Chickens are a domesticated bird that are raised for their edible eggs and for their edible meat. They are believed to be a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl, which came from parts of Southern Asia. Today, they are one of the most common domestic animals in the world and it is estimated that there are over 25 billion chickens in the world today. This means that they are the most common bird in the world. If you want to know what these important birds eat, continue reading to find out.
What do chickens eat in the wild?
Chickens are omnivores, which means that they will eat plant and animal matter. In the wild chickens will scratch the earth to find seeds, worms, insects and fallen fruit. They will also eat small animals such as lizards and young rodents. They will even eat their own eggs if they become cracked.
What do chickens eat in captivity?
Chickens have a specific set of nutritional needs that must be met for them to produce suitable eggs or produce good meat. They require protein, calcium, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and plenty of water. Farmed chickens are often fed soybeans, alfalfa, or comfrey for their protein needs. Calcium is often obtained from crushed oyster shells, but can also come from a variety of fruits, vegetables and seeds. Carbohydrates come from grains such as wheat, corn, rice, oats and barley. Vitamins and minerals are obtained through a balanced diet of the above foods as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. Many chicken farmers use special pallets that have been designed with all of the nutritional requirements in mind. These are also available for pet chickens.