Poultry Feed and Health Guide: What do Chickens Eat, Why are my Chickens Losing Feathers, Chicken Treats, Treating Scaly Legs in Chickens, Why are my Hens not Laying, and More!

Get this free, practical guide to help address common feed and health questions.

Dear Friend,

Whether you’re new to chickens or an old pro, you’ll want to make sure your chickens are healthy and happy.

Where do you turn when you have questions about your flock?

At Countryside Network, we know every environment will present different challenges – from the oppressive heat in the South to the long, extended winters of the North. Talking with other chicken owners in your area is a good idea to see what they go through and how they adapted.

Since its inception, Backyard Poultry magazine has published reader-submitted questions on all things poultry. Expert answers are provided by Ron Kean — Extension Poultry Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, — and Backyard Poultry’s own chicken expert Pam Freeman. We’ve compiled some of the most asked questions related to feed, diet, and common health issues. Download it right now!

You’ll learn what to feed and what not to feed chickens.

The most important thing you should know about the FREE Guide is that it takes this very broad subject and makes it clear, concise, and completely user-friendly. Read it from start to finish and you’ll immediately start to feel less stressed about making sure your flock is healthy and happy.

Everything in this free guide is meant to help you care for your flock, from what do chickens eat to why are my hens not laying, and everything in-between. You don’t need to be a chicken expert. That’s why we put together the Poultry Feed and Healthy Guide: What do Chickens Eat, Why are my Chickens Losing Feathers, Chicken Treats, Treating Scaly Legs, Why are my Hens not Laying, and more! We want you to enjoy your flock, not stress!

What’s more, our poultry feed and health guide provides expert advice from writers of Backyard Poultry magazine. Have you wondered about feeding kitchen scraps to chickens? We provide a graph showing common kitchen staples that can be eaten by your flock. What about dairy products? Turns out that chickens can tolerate small amounts — but too much will cause them diarrhea.

What about your egg production questions? We’ve got you covered there too! Did you know that decreased egg production could be caused by a myriad of things? From disease to feed, light and space to poor nutrition… These are just a few things to look at. Daylight hours also play an important part! Don’t worry, in this guide we provide ample information to look at when you ask, “Why are my hens not laying?”.

What about feather loss? Or scaly legs in chickens? Potential disease transmission from poultry to humans? Crooked toes? Bumblefoot? These are just a few of the health questions we tackle in this FREE guide. Download it now and ensure you are prepared for health questions you may have about your flock.

Remember: This free guide is all about making it easy to raise poultry. So we include lists of specific feeding guidelines, as well as tips on how to keep your flock healthy. No more confusion or conflicting advice: Just read the guide, follow the steps and relax!

Feed and Health tips you won’t find compiled anywhere else.

Lots of people have good advice on what to feed chickens. But we’re poultry experts, with our contributors actually owning chickens. That’s how we know what’s missing from a lot of advice you can read on caring for chickens. For example, did you know that chickens use calcium from their body to form eggs? If your chickens don’t have ultra-fortified feed or don’t like oyster shells as a supplement, you can feed their own shells back to them. Just save the shells after you use the eggs, rinse them, microwave them a few seconds, then crumble them and mix with their layer feed. It’s that easy!

Urban Myth: uncooked rice harms your birds. NOT true! In fact, as a treat, uncooked rice is not a problem for chickens. The rice is ground up in the gizzard, just like any other whole grain.

Of course, most of us always have a few questions about chicken health that we don’t know who to ask. You’re not alone. Our Poultry Feed and Health Guide not only answers your questions now, but it is a great resource when things come up in the future!

This free guide also addresses the question: Why are my hens not laying? Some breeds, that haven’t been bred for high egg productions, may naturally stop laying for a while. Then there is the issue with light. Too much light or too little light is not ideal for egg production. 14 hours of light each day is ideal.

Another common question our experts see is: Why are my chickens losing feathers? Luckily, our poultry experts have ample experience with this issue! The possible causes include mites, other chickens, and molting. However, it may just be the chicken itself. High producing hens put a lot of nutrients into laying eggs, and that often comes at the expense of the feathers. The best producing hens often look very tough while the prettiest hens aren’t laying many eggs.

Get your poultry questions answered in this FREE Guide, Poultry Feed and Health Guide: What do Chickens Eat, Why are my Chickens Losing Feathers, Chicken Treats, Treating Scaly Legs in Chickens, Why are my Hens not Laying and more!

We have compiled our most frequently asked questions. You are not alone on your chicken journey! This guide is packed full of questions submitted to our experts from our Backyard Poultry readers through the years. We’ve put it all in one spot – this FREE Guide!

What about scaly legs in chickens? Or bumblefoot, crooked toes, curled toes, egg-bound hens, eye infections, frozen combs or feet, swollen wattles, and more? Find all the answers you are looking for in this FREE Guide.

So I urge you to download Poultry Feed and Health Guide: What do Chickens Eat, Why are my Chickens Losing Feathers, Chicken Treats, Treating Scaly Legs in Chickens, Why are my Hens not Laying and more!

Best of all, of course, it’s absolutely FREE. So do yourself and your family a favor – read our guide right now, and enjoy your happy, healthy flock.

Yours for healthy chickens,

Ellen Grunseth
for Countryside Network

PS: Did you know that a pullet is born with a certain number of egg cells? The number of eggs she can lay in her lifetime cannot exceed that number.

PPS: Remember, this useful guide is absolutely FREE and instantly downloadable. There’s no need to wait to get this expert, hands-on advice from Countryside Network!

  • What is the best way to introduce new chickens to the flock? Is it normal to expect some squabbling? I don’t have a rooster.

  • I ve four materials for poultry feed – wheat, corn, barley and soya. How do i mix them?. Do i need more materials. This is for layers. Thanks.

    • Sounds healthy! I like sunflower seeds also for laying. Sometimes people like to make sprouts with it which can be a treat once in awhile. I just love chickens!

  • I have seven Rhode Island reds all layers we have two pullets barred rock they are younger but about the same size but the reds attack them how do I stop this?

  • I just weathered my first winter with chickens. Anxious for your tips

    • Steph M.

      Hi William,

      It probably can happen, but I don’t think there is any research on this that would define a specific age. As with humans, there is likely a wide variety of ages where this might occur. Typically, egg production continues to decrease with each increasing year of age, but many older hens, if they’re still healthy, will lay a few eggs each spring.

      Hens are hatched with a limited number of egg cells – cells that will develop into yolks – in their ovary. While hens could theoretically “run out” of yolk cells, this likely doesn’t happen. There have been estimates of approximately 12,000 of these cells in the newly hatched female chick, which is far more than the number of eggs a hen will produce.

      Economically, most hens probably won’t produce enough eggs after their second year of production to cover feed costs. Because of this, there aren’t a lot of flocks that are kept longer than that, so there hasn’t been research following older hens and their production.

      On a somewhat related note, it is not terribly unusual for an older hen to “turn into” a male, or at least develop male feathering and characteristics. Generally, this is because the left ovary has lost function, causing the right ovary tissue to develop. It often develops into what’s termed an ovotestis, and produces male hormones, so the male characteristics develop. This is usually due to cancer, or some other damage, in the left ovary.

      It’ll be interesting to hear from readers about their experiences – I’ll bet we’ll get some reports of eggs from hens that are quite old!


      • I thought it was more like 1200. We did have a leghorn that lived long enough to deplete her cells. The last of what were her eggs looked like caviar. And she still lived but didn’t have to put up with laying eggs.

  • Good magazine. About time people started paying more attention to chickens and your magazine helps. So Thank You.

  • Thank you for the free guide, I want to learn as much as I can to be a good chicken owner.

  • my hen was breeding instead of producing egg,what could be the source,they are now 4 months old

  • I have some runt broilers that I want to boost. They’re also losing feather.


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Poultry Feed and Health Guide: What do Chickens Eat, Why are my Chickens Losing Feathers, Chicken Treats, Treating Scaly Legs in Chickens, Why are my Hens not Laying, and more