The FeedSafeNZ Guide to Feeding Chickens

March 25, 2024

Chickens are one of the most popular farm animals in the world. With over 25 billion chickens in the world, you’ll be sure to find them on any farm. 

 When it comes to raising chickens on your farm, it’s important to ensure they have a well-balanced and nutritious diet. In this guide, we delve into the nutritional needs of chickens, explore what makes for good-quality chicken feed and how a proper diet contributes to the well-being of these feathered friends.

Chickens and their Nutritional Needs


Like any other common farm animal, chickens require a mix of the essential nutrients to thrive –  proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Protein, for instance, is crucial for  muscle growth, egg production and feather development. Carbohydrates provide them ongoing energy, while fats help with insulation and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins. A well-rounded diet should include all these nutrients to ensure your chickens are kept in optimal health.


What Can You Find in Top-Quality Chicken Feed?

When you’re looking for high quality chicken feed, make sure it includes all, or at least most, of the following:

  1. Protein-Rich Sources: high-quality protein sources include soybean meal or fish meal, with protein being essential for a chicken’s overall development and wellbeing. 
  1. Whole Grains: these grains contain carbohydrates which help provide energy to the chickens for daily activities. These grains can include corn, barley, wheat, and oats. They are also a good source of fiber, which helps support a healthy digestive system.
  1. Fats: sunflower seeds or flaxseed can be good sources for essential fatty acids. Fats contribute to overall health and should be present in any well-balanced chicken diet. 
  1. Vitamins and Minerals: a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals is vital. Calcium is particularly crucial for chickens, helping to create strong eggshells, while other vitamins support their immune systems and overall vitality.
  1. Grit: it’s important to also include grit in a chicken’s diet, small stones that help support digestion. Grit can help chickens break down grains in their gizzard amongst other benefits. 

For more information on what is needed in top quality chicken feed, have a look at our 6-Point Checklist For Poultry Feed.

How Quality Feed Keeps Chickens Healthy


  1. Improved Egg Production: laying hens need specific types of nutrients, including the right balance of protein, calcium and other essential nutrients, to ensure optimal egg production. 
  2. Growth and Development: a well-balanced diet helps to ensure chickens reach their full potential in terms of size, strength and overall wellbeing. 
  3. Immune System: a proper nutritious diet strengthens the immune system, making chickens less susceptible to common diseases and better at fighting off infections.
  4. Feather Quality: quality feed with the correct nutrients enhances chicken feather quality, making chickens more resilient to environmental factors.


If you keep all these points in mind and have the right approach to nutrition, you’ll be able to raise vibrant and thriving chicken flocks. Want to know more about FeedSafeNZ? Visit our About Us page to find out more about how we ensure high-quality feed for New Zealand farms.

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