What To Feed Chickens To Make Them Lay Eggs

Article Summary

  • Proper nutrition from quality feed and supplements, along with other factors like free-ranging, providing sufficient daylight, and managing stress, help increase egg production.
  • Offering treats like protein-rich cracklings, cooked pasta, rice, vegetables, and live mealworms can boost egg production.
  • Proper coop hygiene is essential to promote chicken health and egg production.

Raising backyard chickens for fresh eggs is rewarding, but getting good egg production depends on providing your flock with the right nutrition. The key is feeding a balanced diet formulated to meet their needs. Here’s what you need to know about chicken feed for great egg laying.

Providing a Quality Layer Feed

A complete layer feed is essential for egg production. This feed is specially formulated with the right ratio of protein, fat, and nutrients chickens need to thrive and lay eggs. Look for a feed with at least 16% protein that also contains sufficient calcium for egg shell strength.

Aside from the right feed, proper feeding is also essential. When should you start feeding layer feed? Pullets around 16-18 weeks old are ready for a switch from a starter feed to a laying ration. Continue feeding a quality layer feed throughout your hens’ egg laying years.

Supplementing with Calcium for Egg Shells

Eggshells require significant calcium, so a free choice calcium supplement ensures your chickens get enough. Offer oyster shell, crumbled limestone, or a commercial calcium supplement free choice so they can consume as needed.


Adding a sprinkling of oats, wheat, or treats like mealworms on top encourages hens to eat more calcium supplement. Adequate calcium results in stronger eggs less prone to cracking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I give my chickens to help them lay eggs?

Supplementing chicken feed with oyster shell, grit, and calcium rich treats like yogurt, greens, and scrambled eggs helps chickens get the nutrients they need for quality egg production. Providing a balanced layer feed is also key.

How can I get my chickens to lay more eggs naturally?

Allowing chickens to free range, giving them at least 10 hours of daylight, providing laying boxes, keeping stress low, and feeding a nutrient rich diet are natural ways to increase egg production. Staying on top of chicken health is also important.

Why are my chickens not laying eggs due to feed?

Chickens may stop laying eggs if their feed lacks proper nutrients, they are fed inconsistently, or significant diet changes have occurred. Ensure they have access to a high-quality complete layer feed.

Does cayenne pepper help chickens lay eggs?

Yes, adding a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to chicken feed can help stimulate egg laying. The capsaicin may increase blood flow and nutrient absorption. It also adds variation to their diet.

Will chickens stop laying if coop is dirty?

Yes, chickens can stop laying eggs if their coop becomes too dirty. A filthy, cramped coop causes stress. Clean the coop regularly removing all manure and old bedding, and provide adequate space per chicken. Proper hygiene is key for laying.

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