I am soooooooo Confused?????????? advice please


8 Years
Oct 1, 2011
Branson Missouri
I am so confused, I have read till my eyes are blurry and still not sure what is the best feed for hens? I have been feeding them scratch then the next time I tried pellets, they hate the pellets so more scratch and I have about 30 lbs of pellets left. Now my husband says scratch is just a treat not food so I bought crumbles, now I read that crumbles are the same as pellets just a different shape. So what the heck am I supposed to feed these birds????? they do get table scraps almost every day and I let them out to free range on the weekends and my days off. Please help me I am a city girl and never even saw a live chicken till I bought these in August. Thanks for the info in advance.


11 Years
Nov 1, 2010
In order for your hens to lay quality eggs them must be feed a crumble or pellet layer feed. If you do no feed a balanced feed it will show up in eggs or feather quality. Hens need a balnce diet plus calcium every day. If not the shells may become thin. Many people have found other ways other then the commercial foods to feed there hens a balanced diet. Buying a bag of Purina Layena is a easy way to feed. Scratch is best for treats,I hope this helps.
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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
Pellets, mash and crumbles refer to the shape of the feed, or the size of the pieces, not the content. The more common contents are starter, grower, and layer, though there are others. Layer pellets and layer crumbles are the same food in different shapes. In general, starter is fed til about 6 or 8 weeks, then grower til they lay or about 20 weeks, then layer.

Starter is usually mash (the smallest pieces) or crumbles, for their small mouths. I have only seen grower in crumbles, but I haven't hunted or researched this. Layer is usually sold in pellets or crumbles. A lot of people feel they waste less with pellets, but if they are used to crumbles they may resist the pellets til they get hungry enough.

Hope that helps!


8 Years
Aug 2, 2011
Midway, GA
Pellets, crumble and mash are three forms of feed.

You can find chick feed, flock feed (without added calcium), and layer feed (added calcium) at most feed stores. Laying hens need flock feed with supplemental calcium (oyster shell) or layer feed. Mine have been fed layer feed without ever having oyster shell and are fine. "Layena" is very popular, made by Purina and sold in blue or pink bags.

If they wont eat the pellets, stop free ranging and stop giving them ANYTHING else to eat. They will get hungry and they WILL eat the pellets. When the 30lb is used up you can choose to buy pellets again or switch to crumbles.

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