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7 Best Chicken Feed for Laying Hens (Natural, Organic, and Non-GMO)

Whether you're just starting out with a few chickens, or you've been raising chickens for some time and you're looking for a change, finding the best feed requires a little research. With so many brands to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one is best.

We have put together a guide to assist you in finding the right feed for your chickens, and we have listed several top brands. We considered different options which we will discuss below and ultimately decided on the top brand. We hope you find this article useful in your decision.

Our Pick:

Hiland Naturals Non-GMO Chicken Grower

Hiland Naturals contains everything chickens need to be healthy and grow including essential vitamins and supplements. It also contains plenty of grain and calcium so those don't have to be provided separately. The feed is herbicide and pesticide free.

There are a few things to consider when buying chicken feed. You want to make certain they will be receiving the right amount of nutrition in their diets, but you also have to consider the fact that chickens like to have the option to eat at any given time. Factoring in cost may be important to some of you. We've listed a few suggestions that will hopefully assist in your decision.

What Nutrients do Chickens Require?

While their age and the fact that you may have other chickens besides egg-layers among your flock are important considerations, all chickens require certain things in their diet. Just like a lot of animals, chickens require carbs, protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins. It's important to look for a feed that has a good formula that includes all of these things.

Coarsely-broken oysters shells can provide the calcium needed for egg-layers to produce eggs with strong shells.

Here's the complete breakdown of what nutrients do chickens need.

How Much Feed do Chickens Require?

Chickens like to eat several times a day. A standard-size hen will eat 1/4 to 1/3 pound of pellets a day. In addition to chicken feed, vegetables, tables scraps, and scratch feed are perfectly fine if given sparingly. Chickens also require constant access to grit, which is tiny rocks stored in the gizzard for grinding up food.

How Do I Know I'm Buying the Correct Feed

As their caregiver, you will notice soon enough whether or not your chickens are thriving. The most important aspect of chicken feed is that it includes a good formula of the nutrients mentioned above. Give your flock a few days to get used to the new feed. If you notice they aren't eating as much as before, you may want to reconsider the brand as they may be a little pickier than the average flock.

Some feeds come mixed with ground limestone or oyster shell for grinding up food. If you would like for the feed you purchase to include this, be certain to look at the label. Some may find it easier to just buy it separate as a scratch feed.

Another consideration is whether or not non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) feed is important to you. While most brands advertise non-GMO, there are a few brands that do not.

Popular Chicken Feed Brands

Several brands offer different types of feed in their line, while others may just offer the one type.

  • Prairie's Choice
  • Kalmbach
  • Coyote Creek
  • Scratch and Peck Feeds
  • F.M. Browns
  • Hiland Naturals
  • Manna Pro

Best Chicken Feed - Reviews

We found the following brands to be excellent choices. We've included product descriptions and a list of pros and cons.

1. Prairie's Choice Non-GMO Backyard Chicken Feed

Available in a grower formula and layer formula, Prairie's Choice pride themselves on non-chemically processed soybean feed and non-GMO ground corn. Ingredients include protein, fat, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, and salt. Added nutrients such as vitamin A, D-3, E, B-12, folic acid, and more are also included in the feed. The layer formula is intended for egg-layers only. The grower formula contains a little more protein which egg-layers do not need as much of. The feed comes in 25 lb bags.

What we like:

  • It contains a good mix of vitamins needed.
  • Non-GMO and non-chemically processed are healthier options for your flock.

What we don't like:

  • A little more expensive compared to other brands

2. Coyote Creek Certified Organic Feed

Coyote Creek offers feeds specifically for starters, developing pullets, and egg-layers. Their feed is a combination of organic corn, organic soybean meal, organic milo, roughage products, and a host of vitamins and supplements. They also offer a soy-free feed for egg-layers. Their feeds are 100% organic and non-GMO certified. They are sold in 20-lb bags.

What we like:

  • Includes a variety of vitamins and supplements
  • This line offers a fair-size variety
  • Less expensive than most other chicken feed

What we don't like:

  • Nothing that we can think of

3. Kalmbach Feeds

Kalmbach offers a feed for growers and egg-layers with the option of buying organic feed with Omegga or all natural with high Omegga for egg-layers. The layer crumble contains a higher calcium content and amino acids for stronger eggs. Ingredients include corn, soybean meal, grains, wheat middlings, and a large variety of vitamins and supplements. The feed is offered in 40-50 lb bags depending on the type purchased.

What we like:

  • Large variety of nutrients are included
  • Good price for the amount of feed
  • Variety of layer feed

What we don't like:

  • The packaging says "Natural" but it's not Non-GMO

4. Scratch and Peck Feeds

This non-GMO, all organic feed consists of wheat, barley, peas, sesame meal, and a large variety of other vitamins and supplements. They offer a feed for starters, layers, and growers. Their feed is corn and soy free. It also contains ground limestone and oyster shell for digestion. The feed is available in 25 lb bags.

What we like:

  • Includes ground limestone and oyster shell for easy digestion which usually requires a separate purchase
  • Large variety
  • Whole grains, no corn and soy

What we don't like:

  • Cost is a little higher for amount of feed
  • Some chickens seem to dislike it

5. Brown's Layer Booster Chicken Feed

Brown's Layer Booster Chicken Feed includes corn, soybean meal, wheat middlings, and other supplements. It also includes vitamins E, A, and D-3. They pride themselves on the use of natural plant protein. While their main feed is for layers, they also offer a starter feed. The feed comes in 20 lb bags.

What we like:

  • High in protein and calcium for layers
  • Competitive price for amount

What we don't like:

  • Corn is the main filler
  • Doesn't offer as many vitamins/supplements as other brands

6. Hiland Naturals Non-GMO Chicken Grower

Hiland Naturals offers a good variety of chicken feed for layers, starters, and growers. The ingredients include corn, soybeans, soybean meal, and a large host of supplements and vitamins. The non-GMO feed is high in calcium so additional free-range calcium should not be provided. They also recommend not giving additional grain when using this feed. A non-soy feed is also available for layers. Feed can be bought in 10 or 50-pound bags.

What we like:

  • Herbicide and pesticide free
  • No medications added
  • High in protein
  • Competitive pricing for amount offered

What we don't like:

  • Nothing that we can think of

7. Manna Pro Organic Grower Crumbles

Manna Pro offers a large variety of specialty feeds including Omega Egg Maker Supplement, medicated starter feed, treats, and grit. Their organic grower crumbles are non-medicated and non-GMO. It's high in protein to promote healthy weight gain and muscle strength. Bags are available in 10 or 30 lbs.

What we like:

  • Large variety of specialty feeds

What we don't like:

  • Fairly new brand
  • A little more expensive compared to other brands for the amount available

Conclusion: The Winner

While all of the above brands are excellent choices, we were able to narrow it down to a favorite. Considerations we used included variety available, the amount and variety of nutrients included, cost versus the size of the bag, and whether or not the product was non-GMO.

Our Pick:

Hiland Naturals Non-GMO Chicken Grower

Hiland Naturals contains everything chickens need to be healthy and grow including essential vitamins and supplements. It also contains plenty of grain and calcium so those don't have to be provided separately. The feed is herbicide and pesticide free.

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FREE EBOOK: Beginner's Guide to Raising Backyard Chickens