Chicken Food: What to Feed Your Feathers Friends in the Backyard

When I started out I actually stressed over if I was buying the right food for my chickens. If you have space in your backyard, rearing chickens is an excellent idea! While having a chicken for a pet is always an option, some of us have chickens for food. One of the main reasons for rearing our own chickens is that we control what they are fed.

Key Take-Aways

  • Rearing chickens in your backyard allows you to control the food they consume, resulting in meat and eggs with fewer chemicals.
  • Chickens can be fed a variety of foods, including poultry pellets, grains (such as wheat and corn), fruits, vegetables, and even cooked foods like bread and pasta.
  • It is important to ensure that chickens have access to an adequate supply of water, which aids in the digestion of their food, and using a chicken waterer is recommended for a continuous water supply.

There will be fewer chemicals in our meat and eggs. A great idea if ever there was one! So if you are considering rearing some chickens in your backyard, one of the first questions you may have is, “What should I feed them?” We all have seen the chicken pellets at our local feed store.

However, you can feed your chickens so much more. Your home is chuck full of food for chickens! Let’s explore your options.

Poultry Pellet

This is a staple food for chickens. It is easily available at any feed store. We encourage you to buy a high-quality pellet that will adequately meet your backyard chickens’ nutritional needs. While you are there, a sturdy dispenser for the feed is advisable. This will help keep the feet clean and dry.

This is also a great option if you want to have an automatic chicken feeder. You can learn all about those in the article…


While at the feed store, you can also pick up some wheat or corn. This can be scattered randomly between feedings depending on your schedule. Chickens also love rolled oats. So if you have oats for breakfast in the morning, you can put some aside! Wholemeal rice is also a good option.

Fruits and Vegetables

Okay great, now we can look in our refrigerators. Chickens can have many raw fruits and vegetables. Depending on what is available in your region, you can feed your chickens, cabbage, coconuts, bananas, chickweed, silverbeet and so on.

When you peel your fruits or vegetables, you can also toss them the peelings! They will love it! However, always make sure that your peelings are not spoiled or rancid, you don’t want to poison the little girls accidentally.

Cooked Foods

Chickens will also eat cooked foods! You can offer them bread, pasta and beans. I do not recommend canned beans, since we are not sure how the preservatives will affect the chickens.


As a side note, you need to make sure that the chickens always have an adequate supply of water. They need water to aid in the digestion of the pellet and grain in particular. Some people put a little garlic in the water since garlic is a natural antibiotic.

It’s best done by a chicken waterer as it will ensure a continuous supply. You can read all about chicken waterers in my article here…

All in all, finding food for chickens is easy! What you eat is good is enough for your chickens!

You also need to know…