What to Feed Your Chickens When - dummies

By Kimberly Willis, Robert T. Ludlow

Part of Raising Chickens For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you’re raising chickens, remembering what feed you need for different types and ages of chickens can get confusing. What you feed a young layer is different than what you feed a mature meat bird. The following table gives you the essentials:

Chicken Type (Age) Feed Protein Ratio
Pet, show, and layer chicks (0 to 6 weeks) Chick starter 18 to 20%
Pet and show chicks (6 weeks on, if not laying) Chicken feed 12 to 14%
Laying hens (6 weeks until laying begins) Layer finisher or grower 12%
Laying hens (through laying years) Layer feed 16% protein + correct calcium and mineral balances
Meat birds (0 to 6 weeks) Broiler or meat bird starter 23 to 24%
Meat birds (6 weeks to butchering) Broiler grower-finisher or meat bird grower-finisher 18 to 20%