Feeding your chickens

type of feed

Feed/ choices/ storage/ quantities

Feeding your chickens:

Chickens are omnivorous, so they eat a little bit of everything!  But beware, you must provide them a well balanced feed. Sweets and table scraps will therefore be in small quantities. Certain foods should be avoided, such as raw eggs and potato peels. Other foods should also be avoided. 

Because nutritional requirements vary depending on the age of your hens and whether they are laying hens, broiler-fed or both, there are hundreds of formulations in the poultry feed industry. In fact, you need to find a feed blend formula that contains the best balance of proteins, vitamins and minerals. We find at the dealerships of feed mills, farm stores very good products such as those of Purina, Générations Grains Nature, Belisle, Shur-Gain etc.. They are generally made of vegetable proteins and do not contain drugs. They are completely natural. Poor products from other countries are not allowed in Canada and our standards are excellent.

You can trust our farm stores, retailers and points of sale, coops and local feed mills or feed stores, and ask for products adapted to the needs of laying hens at your retailers.

Avoid throwing grains, feed or food on the ground. The feed can become mouldy very quickly and infect the hens’ digestive system. (cloacitis, wind-blown gleet). Our humid climate does not allow us to use this method in Quebec.

It will be important to store your feed in a large, airtight plastic container. Feed can become damp and rancid. A kind of small wheeled garbage can will do the trick. In addition, an additional calcium intake is often recommended and oyster shells have this function as the gravel stones that can be offered to help crush food, especially during periods when they consume a lot of grass.

It is preferable to place feeders and drinkers in the run with a roof. Small urban poultry coops are far too small and inadequate to keep food indoors. Chickens eat constantly except at night. If you have a small urban coop, do not place water and feed containers in there, as they will poop a lot in this area if they have to feed in all day long. This area must be kept clean and you should avoid any water  spill that could wet the litter. Suspended feeders and raised drinking troughs are more efficient, will do less damage and get less dirty. Chickens do not eat or drink at night. Keep the coop clean and dry. They only go there to perch at night and lay eggs.  In the case of larger coops where you actually walk in,  or different facilities and production buildings, the feed can be placed inside. Otherwise, mini coops are not designed for this.

Educational Capsule

Do you know what a chicken’s normal body temperature is? Between 40-41 celsius (102 F and 104 F)

It is a myth to believe that having chickens attracts rodents. Little mice are everywhere in every way. In fact, it is the feed that could attract them. But if you keep your feed in airtight bins, you won’t have these problems. Also, if a mouse has the audacity to approach the coop, beware, because hens are excellent at getting rid of them in one bite! 

 A hen will eat about 125 to 150 grams (¾ per cup) of food per day. The feed represents 90% of all her food. A good quality feed for layers should contain at least 17% protein. During the moulting period, the protein intake can be increased and can be offered in the form of flaxseed, sunflower seeds, fish, cooked eggs etc. Moderate table scraps (3-4 Table Spoon max per hen) contribute as well as grass which is an essential element to provide trace elements. Pâtés and digestive stones (grit) can also be offered.  The ratio is about 1/25. 

The hen is made of  70% of water. The water allows the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of toxic materials. It allows the animal to regulate its temperature. Hens have no sweat glands to sweat and cool down. It is through its lungs that it will release its heat. Therefore, in summer, as they cannot sweat, they must drink a lot of cool water and in winter, this allows them to keep warm.

The formation of the egg consists of 65% water.

My favorite feed for my chickens has always been Purina Layer Gold. : 

They have several feed mixtures specially prepared for laying hens.

Provide kitchen table scraps in very small quantities ( 2-3 C. at table per hen per day)
Calcium (oyster shell) (be careful with eggshells as they can induce the taste to eat their own eggs
Algae (Kelp)- Redman
Digestion stone ( grit) 

Diatomaceous earth


– Some plants in your yard, your flower beds could be toxic to them, such as rhododendron, while some will be your hens’ favorites. Know how to protect them from toxic plants. 

– Some will be beneficial to cleanse the digestive system like nasturtium. (See more in Gardening with Hens)

(Tropaeolum majus) is an annual or perennial herbaceous climbing plant of the Tropaeolaceae family. Its rowing stems can reach 1 m in height, its leaves are round and petiolate, its flowers are composed of serrated petals of an orange color.
Flowers and leaves can be picked throughout the summer. Native to South America, present in North Africa.
Other names: great nasturtium and “Common nasturtium” in English.
Components : Flavonoids, oxalic acid, myrosine, vitamin C. glucosinolate (glucotropaeolin) and an enzyme (myrosinase)
The virtues of nasturtium: antibacterial, disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, mucolytic, antiseptic, stimulant, expectorant and diuretic. mucolytic and expectorant, antitussive, healing and deworming (seeds).

– The properties of nasturtium
:- natural antibiotic.
– against the flu and cold.
– against respiratory tract and kidney diseases.
– disinfects wounds (small wounds) and promotes their healing.
– Fight against hair loss.
– treatment of kidney, intestinal and tonsil inflammations.
– promotes the evacuation of nasal and bronchial secretions.
– Reduces the spread of viruses and bacteria.
– helps to fight against colds, bronchitis and coughs.
– to treat acne. – to treat cancer.


Virtual Chicken: The Mouth

Virtual Chicken: Full Digestive System



Coccidia Life Cycle


Share this page:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

The book "Des poules dans ma cour"

Published by ÉCOSOCIÉTÉ. Available in all good bookstores!

Note* abroad participants will see applicable rates apply.

Caroline Tremblay
Caroline Tremblay
Read More
Such a good book! Bravo for all the reasearch! 🙂
Nancy Studer
Nancy Studer
Read More
Like me, you've had chickens for a few years and you think that online training or books are not for you? Think again! You quickly realize the quality of the information and how much research has been done in order to be able to create such complete tools. It's never too late to learn and modify, even a little, our practices in order to offer even better to our chickens. Don't like to read? Give yourself the gift of online training, or you'll love the book that reads itself!Congratulations! For me, you are THE reference person!
Mylène Ferron
Mylène Ferron
Read More
I took the online training (webinar) offered by Urban Chicken Coops because I had the idea of building an urban chicken coop this summer. I didn't know anything about chickens or coops, and the information I found online was often contradictory. Until I found the Urban Chicken Coops website! The training offered is complete (very) and Ms. Arbour transmits her knowledge in a simple and understandable way for everyone. I highly recommend her!
Item added to cart.
0 items - 0,00 $