Best Layer Feed for Chickens-All Your Hens Need to Lay Eggs

Using the best layer feed for chickens is crucial if you want your hens to lay high-quality eggs. A complete layer feed for your chickens should contain all the nutrients they need for a healthy diet. For example, egg-laying hens need a feed with around 16 to 18 percent protein and extra calcium. However, for a healthy, balanced diet, chickens that lay eggs need the right balance of basic nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in their feed.

Chickens start producing eggs when they reach 20 to 24 weeks of age. If you plan to keep hens for laying eggs, you should switch from a grower feed to a layer feed around this time. Using a high-quality complete feed ensures hens lay eggs with strong shells that are crisp and clean, and the yolks are healthy.

How can you choose the best layer feed for your backyard flock of chickens? There are many types of layer feeds to choose from, each with an array of ingredients designed to help your feathered friends produce good-quality eggs. However, knowing which is the best layer feed to keep your hens happy and well-fed can be challenging.

This article reviews the nine best types of chicken feed for hens that lay eggs. We have examined various layer feeds to find which provide laying chicks with a proper diet and care for their digestive health. For each type of chicken feed, you will find a list of the pros and cons, along with the main ingredients.

What Feed to Give Laying Hens

A balanced, complete laying hen diet should have the right balance of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. In addition, the correct type of chicken layer feed formula ensures your flock stays healthy and produces high-quality, nutritious eggs with stronger eggshells.  

1. Manna Pro Crushed Oyster Shell

Manna Pro is one of the best brands of chicken feed for your hens to produce strong eggs. This layer feed supplement for egg-laying chickens has extra calcium from crushed oyster shells and coral calcium. The feed also contains soluble grit to promote good digestive health. Additionally, the crushed oyster shell mix is heat-treated to ensure purity.

Manna Pro crushed oyster shell supplement is suitable for laying hens starting at 18 weeks of age. Many backyard chicken owners use the extra calcium in the feed to supplement a chicken’s regular diet. The addition of calcium helps ensure strong eggs.

The benefit of this type of layer feed is that it contains 33 to 38 percent extra calcium and comes in pellet form. However, this is not a complete chicken layer feed but should be added to layer feed as a calcium supplement.

Main chicken layer feed ingredients:

  • Oyster shell and calcium


  1. Excellent source of calcium
  2. Suitable for all breeds of egg layers


  1. Only a chicken feed supplement
feed for laying hens

2. Purina Layena + Omega 3

Purina Layena + omega 3 is a complete layer feed for chickens and contains an omega-3 formula for nutritious eggs. This pellet-style feed contains 38 essential nutrients that promote healthy birds, strong eggs, and increased egg production. Adding fatty acids and amino acids in this chicken feed helps hens produce eggs with more vitamin D, omega-3, and manganese than regular eggs.

One of the reasons this feed is ideal for backyard hens is its high protein and plenty of calcium. The feed has a minimum of 16 percent protein and 3.5 percent calcium — ideal for healthy chickens and strong eggshells.

Purina Layena+ also has the advantage of containing a marigold extract, which results in a brighter yolk. In addition, prebiotics and probiotics support the immune system and protect digestive health.


  1. Enriched with omega 3 for healthier eggs
  2. Added probiotics and prebiotics for healthier chicken
  3. Balanced nutrition in a complete feed


  1. More expensive than other brands due to the nutrients
Layers Pellets

3. Scratch and Peck Feeds Organic Layer Feed for Hens

Scratch and Peck Feeds is an organic feed for layers that contains grains, flax meal, calcium, and vitamins. All the layer feed ingredients are from a non-GMO source, so you can ensure the highest quality chickens and eggs. The chicken feed comes as unpelletized whole grains that help improve absorption and boost egg production.

The Scratch and Peck Feeds organic chicken feed contains 16 percent protein for hens over 20 weeks old. With the addition of limestone and crushed oyster shell, this high-quality feed promotes healthy growth, digestion, and calcium absorption.

Main chicken layer feed ingredients:

  1. Organic wheat, barley, peas, flaxseed meal
  2. Ground limestone
  3. Fish meal


  1. Only contains whole grains without corn or soy added
  2. It has ground oyster shells and limestone for digestion
  3. Certified non-GMO feed


  1. Some backyard chicken owners prefer pelletized feed as it’s easier to distribute and is more cost-effective.
Chicken Layer Pellets

4. Homestead Harvest Non-GMO Whole Grain Layer Blend

Homestead Harvest is a complete layer feed containing a blend of non-GMO cracked grains, linseed oil, calcium, and minerals. The natural supplements in this natural layer feed ensure eggs with strong eggshells with high omega-3 fatty acids levels. In addition, crushed oyster shells and diatomaceous earth have been added to the feed to aid digestion.

The Homestead Harvest layer blend is guaranteed to be dust-free, ensuring that the feed is of the highest quality. In addition, the natural vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and prebiotics, along with flax oil, help boost egg quality and yield and keep chickens healthy.

Main chicken layer feed ingredients:

  1. Organic whole grains, including non-GMO ground corn
  2. Kelp
  3. Linseed (flax) oil
  4. Oyster shells
  5. Diatomaceous earth


  1. Only uses non-GMO, sustainably sourced ingredients from a family-run farm
  2. Premium feed for all laying hens and poultry to meet their nutritional requirements
  3. It contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids


  1. Some users complain there is too much ground corn in the layer formula
  2. The feed may spoil quickly if not stored properly
Pellets for laying Chickens

5. Manna Pro Layer Pellets for Laying Chickens

Manna Pro is a high-quality, complete layer feed high in protein and contains calcium, fatty acids, and essential minerals. Thanks to the pellet form, the feed is easy to distribute for your egg-laying birds to enjoy. Each pellet contains a balanced mix of necessary nutrients your hens need to lay eggs with strong eggshells and yolks rich in omega-3.

Manna Pro layer feed contains at least 16 percent protein and is suitable for hens 16 weeks and older. The feed contains certified organic and non-GMO ingredients. Also, the high-quality feed is free of artificial ingredients, flavors, fillers, and colors.

Main chicken layer feed ingredients:

  1. Organic corn, soybean meal, barley, oats, wheat, and flax seeds
  2. Calcium carbonate
  3. Molasses
  4. Diatomaceous earth
  5. Vitamins A, E, D3, and B12


  1. Excellent source of protein and calcium
  2. Certified non-GMO and organic ingredients
  3. The feed comes in a convenient pellet form


  1. Pellets are relatively large
  2. Needs proper storage to prevent the feed from perishing
  3. Corn and soy are the main ingredients
Chicken Layer Crumble

6. Purina Layena Layer Hen Feed Crumbles

Purina Layena is a complete layer feed in crumble form with high protein and calcium content. The crumble feed provides 16 percent protein enriched with calcium manganese, essential amino acids, and vitamins. In addition, natural marigold enrichment means hens’ eggs have deep yellow yolks. Crushed oyster shells also promote healthy digestion and calcium uptake.

One of the advantages of Purina Layena Crumbles is that there are no artificial preservatives, antibiotics, hormones, or animal by-products used. Instead, all the grains and ingredients are sourced from sustainable farms in North America.

Main chicken layer feed ingredients:

  1. Processed grains and plant products
  2. Marigold extracts
  3. Calcium carbonate
  4. Enriched with vitamins E, D3, and B2 (riboflavin)


  1. Complete layer feed
  2. Marigold extract produces healthy, deep yellow yolks
  3. No artificial fillers
  4. Contains prebiotics, and probiotics, vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids.


  1. It tends to be more expensive than other brands
Laying Hens Feed

7. Mile Four Organic Layer Feed for Hens

Mile Four is a high-quality organic layer feed that promotes high egg production and excellent chicken health. All the feed ingredients are USDA certified organic and don’t contain any soybean or corn fillers. Suitable for layers 20 weeks and older, Mile Four chicken feed formula helps chickens lay eggs with stronger shells deeper golden yolks.

A reason to consider purchasing Mile Four layer feed is that the company is committed to a sustainable environment. All the ingredients are 100 percent natural, and no cheap fillers like corn or soy are used in the mix.

Main chicken layer feed ingredients:

  1. Peas, wheat, and flax meal
  2. Fish meal and dried kelp
  3. Calcium carbonate
  4. Enriched with vitamins A, D3, B2, B6, and B12
  5. Natural yeast extracts
  6. Prebiotics and probiotics


  1. Less processing means a higher quality feed for egg-laying hens
  2. Whole grains are enriched with vitamins and minerals
  3. Suitable for egg-laying ducks
  4. 100 percent free from soy and corn
  5. Certified organic and non-GMO


  1. It tends to spoil quickly
  2. Higher price than similar layer feeds
Feed for laying Chickens

8. Purina Organic Layer Crumbles Chicken Feed

Purina Organic crumbles feed for egg-laying hens is a cost-effective product that contains 16 percent protein and 3.25 percent calcium. In addition to excellent protein and calcium levels, the organic layer crumbles feed is enriched with essential nutrients, vitamins, and amino acids. Also, natural antioxidants promote excellent immune and digestive health, resulting in happier chickens.

Purina crumbles chicken feed contains crushed oyster shells. This ensures that chickens enjoy excellent digestive health and that calcium is available for the egg formation process.

Main chicken layer feed ingredients:

  1. Soy and corn
  2. Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  3. 16 percent protein, 3.25 percent calcium


  1. Certified USDA organic and non-GMO
  2. Excellent source of calcium
  3. Suitable for hens 18 weeks and older


  1. The main ingredients are corn and soybean
  2. Crumbles can result in more food waste
Organic Layer Chicken Crumble

How to Choose the Best Feed For Laying Hens

When choosing a feed for laying chicks, it is vital to ensure it provides hens with enough protein and calcium. A protein content around 16 is standard for layer feeds. In addition, calcium is a crucial ingredient of layer feeds because it promotes strong eggshells.

In addition to the essential ingredients of a layer feed, you may think about the additional nutrients the feed contains. For example, amino acids like lysine and methionine help boost chicken growth and make the feed more cost-efficient. In addition, feeds supplemented with omega-3 make eggs healthier for people to eat.

Things To Consider Before Buying Feed For Your Chickens

A chicken’s optimal health depends on using suitable feed for your chickens. The two main things to consider when buying chicken feed are the bird’s age and why you keep chickens. However, you also have to decide whether to feed hens pellets or crumbles.

Here is a short guide to buying chicken feed for backyard hens:

  • Age — Chickens need ‘age appropriate’ feed. Up to 20 weeks of age, hens require a grower feed with high protein content. After 20 weeks, the feed you give your chickens depends on whether they are broilers, layers, or ornamental chickens.
  • Type of chicken — If hens are kept for laying eggs, a feed with 16 percent protein and extra calcium is necessary. However, feeds for meat chickens should have a higher protein content, usually 20 or 22 percent. In addition, you can buy feeds suitable ornamental chickens for bantams, peafowl, guinea fowl, and decorative ducks.
  • Type of feed — Meal or crumble feeds are best suited for ornamental birds and chicks. These feeds are easier to digest. Typically, pellet feeds are the most cost-effective for laying hens and broilers. The pellets can contain a range of vitamins and minerals and ensure chickens enjoy a complete, balanced diet.


Purchasing high-quality layer feed for chickens is best to ensure a healthy flock of hens that lay plenty of eggs. Layer feed with 16 percent protein and at least 3 percent calcium promotes strong bones, good muscle growth, and eggs with stronger shells.

From our review, the best layer feed for chickens is Scratch and Peck Feeds Organic Layer Feed for Hens. This multi-grain mix only contains non-GMO ingredients and is free from cheap fillers like corn and soy. As a result, many backyard chicken owners report that their chickens are happier, there are fewer pecking issues, and hens produce high-quality eggs.