8 Best Chicken Feeds – Give The Best To Your Flock!

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Last updatedLast updated: March 24, 2021
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When it comes to chicken feed, you need quality to know you’re taking care of your chickens from the inside out. Looking for the best chicken feed? We’ll help you know the right one to buy according to your chickens’ needs.

We’ve put together a list of the eight of the best chicken feeds on the market. Our Editor’s Choice, the PICKY NEB Dried Mealworms, ranks at the top. It’s organic, non GMO and is packed with mealworms containing all the nutrition your chickens need to lay delicious, healthy eggs. In our chicken feed reviews we share seven other popular products. Each of these offer brilliant features we hope will help you pick the one best for your chickens.

We’ve spent many hours researching online to source the best chicken feed. Our reviews include various types of feed between organic, medicated, non-medicated and differing textures to cater to your chickens’ dietary preferences. We’ve noted the nutrients included to ensure the chicken feed’s not only tasty but healthy. Growth stages are key, so the products we’ve rated range from being suitable for chicks and pullets to layers & all stages. Finally, we’ve considered package weight so you know how much you’re getting for what you’re paying and how long the feed will last. We’ve tabulated our research findings with an in depth review and overall rating for each product. If you’re still undecided, our buyer’s guide will assist you. We look closely at features you need to consider when searching for the best chicken feed. Our FAQ section gives advice on matters such as possible feeding problems you might encounter and how to overcome them, the best protein source & other products available. After reading this you’ll have all the information you need to purchase the best chicken feed!

Top 8 Chicken Feeds Review 2021


PICKY NEB Dried MealwormsEditor’s Choice

  • Type of feed: non-medicated, organic
  • Nutrients: fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals
  • Growth stage: all stages, especially layers
  • Weight: 5 lbs

More features: resealable bags, non-GMO, suitable for fish, hedgehogs, turtles, and a variety of hard-to attract wild birds, money back guarantee

Our Editor’s Choice, this is among the best organic chicken feed for laying hens. It’s 100% safe—the mealworms are dust free and contain no additives, preservatives or GMO ingredients. Picky Neb’s the perfect pick for all stages of chickens, particularly as a chicken feed for layers. You can rest assured when feeding your chickens that it’s a fresh and nutritious product. Packed with energy and completely natural components, you’re looking after yourself & your chickens. Fresh, healthy, thick and well formed eggs daily is the result.
Suitable for all growth stages, the mealworms in this product provide vital nutrients to boost your baby chickens’ immune systems and stay fit in the cold winter months. Their high protein content enables your hens to lay those eggs and produce new feathers when molting. Keep this feed out of your chickens’ reach, as they’ll want to peck away at this scrumptious treat night and day.
The highlight of this chicken feed for egg layers? The solid resealable bags make for easy use and storage. If you’re not entirely satisfied, there’s a money back guarantee.

What we liked:

  • No refrigeration required
  • Money back guarantee
  • Resealable bag

What could be better:

  • Chickens can tend to overfeed
  • Plastic packaging questionable during shipping
  • Type of feed: non-medicated, mixture of pellets and organic layer feed with corn
  • Nutrients: high protein, Omega 3, seeds, and herbs
  • Growth stage: layers
  • Weight: 10 lbs

More features: non-GMO, corn free, soy free, ingredients sourced out of the Pacific Northwest, available in larger packages, money back guarantee

We’ve rated Small Pet Select Chicken Layer Feed as our Best Value product. Not only is it GMO free, but it also contains no fillers of corn or soya that tend to make hens both unhealthy and large. The natural ingredients come from the Pacific Northwest and ensure the chicken feed’s full of whole grains, botanicals, herbs, protein pellets, a light covering of Omega 3 vegetable oil plus pumpkin & sunflower seeds. This combination feed has everything your flock needs and has been designed as an organic chicken feed specifically for laying hens. Also among the best organic chicken feed, you can see what your chickens are consuming in this varied mix. This feed allows your chickens to naturally and instinctively scratch & peck for seed, so they’ll enjoy their mealtimes. Remember to keep it away from squirrels!
The best part? If you can’t get enough of it, a 25lb bag’s also available to keep those egg layers happy and fed. The product comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee based on its high dust free quality.

What we liked:

  • Available in larger packages
  • Extremely fresh
  • High source of protein

What could be better:

  • Can attract pesky squirrels
  • Wastage if chickens don’t like taste

Manna Pro Chick StarterBudget Pick

  • Type of feed: medicated, crumbles
  • Nutrients: vitamins, minerals, protein
  • Growth stage: chicks
  • Weight: 5 lbs

More features: formulated for the development of active immunity to Coccidiosis

Manna Pro Chick Starter feed’s our Budget Pick. It’s been made as a sole ration to chicks from birth to 16 weeks. Make sure you get your young chicks off to the best start before they leave the chicken coop or are big enough to eat coarse grains and layer pellets.
This product’s been medicated with Amprolium to build up a healthy immunity to Coccidiosis which poses one of the most common risks and death causes to little chicks. In a crumbled texture containing corn, soybean meal and wheat middlings, it’s easy to feed & suitable for the tiniest chicks. This chicken feed’s been strengthened with vitamins, minerals and proteins to encourage strong development & growth. With an 18% protein content, this fosters feather and muscle development & weight gain to help your chicks thrive. For best taste and texture, make sure the crumble doesn’t get wet when feeding. Because the bag’s not resealable, clip it to keep the feed fresh.
This product comes in a heavy duty bag with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and birds like it too!

What we liked:

  • Affordable
  • Available in 5lb and 25lb packages
  • Medicated to keep young chicks healthy

What could be better:

  • California Proposition 65 warning
  • Product expiry date questionable

Manna Pro Oyster ShellBest Shell-Grit

  • Type of feed: non-medicated, shell-grit
  • Nutrients: calcium
  • Growth stage: layers, pullets
  • Weight: 5 lbs

More features: includes Coral Calcium

Made from pellet sized crushed oyster shell and coral calcium, Manna Pro Oyster Shell is ranked as our Best Shell-Grit chicken feed. It’s a fantastic calcium source, helping to build healthy chickens and hardy, strong egg shells. It takes 20 hours for a hen to make an eggshell—formed of 95% calcium carbonate—, so with this chicken feed you’re ensuring your hen gets what it needs to deliver.
This product’s been heat treated for purity and is rated among the best chicken feed recommended for laying hens & pullets. Pullets can start eating this chicken feed at 18 weeks old and continue during their laying period. Perhaps you have a backyard flock or are a champion show bird breeder. Either way, this product’s the ideal high quality calcium supplement. Your chickens are sure to eat as much as they need.
It’s been highly rated for its value for money and being available in 5lb & 50lb packages. While the pellets might be too large for some flocks they can be crushed with a mallet for easier consumption.

What we liked:

  • Affordable
  • High calcium source
  • Resealable bag

What could be better:

  • California Proposition 65 warning
  • Shell size too large and potentially hazardous

Scratch and Peck FeedsBest Whole Grain Feed

  • Type of feed: non-medicated, organic feed with whole grain
  • Nutrients: protein, calcium, Omega 3, carbohydrates, minerals
  • Growth stage: suitable from 20 weeks
  • Weight: 25 lbs

More features: Non-GMO Project Verified, soy-free, grains come from family farms

Scratch and Peck Feeds is our Best Whole Grain Feed. Made from organic regional whole grains grown by family farms in the Pacific North West, this canola free soy free chicken feed is non GMO project verified and has been minimally processed & non pelletized. It’s been manufactured by a certified B Corporation company that has the best interests of the environment at heart. You’ll know you’re supporting local, responsible and sustainable farming by purchasing this product.
With this chicken feed you know your chickens are receiving healthy, high quality and safe food that’s free of harmful chemicals & toxins. This product contains a 16% protein layer with corn so it’s packed with carbohydrates. These are essential energy producers in the winter season. As this feed is raw and unprocessed it maintains the best nourishment for improved absorption. If you’re wanting to ferment, this feed’s a superb pick.
Available in a 25lb and 25lb two pack bag, this loose feed’s a must have product for your chickens 20 weeks & older.

What we liked:

  • High quality feed
  • Non GMO
  • Supports sustainable farming

What could be better:

  • Feed tends to have a powdery texture
  • Pricier

Prairie's Choice Chicken FeedBest for Chicks

  • Type of feed: non-medicated, crumbles
  • Nutrients: protein, calcium, fiber
  • Growth stage: chicks
  • Weight: 25 lbs

More features: non-GMO, grown and packaged in the USA

We regard this as the Best for Chicks. Prairie’s Choice Backyard Grower Chicken Feed is grown and packaged in the USA. Completely 100% non-GMO, it’s the natural solution to backyard chicken feed. This 25lb product provides all the sustenance your chicks need to grow into fine, healthy birds. Made from non-chemically processed soybean meal this crumbled feed is easier and safer to digest. It ensures your grower flock will eat a balanced diet and become strong & satisfied.
Not intended for egg layers, this chicken feed’s best given as a ration for starter and grower chicks. How long this package lasts depends on whether you have free range or coop chicks. Made of 18% protein, your chicks will love it for its hearty, wholesome flavor and beg you for more!

What we liked:

  • Little to no wastage when feeding
  • Non medicated
  • Nutritious

What could be better:

  • Limited availability
  • Pricier

Kaytee Laying Hen DietBest Nutrients

  • Type of feed: non-medicated, pellets
  • Nutrients: protein, amino acids, calcium, probiotics, flax seeds, marigold extract
  • Growth stage: layers
  • Weight: 25 lbs

More features: suitable after 18-weeks of age, money back guarantee

Kaytee Laying Hen Diet has been formulated among the best chicken feed for laying hens. We’ve voted it as the Best Nutrients product. Packed with 16% protein and balanced amino acids for the support of healthy egg production, you’ll know your laying hens are giving you good quality eggs. The probiotics support your egg layers’ digestive health and the flax seeds are high in Omega 3, helping to build fantastic tasting eggs. The calcium ensures strong egg shells and the marigold extract gives the egg yolks a rich color.
The ingredients have been highly rated for their quality. They comprise an entirely vegetarian diet of pellets made from ground corn, ground wheat, soybean meal and calcium carbonate. This product is not suitable for chicks. It can be fed as the sole ration after your chickens are 18 weeks old—or when they begin producing eggs. They can be fed during their laying cycle which is why this is among the best chicken feed for layers. Available in a 10lb and 25lb package, you can buy in bulk for your egg layers.

What we liked:

  • High quality ingredients
  • Money back guarantee
  • Produces excellent eggs and shells

What could be better:

  • Large pellets trickier for hens to consume
  • Whole grain seeds can cause insect infestation
  • Type of feed: non-medicated, pellets
  • Nutrients: protein, calcium, vitamins, minerals
  • Growth stage: layers
  • Weight: 20 lbs

More features: natural plant protein

We’ve picked this chicken feed as the Best for Layers. Available in a 20lb bag, Brown’s Layer Booster Daily Diet Chicken Feed has a 16% protein content and high calcium formula.
It’s made for top producing laying hens. You can feed them the pellets from 18 weeks or older and know that they’ll benefit from the natural plant protein containing no traces of animal proteins or fats. With fresh, nutritious, sun ripened grains, you know you’re getting high quality ingredients straight from nature. What’s more, this product’s been strengthened with calcium, minerals and vitamins so your laying hens will keep on producing eggs with strong shells & full, yellow yolks. If you’re looking for the best chicken feed for laying hens, this is one to consider. It’ll keep your egg layers pleased and in production.

What we liked:

  • Increased egg yield
  • Natural plant protein ingredients
  • Nutritious

What could be better:

  • Hens might pick and choose among the pellets
  • Pricey

Things to Consider

When buying chicken feed, make certain you’ve considered various features before taking your pick of the best one your chickens need for their age and stage of life. You’ll be feeding your chickens every day, so they must enjoy the feed plus reap the health benefits so you get your desired results. Continue reading to get as many tips as possible. After this you can then make an informed decision when picking the best chicken feed.

How much and how often should chickens be fed a day

8 Best Chicken Feeds - Give The Best To Your Flock!

As a rule of thumb, you can feed your chickens at regular times twice a day—once each morning and once each evening. If you’re in close proximity to your chickens you can feed them more times throughout the day. Chickens like to eat small portions often.

There always should be fresh water available, so you may consider purchasing a chicken waterer to make this task easier. If the weather is cold, a heated chicken waterer would be great, so you won’t have to worry about the water getting frozen.

Some people throw their chicken feed directly onto the ground for the chickens to naturally peck from. Others prefer to place it in a chicken trough so it stays clean and dry. Just remember not to leave the feed out overnight in case mice find it.

Chicks start off eating less—small meals of up to six to eight times a day. They’ll eat as much as they need and their appetites will soon increase.

For the average hen to lay 12 eggs she needs to be fed about four pounds of good quality protein chicken feed. After a hen starts producing, you can work on an estimated figure of feeding each of your medium weight egg layers roughly ¼ pound of feed daily. This works out to about ½ a cup per day and totals approximately 1 ½ pounds of layer pellets per hen weekly.

The best food you can give your chickens is chicken feed. Apple cores, broccoli, pumpkin and worms are all healthy & special treats. Be sure not to let these treats take up more than 10% of their daily feed intake. Don’t forget to keep a daily supply of clean, fresh water so your hens stay hydrated.

Features to consider while buying the best chicken feed

If you’re still not sure about which chicken feed to buy, take a close look at these vital features to consider before you make your final decision. We’ve taken into account all of these in our chicken feed reviews to help you out.

Type of feed

You get out what you put in. You have the option of organic, medicated, non-medicated and differing textures depending on your chickens’ dietary requirements.

Organic feed gives you a peaceful mind knowing no chemicals or medicines are included. PICKY NEB Dried Mealworms, Small Pet Select Chicken Layer Feed and Scratch & Peck Feeds are all best organic chicken feed we’ve reviewed.

Medicated feed such as Manna Pro Chick Starter is particularly helpful for young chicks to help boost their immune systems in their early days. Because it contains Amprolium, it helps protect against Coccidiosis which commonly kills young chicks. This product’s the one to buy for your little birds.

Chicken feed comes in various textures that’s also better consumed according to age and growth stage. From crumble to pellets, shell grit and whole grains, take your pick depending on what your chicken needs.

Feed nutrients

8 Best Chicken Feeds - Give The Best To Your Flock!

You’re looking for the best nutrients in the form of fiber, minerals and vitamins to ensure you’re giving your chicken the optimal chance to thrive.

PICKY NEB Dried Mealworms and Small Pet Select Chicken Layer Feed are both a high source of protein. Omega 3 and calcium are top contenders for ensuring healthy eggs & shells, so Manna Pro Oyster Shell, Scratch and Peck Feeds, Kaytee Laying Hen Diet & Brown’s Layer Booster Daily Diet Chicken Feed are all superb options to consider. Prairie’s Choice contains the calcium, fiber and protein that young chicks require.

Stage of chicken’s growth

Are you raising chicks, pullets, layers or chickens of all growth stages? This ultimately influences the type of chicken feed you’ll buy.

Giving your chickens the wrong feed at the wrong growth stage can be extremely dangerous.

Chicks will best feed on Manna Pro Chick Starter and Prairie’s Choice. They’ve both been specially formulated for young chicks to give them everything they need from a young age. Brown’s Layer Booster Daily Diet Chicken Feed and Kaytee Laying Hen Diet can be given to chicks from 18 weeks & older, or as soon as they begin producing eggs. Scratch and Peck Feeds is suitable for chickens from 20 weeks old & up.

Pullets will benefit from Manna Pro Oyster Shell. The best chicken feed for layers we’ve reviewed is PICKY NEB Dried Mealworms, Small Pet Select Chicken Layer Feed, Manna Pro Oyster Shell, Kaytee Laying Hen Diet and Brown’s Layer Booster Daily Diet Chicken Feed. For all growth stages, your best option is PICKY NEB Dried Mealworms.

Commercial feed vs store chicken feed

When feeding your chicken the correct type of food you’ll know it’s getting all it needs. That’s much better than leaving your chicken to roam around freely all day foraging for any scraps it might find on the ground. You might be wondering whether to purchase commercial chicken feed or store chicken feed.

Store bought chicken feed may well be cheaper but you can’t guarantee it has all the nutrients your chicken requires. Commercial feed has been specifically designed and formulated to contain all the right ingredients to ensure your chicken stays healthy & produces healthy eggs.

Scratch and Peck Feeds supports sustainable farming so you know it’s been specially developed & responsibly farmed by farmers who know first hand all the goodness it should contain. PICKY NEB Dried Mealworms, Small Pet Select Chicken Layer Feed and Prairie’s Choice are all non-GMO produced chicken feed options that bring the best from nature straight to your chicken.


The number of chickens you have determines how long a bag of chicken feed will last. If you’re looking for large packages, Scratch and Peck Feeds, Prairie’s Choice & Kaytee Laying Hen Diet all come in 25lb bags.

Brown’s Layer Booster Daily Diet Chicken Feed is available in a 20lb package while Small Pet Select Chicken Layer Feed’s package is half the weight at 10lb. PICKY NEB Dried Mealworms, Manna Pro Chick Starter and Manna Pro Oyster Shell all come in smaller 5lb packaging.


Organic feed and large bag sizes are typically more expensive. For under $5 you can buy Manna Pro Chick Starter and Manna Pro Oyster Shell. More expensive options are Brown’s Layer Booster Daily Diet Chicken Feed, Kaytee Laying Hen Diet, Scratch and Peck Feeds & Prairie’s Choice.

Keep in mind that where you purchase also determines the price.

8 Best Chicken Feeds - Give The Best To Your Flock!

Probable reasons why chickens might refuse to be fed and how to solve these problems

With enough food and water your adult chicken can look after itself for up to three or four days without any cause for worry. Your chicken will usually eat when it’s hungry and drink when it’s thirsty.

If your chicken’s drinking but not eating feed, it’s possible that it’s been consuming hay, long grass or straw. Perhaps they’re also not getting enough grit in their diet. Grit assists the chicken’s digestive system to ensure it breaks down the feed correctly. Firstly, check the ingredients in your chicken feed to rule out any concerns you may have.

Move your chicken to a dry and warm area & try some healthy treats such as apple cores, broccoli, pumpkin & worms. It’s possible that this might be more attractive to your chicken than its regular feed.

If you suspect your chicken’s sick, and it’s not eating by itself, try assisting it. Use a dropper, spoon or syringe. If this doesn’t work, you can even try a liquid diet administered through a tube. If a sick layer chicken isn’t up to eating much, you can crush their feed and combine it with warm milk or water forming a soup like ‘mash’ that might be more appetizing to your ill hen.

Look out for telltale signs such as coughing, heavy breathing, a runny nose, wheezing, patchy feathers and a pale or limp comb. If your chicken’s neither drinking nor eating and you’re worried, it’s best to go to the vet for a professional opinion & treatment recommendations.


Free range chickens don’t tend to overeat, so if the chicken feeder is overfilled they simply won’t eat all the pellets. Coop chickens should be monitored so they don’t eat too much at a time. Be mindful of the dominant hen in the coop as they tend to eat most of the food.

Feed that doesn’t contain too many filler ingredients is advisable, as fillers can fatten up your chickens. Avoid feeding your chickens your table scraps. Overfeeding of chickens can lead to obesity and health problems.

Mealworms are a tremendous protein source in chicken feed. While they’re a hit with chickens, their high protein density can cause gout and kidney disease when consumed in large amounts. An egg laying hen requires 20g of protein daily, so make sure you don’t exceed this quantity.

Pumpkin, sunflower seeds, cottonseed meal and soybean meal are also packed with protein. Always read the package ingredients to know your feed’s protein source and the quantity your chickens are receiving in each meal.

Apart from the chicken feed reviews we’ve shared today, there are other chicken feed brand options as alternatives. Consider Kalmbach chicken feed. K Kalmbalch Feeds’ Organic Harvest Layer Pellets are strengthened with Omega 3 which guarantees a yield of eggs that are full of Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D3. It’s a pricey product, but with a combination of enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics, you’ll know the digestive & immune systems of your chickens will be well looked after.

K Kalmbach Feeds’ Henhouse Reserve contains 17% of whole grain complete later feed for hens. It enables your egg layers to scratch for grain but doesn’t skimp on the nutrition a layer feed provides. You’ll get fantastic egg yolks with this feed because of the entirely natural ingredients. The LifeGuard mix of enzymes, essential oils, prebiotics and probiotics all benefit digestive & immune health. The amino acids, minerals and vitamins will ensure solid eggs shells & delectable eggs.

You might also want to investigate Nature’s Best organic chicken feed reviews. Nature’s Best Organic Feeds Egg Layer Pellets contain the nutrients you wouldn’t normally find in your traditional scratch mix. It’s made in the USA and might be pricier than some, but compares well with local tractor supplies. It has produced outstanding results with hens laying eggs even in high temperatures.

According to Nutrena NatureWise chicken feed reviews, Nutrena NatureWise Feather Fixer Chicken Feed helps your chickens to regrow their feathers. It can be used as the sole ration feed for hens and roosters from 16 weeks old. As soon as you start to notice feather loss, this product will help remedy the problem. With extra prebiotics offering digestive support and nutrient absorption, this feed also helps in drier months when grass is limited.

Purina chicken feed reviews show that Purina Layenna Layer Crumbles have additional marigold extract that give the egg yolks their deep yellow color. Using freshly ground grains from North American farms, no hormones are added. This product offers calcium, manganese and trace minerals that all help to form solid egg shells. Vitamins A, D and E help chickens grow into strong & healthy adult birds.

Our Verdict

We trust our best chicken feed reviews have helped you decide which one to purchase. If you’re still unsure, we suggest you first consider our Editor’s Choice, PICKY NEB Dried Mealworms, because they offer a high source of protein your chickens need to be healthy and strong. With a resealable bag and no refrigeration necessary, this product is a sure win.

By picking the Small Pet Select Chicken Layer Feed, you’ll benefit from getting value for money with this best value chicken feed. It’s organic, non medicated and fresh. Its natural ingredients are free of unhealthy fillers, so your chickens will be stocking up on the right kind of feed.

If the finances are limited then Manna Pro Chick Starter’s the budget pick for you with its medicated ingredients to especially keep those young chicks fighting strong. It’s affordable and keeps the chicks healthy from birth.

We hope that with our selection of the best chicken feed you’ll find the perfect pick for your chicken. Which one’s the best according to you?

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