What to Feed Chickens in Your Backyard

The most important thing to remember when feeding chickens is that they eat a wide variety of food. What you should not feed them, however, are the following:
– Raw meat or bones.
– Toxic plants (such as nightshade).
– Anything with more than one ingredient listed on the ingredients label. It can be easy to forget which things your backyard birds might like and what they definitely do not like just by looking at the list of ingredients in their average commercial chicken feed bag! Be sure to read up on this topic before making any decisions about what type of food to give your feathered friends for breakfast and dinner!.
In other words…

Chickens are a great addition to any backyard. They provide eggs, they help keep the bugs down, and they can be used as a source of entertainment for the kids. However, there are some things you need to know before getting chickens in your backyard. One of those is how to feed them without buying feed.

Related Post: Best Table Saws

When people go to acquire their chicks for the first time, they often question, “Well, what do you feed them?”

I’ll show you how to feed hens in your backyard in this post.

Now, for some context, we do have a chicken… She’s been coming to our yard for about six months now, so she’s kind of a regular. And we simply figured it was someone else’s chicken that was going to pay us a visit.



We’ve recently learnt that the chicken’s owners have fled, leaving all of their chickens behind.

She’s now our adopted chicken, and we’re learning a lot from her. So, with all of that, we performed all of the research on what a chicken should be fed.


They can accomplish a lot on their own since they can consume a variety of foods right in the yard:

  • Clover
  • Grass
  • Weed seeds and weeds
  • Worms

In fact, we’ll keep an eye on her while she walks through our mulch and around our yard.

And she’s simply eating anything she can find, including worms, grub worms, and other such creatures.


On top of that, after we realized she could have been left behind, we began purchasing goods, and I’ll show you what we now feed her. However, they will eat almost any commercial feed that you can get at a feed and seed shop.


Ours came from our local Rural King, but commercial hen feed can be found at any feed shop.

Whether you’re keeping hens for eggs or not, you’ll want to acquire a variety that’s specifically designed for that purpose.

For example, the one we have is for egg production, and we got it since we discovered she was producing eggs.


Scraps of vegetables

You may feed them with goods from your kitchen as well.

For example, any kind of vegetable peels that you’ve cooked or leftovers from making supper may be fed to them in large quantities:

  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • apples
  • bananas
  • berries
  • herbs
  • pumpkin seeds and pumpkins
  • broccoli

Concerning Apples

They like apples; just make sure you don’t feed them the seeds, but you may give them the apple cores.

They absolutely love pumpkin seeds and pumpkins. You can feed them that in the fall. And the same with broccoli, they will eat broccoli all day long.

Porridge is also a good option for the winter months. That’s because they don’t have access to all of the other weeds and grasses they like at that time. So you may want to put it off till the winter.

You may also give them yogurt on occasion.



We also ordered her a bag of mealy worms in addition to the commercial feed that we have, and that’s just for an occasional usage that you may do.


What You Shouldn’t Feed Your Chickens

You can’t speak about what to feed your chickens without also talking about what not to give them. Garlic, onions, raw tomatoes, and potatoes are among the foods you should avoid giving them.

Chickens are unable to digest uncooked grains or beans because they are poisonous to them. It’s fine if you cook it. They’re alright with it, but not with anything raw. That is not something you should do.

Right now, the most popular stories are

How to Hang String Lights in a Backyard Without Trees: 7 Methods

Is a Hot Tub Safe to Use on Gravel? (And Why You Should Use It)

Squirrels in the Backyard: What to Feed Them


Don’t give them any candy or chocolates. There’s also poison in it. Then there are other foods, such as avocado pits and peel, that they can’t metabolize and are harmful to them. You should also avoid feeding them citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are poisonous to certain species of chickens and just reduce egg production in others, therefore if you raise hens for egg production, you should avoid feeding them citrus fruits.

Then there’s garlic, which isn’t inherently dangerous to hens but will give your eggs a garlicky taste. Feeding your chickens should also be free of any fatty or salty foods. This is also true for egg production. It’s not healthy for them either, just as it’s not good for humans to consume a lot of fatty or salty foods.

You may put the feed out anywhere you like if you have free-range hens, but most people have coops and their birds are restricted in a certain area.

You’ll want to store the food in individual feeders if you have hens in a certain coop location.

Hanging feeders keep their food away from their wastes and droppings, ensuring that they don’t ingest anything harmful to them, like as parasites.

If you have free-range hens, keep your feeder indoors or in a secure location to keep other animals and pests away.

We hope this post was helpful in determining what to feed your backyard hens. You may also learn what to feed your backyard squirrels here. If you have pets, you may want to check into dog fence ideas if you don’t already have a backyard fence in place.

Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for Backyard video lessons if you like this post. You may find us on Facebook as well.


Chickens need to eat a balanced diet of food that includes vegetables and protein. The “what to feed chickens by age” is a guide on how much food chickens should be given based on their age.

Frequently Asked Questions

What household foods can you feed chickens?

A: Chickens eat a variety of foods, but they mostly like to live on grains and vegetables.

What can I not feed my backyard chickens?

A: They cannot eat flowers, onion or garlic.

What fruits and vegetables can chickens eat?

A: I dont know what a chicken is.

  • what to feed chickens to lay eggs
  • what to feed chickens naturally
  • what can’t chickens eat list
  • how much to feed chickens per day
  • best food for chickens
You May Also Like