What Does Chickens Eat? (Discover the Nutritional Facts)

Have you ever wondered what chickens eat? Many people don’t think too much about the nutritional needs of chickens, but it’s actually quite interesting! In this article, we’ll take a look at what chickens typically eat, including grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, insects, small animals, and even supplements.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about what chickens eat, then keep reading!

Short Answer

Chickens typically eat a variety of foods, including grains, fruits, vegetables, and insects.

They can also eat small amounts of meat and dairy products.

Most commercial feed contains a combination of grains, such as corn, wheat, and barley, as well as a vitamin and mineral supplement.

Chickens will also enjoy treats such as mealworms, cooked eggs, and fresh greens.

What Are Chickens?

Chickens are a type of domesticated bird that are popularly kept as livestock.

They are a member of the Galliformes family, which also includes pheasants, partridges, and quails.

Chickens have a wide range of breeds, varying in color, size, and temperament.

They are a hardy bird and can survive in a variety of climates.

Chickens are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals.

Chickens are an important source of protein and are a key component to a healthy diet.

In addition to providing humans with food, chickens are also used for egg and meat production.

They are also kept as companion animals and can be trained to do tricks.

Chickens are highly social animals and can form strong bonds with humans and other animals.

What Do Chickens Eat?

Chickens are omnivorous creatures, meaning they feast on both plants and animals.

This means that their diets can vary a great deal depending on what is available to them.

A typical diet for a chicken can include a variety of grains, vegetables, fruits, insects, and small animals.

Grains such as corn and wheat are common staples in the chickens diet.

Grains provide essential carbohydrates and energy to the bird and are a key component of a balanced diet.

Vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and carrots are also popular choices for chickens.

These provide a range of vitamins and minerals to keep your chickens healthy.

In addition to grains and vegetables, chickens also eat a variety of insects such as mealworms, grubs, and crickets.

These provide essential proteins and fats to the bird and can be found in the wild or purchased from pet stores.

Chickens also enjoy snacking on small animals such as mice, frogs, lizards, and snakes.

While these are not essential to the diet, they can provide a welcome variety and can be a great source of protein and other nutrients.

Finally, the diet of a chicken can be supplemented with commercial chicken feed that is specially formulated to provide them with all the essential nutrients that they need.

This feed typically includes a mix of grains, proteins, fats, and minerals that will help keep your chickens healthy and strong.

In conclusion, chickens are omnivorous creatures and their diet can vary greatly depending on what is available to them.

Popular staples of the chickens diet include grains, vegetables, fruits, insects, and small animals.

Additionally, their diet can be supplemented with commercial chicken feed that is specifically designed to provide them with all the nutrients they need.

With a balanced and varied diet, your chickens can remain healthy and strong.

Grains and Seeds

Grains and seeds are an essential part of a chicken’s diet, providing them with the necessary carbohydrates they need for energy as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Grains like corn and wheat are commonly used as a staple food for chickens, providing them with a source of carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.

Additionally, grains like oats and barley are also popular, providing chickens with protein and B vitamins.

Seeds, on the other hand, are an excellent source of protein and essential fatty acids.

Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds are all excellent choices for chickens and will provide them with the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy.

Adding a variety of grains and seeds to your chicken’s diet will ensure that they get all the essential nutrients they need.

Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a chicken’s diet, providing essential vitamins and minerals.

Chickens can eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, including lettuce, spinach, carrots, apples, and berries.

Leafy greens like lettuce and spinach are especially beneficial for chickens, as they provide a good source of vitamin A and calcium.

Carrots are also a great source of vitamin A, as well as beta carotene.

Apples and other fruits are a great way to supplement a chicken’s diet with natural sweetness, and they may also help discourage chickens from eating their own eggs.

Chopped and cooked vegetables can also be offered to chickens, as they are easier to digest and may provide more nutritional benefits.


When it comes to insects, chickens are true omnivores.

They love to chow down on a variety of bugs including mealworms, grubs, and crickets.

Not only are these insects full of protein and other nutrients, but they also provide an interesting and varied texture to the chickens diet.

For chickens living in the wild, insects are an important source of food and nutrition.

For those living in captivity, however, supplementing the diet with insects is a great way to provide variety and nutrition.

Insects can be found in a variety of places, making it easy to collect them and feed them to chickens.

Mealworms and grubs can be found in the soil and under logs, while crickets can often be seen hopping around the lawn.

If youre feeling adventurous, you can even collect some of the wild insects your chickens find to feed them.

Insects are also great sources of protein and other essential nutrients.

Mealworms, for example, are a great source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals.

Crickets are packed with calcium, phosphorus, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

And grubs are a great source of protein and fatty acids.

In addition to being a great source of nutrition, insects also provide a great source of entertainment for chickens.

Watching them hunt and peck for their food is a great way to provide mental stimulation and keep them engaged.

Small Animals

When it comes to what chickens eat, they are also known to be opportunistic omnivores, meaning they often take advantage of whatever food sources are available to them.

This includes small animals such as mice, frogs, lizards, and snakes.

While these animals may not make up the majority of a chicken’s diet, they can provide them with additional nutrients and help to keep them healthy.

When chickens do eat small animals, they usually consume them whole, which can provide them with a high-protein meal.

Additionally, due to the small size of these animals, they also provide chickens with the added benefit of a balanced diet of both plant and animal-based sources.

It’s important to note, however, that chickens should not be encouraged to eat small animals in excess, as this can lead to an imbalanced diet.

Additionally, if chickens are allowed to hunt and eat small animals, they should be monitored to make sure that they are not consuming any poisonous or hazardous animals.

Finally, when providing chickens with small animals as part of their diet, it’s important to make sure they are getting the proper nutrition.

This means providing them with a balanced diet of both plant and animal-based foods, as well as ensuring that they are getting all of the essential nutrients they need.


When it comes to supplements, chickens can benefit from a variety of commercial chicken feed that is specially formulated to provide them with all the essential nutrients.

This type of feed often includes a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that chickens need to stay healthy.

Commercial feed typically contains a combination of corn, wheat, soybeans, oats, and other grains, as well as animal proteins, vegetables, and other plant-based ingredients.

Additionally, many feed manufacturers offer supplements such as vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to further ensure that chickens receive all the nutrients they need.

While supplements are not essential for chickens, they can help to ensure a balanced diet and optimal health.

Final Thoughts

Chickens are amazing creatures that have adapted to survive by eating a variety of food sources.

From grains and seeds, to vegetables and fruits, to insects and small animals, chickens have a diverse diet that helps them thrive.

Supplementing their diet with commercial chicken feed is a great way to ensure they get all the essential nutrients they need.

Now that you know what chickens eat, you can go out and create the perfect diet for your flock!

Marco Morse

Marco’s goal is to help people become more self-sufficient and connected to the earth. He believes in the importance of living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, and he is passionate about helping others learn how to do the same. He is always looking for new ways to inspire and educate his audience.

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