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What layers mash / chicken food do the experienced chook owners recommend?

Home Forums FOOD PRODUCTION, HARVEST AND STORAGE All things Chicken What layers mash / chicken food do the experienced chook owners recommend?

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    Hi all,

    I am about two weeks away from reestablishing chickens in my back yard and wondered what layers mash / chook food is the best.

    Also good produce suppliers recommendations would be helpful.


    Russell 🙂


    Mine eat Coarse Layer Mash from our local Riverina Produce store,about 100gm per bird daily, supplemented with kitchen scraps, virtually anything that doesn’t have chicken it,and chook edible garden weeds.They get some cod liver oil mixed int he mash once a month,and if I’m feeling generous they adore a tin of non chicken tinned cat food.They have concentrated Apple Cider Vinegar and garlic in their water every day, this ACV is a general stock tonic from the produce store.1ml to 1 litre so lasts for ever.My chooks have a large pen but foxes make free ranging tricky.Enjoy your new birds!


    yes when we last had chooks is was the natural grain course mash, we kept away from those pellet food. got an egg a day per chook most of the time. be the same again this time when we get more chooks.



    We only feed cracked corn and wheat to the adult chooks. We let them out about lunchtime each day to free range. Other than that we have a feeder in their pen with a mineral mix.


    I currently feed Red Hen Free Range grain mix. Although I am going to see if it is cheaper per kg to make my own from corn/wheat and sunflower seeds.


    I’m a pellet feeder, I find the mash simply doesn’t give enough nutrition (esp calcium and protein. Our school chooks use a mash, they pick out the bits they like, and their shells are so weak). I use Barastock cos the poops are of a nicer consistency (more crumbly so it breaks down better). They do get lots of scraps though, and maggots, egg shells, meat.

    I’ve learnt you don’t get the pellets wet or else they go mouldy.


    Mine get Barastoc Darling Downs Layer. It is a mix of grains, pellets and grit. The hens seem to leave the pellets behind but lately they’ve been going too. I let the chooks out for a few hours each afternoon to free range as well.


    Forgot to mention mine also have free access to coarse shell grit – no problems with thin shells.The Riverina coarse mash also has some pellets in it and grit, but the grit is very fine, I don’t know if the chooks eat any of it,always some in the feeder when empty.

    Mine adore yoghurt, and especially kefir mistakes!! They must have very healthy guts because I still haven’t really perfected kefir!! Or the taste for it…….


    I use Red Hen free range seed mix thing, red hen green. I also like to have extra wheat, at the moment I have a bag my MIL bought and its crushed wheat and oats, I don’t like it much nor do the chickens. I also have pellets, Homelay. When its really cold and wet in the morning I like to get half a cup poor hot water over the top, not too much and add garlic and chillie. It’s gone as soon as you put it down. I also free range and grow and pick extra veg and fruit for the chickens. I also have extra shell grit. Only times I get soft shells is when the weather goes over 38, one hen will lay a soft one the next day and when it’s coming time to moult or the first egg or so after or if one is sick.


    Our chooks get layer pellets ,wheat,they free range daily,they love watermelon,kitchen scraps,etcwhatevers going they’ll eat.

    Also have shell grit available,and the ACV in their water.


    Ditto to Blue Wren – I use the same brand from Riverina, the pellets have molasses in them which is good for the chooks – and ALL the other stuff she said including the cat food (Home Brand sardines or pilchards).

    I also give them any mince the dogs leave, suspect cheese, yogurt and sometimes a bread and powdered milk mush.

    Basically they get anything we, the dogs or the compost don’t get hehe.


    THANK YOU everyone. Appreciate the advice. SO looking forward to building the coop and run and getting some chooks again.

    My 4 year old daughter asks me every morning when I wake her “Are we getting chickens today Dad”

    Thanks again


    Mine also get all the veggie scraps and any left over formula from my daughter’s bottles! They adore the formula…all come racing over when I pour it into an old dog bowl.

    My advice is to choose a feed that suits your budget and that works for you and your chooks.


    … or you could go natural and feed sprouts plus other additives… Fiddly to do but seems to bring out the feather shine and add weight. Just another option if you like going off-grid. 🙂


    I was going to point you to chooken’s blog…chooken has already replied 🙂

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