New and Improved Breakfast of Champion Layers

We have never had such beautifully-colored eggs with nice strong shells or healthy-looking hens as we do now.

All our chickens are beautiful and glossy with shiny feathers, bright eyes, and rosy combs and wattles.

I believe it's due to the custom feed mix I have developed for them over the years.

I call it the "Breakfast of Champion Layers". And I'm especially excited to have just launched a brand new line of all natural feed supplements under the Fresh Eggs Daily®  label that are the same that I feed to my girls - so you can add them to your girls' diet!

I have never had any problems with respiratory infections or other illness in my flock either, and I think it is due in large part to how strong our chickens' immune systems are because of what they are fed.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for chickens as well as for people, and my girls get this custom mix every morning before they get any treats.

A hen eats approximately 1/2 Cup of feed per day (more in winter, less in summer, more if they don't free range).

I mix up the feed mix a whole 40 or 50 lb. bag at a time and then just  dole out the daily rations.

As your base, you can use any good-quality layer feed (or grower feed for pullets). Whether to feed organic feed or not is a personal decision.

There are pros and cons to both organic and non-organic feed, cost being a main consideration. I recommend either Blue Seal Layer Feed (they sell both organic and non-organic) or a quality non-GMO organic whole and cracked grain feed.

Check your feed bag label.

Lots of feed companies have started adding supplements to their feed, such as probiotics, niacin (brewer's yeast) and even marigolds, so if yours already contains any of the supplements below, you can just omit them from the recipe, as long as the ratio is similar (most supplements are recommended to be added in a 1-2% ratio to feed).


1 40-50lb. Bag Layer Crumble (or feed of your choice)
2 Cups Cracked Corn (omit in summer)
1-1/2 Cups Probiotic Powder
Handful of mixed, dried herbs such as parsley, oregano, sage, and basil
(you can grow your own or buy them in bulk)

Why I Use the Ingredients I Do

Oats can either be purchased in the breakfast cereal aisle of your grocery store or club such as Costco or Sam's Club or in bulk from your feed store or grainery.

Added to the feed, they provide a bit of a treat each morning since the chickens love them, but also add a healthy dose of protein, fiber, antioxidants and immune system support.

Studies have shown that chicks fed oats are not only healthier as adult chickens, but flocks fed oats are less aggressive, more heat-tolerant and less prone to cannibalism and pecking issues.

Sunflower seeds provide excellent protein as well as magnesium and copper for strong bones.

They also contain Vitamin B which is important for cardiovascular health, Vitamin E, which is an anti-inflammatory, as well as a healthy dose of antioxidants.

Cracked corn contributes to orange egg yolks and also is a bit of a treat for them.

Since its's not terribly nutritious and can put on excess weight, you can adjust the amount of cracked corn (I give less in the summer and more in the winter)

Brewer's Yeast and Garlic Powder is a great product, especially if you have ducks, because the niacin in the brewer's yeast helps them grow nice strong bones and legs.

They require slightly more niacin than chickens do, but the added niacin won't harm the chickens any.

The garlic helps repel fleas, ticks and other internal and external parasites, as well as having lots of health benefits and benefiting respiratory health. It also boosts to their immune system.

The Poultry Probiotics assure better intestinal and immune health.

Probiotics form a barrier that prevent bad bacteria from attaching to the intestinal walls and also aid digestion, assist in nutrient absorption and help boost productivity.

Poultry Probiotics have been specially formulated for poultry to meet their digestive and immune system needs.

Probiotics support the immune system in general and increase growth rates.

Probiotics are also thought to help combat coccidiosis in flocks. Read more about the benefits of probiotics.

The Diatomaceous Earth is a natural parasitic and adds beneficial silica and other nutrients as well as keeps bugs out of the feed. Read more about the benefits of DE.

Coop Kelp provides a wide range of naturally occurring vitamins (including A, B6 (niacin), D, E, folate and Vitamin K), minerals (including copper, lysine, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc) and amino acids.

These improve bone strength, make nice orange egg yolks and result in eggs with stronger shells.

Kelp also improves feather appearance and strength.

It is thought to protect against coccidiosis by strengthening the immune system and improving health in general.

Kelp is also a prebiotic, which works hand in hand with probiotics, making them more effective and aiding in digestion.

Culinary herbs are packed with nutrients and vitamins.

I add herbs that I grow and then dry into their feed mix.  I don't add any set amount or specific herbs, I just add what I have.

Various herbs have great health benefits to laying hens.

My oldest chicken (from our very first batch back in 2009) lived to be nine years old and passed peacefully in her sleep.

None of my chickens ever get sick - ever - so I am a believer in a few healthy supplements for better health and happier chickens!

The additions to the feed certainly do set me back a bit, but the better diet the chickens have, the healthier they will be and the more nutritious their eggs will be.

They love the feed and all are good eaters. And when you compare the cost to even one vet visit....

As you can see, sometimes they can't even wait for me to dish it out into the feeder ! There is literally no waste. They eat every crumb of their feed.

Note: Good advice any time you change a pet's diet is to gradually switch over to the new from the old, mixing in small amounts a little bit at a time so as not to irritate their digestive systems. I start all my baby chicks on the supplements right from hatch so they get accustomed to them - and get a good start in life.

Copyright Protected Material: The information contained in this article first appeared on in July 2012 and subsequently in the book Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens...Naturally (St. Lynns Press, 2013). If you see the "recipe" from this article in print elsewhere, it was stolen from this site and used without permission.

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