Raising chickens is becoming a very popular activity for farmers and regular households alike. Since most hens lay about five eggs per week, it’s a great way to save on groceries, but chickens must be well-fed to lay healthy eggs. Fortunately, it’s easy to find a variety of poultry foods.
These are the 5 best places to buy chicken feed:
2. General pet supply stores
3. Farm supply stores
5. Mile Four
Read on to learn more about where you can find the best feed for your chickens.
Where to Buy Chicken Feed?
You can buy chicken feed in most pet supply and farm supply stores. However, suppose you don’t live near one of these specialty stores; you can also buy chicken feed at your local big-box store, such as Walmart, order it from specific brands like Purina, and even available online at Amazon.
If you are a farmer, chances are you will need to locate a farm supply store in order to feed a larger flock. Buying in bulk will no doubt be cheaper.
But if you’re a hobbyist chicken farmer, smaller bags at the supermarket or from Amazon should do the trick.
Everyone knows Walmart is the place to go for budget shopping, and that includes chicken feed.
A 40 lb (18 kg) bag of Family Farm Egg Maker feed, designed for laying hens, only costs about $12, and they also sell food for chicks and smaller packages of chicken treats.
If you don’t live close to a Walmart, you might find your local Costco sells chicken feed, though this isn’t the case for all of them.
General Pet Supply Stores
Ordinary pet supply stores cater to hobby chicken owners rather than farms.
While these chain stores might not have as many brands and specialty feed options, they’re more accessible to anyone living in urban or suburban areas.
With over 1,500 locations in the U.S., PetSmart is a popular and convenient choice, not just for chicken-keepers.
People buying in smaller quantities will find:
- Manna Pro Mixed Grains Scratch – 10 lb (4.5 kg) bag for under $10.
- Manna Pro Organic Layer Pellets – 10 lb (4.5 kg) bag for a little over $15.
This e-commerce retailer made its way by delivering custom-selected subscription boxes of pet supplies to members.
You can make one-time purchases, of course, but if you know how long it takes to go through a 50 lb (23 kg) bag of chicken feed, you can set up an auto-shipping Chewy delivery sent to you on schedule—no hassle and no running out of food.
Many people keep chickens as a combination of pet and utility animals. Chewy provides a great range of good-quality food at a reasonable price point for these chicken owners.
On Chewy’s website, you’ll find:
- Kalmbach Feeds All-Natural Layer Pellets – 50 lb (23 kg) bag for just over $20.
- Mealworm Treats and Kalmbach Feeds All-Natural Poultry Supplement so you can get most feed supplies in one place.
Farm Supply Stores
Big farm and feed stores offer a broader range of products since they specialize in farm supplies.
Also, while finding chicken feed at Walmart, it will be hit-or-miss depending on where you live. But there are still many farm stores that have brick-and-mortar locations guaranteed to stock basic poultry food.
Tractor Supply Co.
Alongside Baked Grain & Veggie treats for poultry, Tractor Supply Co. offers bulk food for adult birds, such as:
- Producer’s Pride Whole Corn – 50 lb (23 kg) bag for just over $10.
- Nature’s Best Organic Egg Layer Pellets – 40 lb (18 kg) for around $25.
- Nature’s Best Organic Broiler/Grower Pellets – 2,000 lb (907 kg) for just over $1,200 for larger farms.
Many farm supply stores are regional chains, such as:
- The Country Farm and Feed Co. serves Washington State.
- Farm Supply Company has several locations in central and southern California.
- Rural King is spread across the Midwest and Southeast.
- Orscheln Farm & Home serves 11 Midwestern states.
You can find smaller local outfits with a quick Google search.
Employees of locally owned stores usually understand what works best for your environment, and forming personal relationships with local farm supply stores is always helpful.
Purina is a high-end pet food producer for dogs and cats and horses, chickens, and other farm animals.
On the Purina website, you can find various treats and chicken feed with different nutrient balances and additives.
Starting at the Purina website is an excellent way to compare all their feeds at once and pick the best one. While Purina doesn’t directly sell their products online, their search retailer service can quickly connect you with a store near you that stocks Purina feed.
On the other hand, Purina is also available on Amazon.
This Purina Flock Raiser 5 lb (2.27 kg) bag costs just over $10 and is full of probiotics and nutrients to support your chickens’ immune systems and digestive health.
Anyone looking to pamper their poultry should take a look at Mile Four.
Mile Four grains go straight from Midwestern farms, to the mill, to your mailbox, and their feed is mixed for a careful balance of protein and other nutrients.
- Chick Starter feed for chicks under 8 weeks old.
- Chick Grower for adolescents at 8-20 weeks.
- Chicken Layer for adult laying hens.
As you might expect from specialty organic food, Mile Four’s products are more expensive.
A 46 lb (20.87 kg) bag of Chicken Layer food costs almost $70 – quite a bit more than the mainstream options. But Mile Four is perfect for chicken owners who want the healthiest birds and eggs possible.
Another benefit of Mile Four is the “Eggucation Center” on their site, which includes guides to chicken breeding, feeding, keeping, a Feed Cost Calculator, and a list of 913 chicken names.
Chicken Feed Buyer’s Guide
Chickens need to be fed properly to ensure they grow healthy and happy.
With that in mind, it’s important to know the difference between the types of chicken food so you can decide on the right diet for them.
You may also want to consider adding supplements, such as ground or chopped oyster shells to boost calcium.
Just remember to serve them separately to their regular feed if you keep roosters with your laying hens. Too much calcium is unhealthy for roosters, as they lesser need it more than the laying hens.
Different Types of Chicken Feed
The chicken feed comes in four main types:
- Whole grains. These are often the cheapest since they’re unprocessed, and this type has the added benefit of engaging your birds—the seeds are different sizes, and eating whole grains is very natural for chickens.
- Mashes. Mashed food consists of very finely ground unprocessed grains. Feeding mash results in more waste than other food types since it mixes with dirt, but it’s suitable for chicks and older birds that need to eat something readily digestible.
- Pellets. You’ll see more options for pelleted food than any other. Basically, pellets are mashed and processed grains packed into compact cylinders. Less wasteful than mash, pellets also often have preservatives, supplements, and other additives mixed with the ground grains before they’re pressed into shape.
- Crumbles. Like pellet food, crumbled feed is made of processed grains and often includes preservatives and other additives. It’s readily available online and in-store, and while crumbles are messier than pellets, smaller or younger birds might prefer its oatmeal texture to the larger, tougher chunks of pellet food.
Related: What to Feed Backyard Chickens? | Information and Facts
List of Sources
Probiotics (Direct-Fed Microbials) In Poultry Nutrition and Their Effects on Nutrient Utilization, Growth and Laying Performance, and Gut Health: A Systematic Review