unhealthy processed food or scrapped food effectively (plus, it’s not great for them!), so it’s most likely best to leave these in the trash.

Likewise, anything high in sugar needed to be fed to the flock, as it’s not suitable for their gastrointestinal system. No lollipops for the hens, please!

pet chicken in garden
Pet Chicken In Garden

So if you’re seeking to offer your chickens the natural diet of their wild chicken ancestors and have been considering what chickens eat in the wild, it’s everything about pests, worms, leafy greens, and berries! (It’s type of like the ‘paleo diet plan’ for chickens!).

It’s still advised that you keep feeding your hens lay mash, as this has been mainly developed to their requirements and has the best levels of nutrients needed. You can continuously provide the chickens the natural treats of their ancestors as a side meal or dish!

chicken eating grass
Chicken Eating Grass

If you liked this article, please leave a comment below. Your comments and questions inspire us to share more.

Check this video on what do chickens eat from Becky’s Homestead…




23 thoughts on “What Do Chickens Eat for Treats and in the Wild? 7 Excellent Ideas Every Poultry Farmer Should Know”

    1. What are the risks and damages of feeding chickens to a high amount of mealworms?
      is there a correct equation for the weight of worms for every bird per day?

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  5. Chickens are omnivores and will consume (or attempt to consume) practically anything they can get their beaks on. When ranging in the lawns, chickens will see a cornucopia of protein- and vitamin-rich food by themselves, consisting of grubs and bugs, plants, and seeds. Relatively indiscriminate, they might even experiment with such backyard fare as skinks, toads, or little snakes prior to identifying it is not to their taste. Throughout warmer months, a considerable part of a chicken’s diet might originate from foraging, although free-ranging is not needed for a backyard brood to take pleasure in a healthy, well-balanced diet.

  6. Your chickens need to have access to fresh water at all times. You ought to revitalize their water system every day and guarantee that their water drinker is kept tidy. In the heat, you ought to keep the water in the shade and examine it more frequently as chickens will consume more in the heat. In extreme winter you will likewise require to inspect their water more frequently as it will freeze over. The Egle Glug is terrific at keeping your chickens’ water tidy.

  7. Chickens will eat most things that you provide (within reason). They will delight in pasta, green veggies, cereals, raisins, bananas… constantly ensure that treats are newly gotten ready for the chickens. It’s great to provide a reward, however, do ensure you aren’t providing a lot of treats as they will fill on those and not eat their layers pellets.

  8. Chickens need to eat little stones in order to assist absorb their food. When keeping chickens it is crucial to offer them a supply of grit as they might not be able to naturally find sufficient grit.

  9. Your chickens ought to have a continuous supply of food throughout the day. Chickens will eat when they require it and needs to go to sleep with a full crop as they require lots of food to produce eggs. A completely grown chicken will usually eat about 120 grams of layers pellets a day.

  10. A free-range hen will be proficient at discovering protein by foraging for meaty bug such as slugs, snails and worms. Lots of hens today do not have the capability to find those bug on an everyday basis so require a feed that has all nutrition she requires.

    Chickens need a well-balanced diet of protein, carb, vitamins, and minerals. Protein is especially essential for growing chickens and for producing eggs. If she does not have sufficient protein in her diet, a great layer will stop producing numerous eggs.

  11. Chickens are naturally great foragers and if they are totally free range they will enjoy forage for bugs and plant. To keep healthy chickens that will lay lots of eggs for you, you will require to supply additional food. Here you will discover what kind of food to feed, and just how much you will require to feed your chickens along with what chickens preferred deals with are.

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