Want better tasting chicken eggs? Here's what to feed your chickens so they'll lay tasty, healthy eggs. From FrugalChicken

What to Feed your Chickens for Better Tasting Eggs

What’s better than farm fresh eggs, with bright orange yolks, on toast with homemade butter?


Pretty much nothing.

These days, I can’t even compare my hens’ eggs to grocery store eggs.


My hens produce wonderful, better tasting eggs with golden/orange yolks that have an incomparable taste (at least compared to grocery eggs).


different colored eggs instagram


When I look at one of my eggs, I see the chickens foraging in the sunshine, engaging in their own chicken politics, and gobbling up the treats I leave for them.


There’s a lot of satisfaction in those eggs.


Since my last post, I’ve received questions about whether different colored eggs taste different and my secrets to feeding for those coveted golden yolks.


Well, we’ve run LOTS of tests on our farm with our chickens – and we figured out what helped our chickens lay better eggs!






  • When I’ve read about adding garlic to my chicken’s diet I was warned not to since it would add a distinct flavor to the eggs. Have you found this to be the case at all?

  • Pingback: Everything You Need To Know About Getting Chickens - Idlewild AlaskaIdlewild Alaska

  • The reality is a chicken is much like a person – feed them good, honest, healthy food and they will respond with healthy eggs.

  • I was going to grow mealworms for my chickens but after some research decided on cockroaches instead. Higher protein and they can eat scrap vegetables etc. It was going well until my wife couldn’t deal with the idea anymore. Now I am growing worms in my compost pile instead. Much cheaper and easier than mealworms or cockroaches, I’m not sure about nutritional value but the chickens sure love them.

    • I hadn’t thought about worms, thanks for the idea. I’d been wanting to do a mealworm farm, but with all my horse manure needing to be composted, worms might be a better option.

  • Do your chickens go after rodents at all? My Mom (raised on a goat farm) told me the chickens kept their barn virtually rodent free. Wonder what mouse eggs taste like?

    • Not really, but knowing chickens they probably would given the opportunity. I’ve had them go after frogs/toads before. We have a cat that’s an effective mouser, and one or two strays that help keep the population down. Not sure what mouse eggs would taste like, but the protein wouldn’t hurt!

  • I’m learning a new “composting” method called Bokashi. It’s fermenting food waste using beneficial bacteria/yeast. There are suggestions to feed this to chickens, and I’m going to try when my girls get a little older (they’re only a week or so right now). Have you heard of this?

  • I had never heard adding garlic to their diet! Thanks for the tip!

  • A friend sent me this link. Raised on a dairy farm here in Georgia and for the past few years getting back to the homestead mentality. Finishing up a chicken house so will need all the info I can get. Also, have a fair size garden. Heading out this a.m. to finish the planting. Hope we can have conversations soon. Thanks for your help.

    • It’s great to hear when readers are able to start their own homestead. Glad you like the site. If you want to be notified whenever I have a new article out, consider joining my mailing list. Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Loved reading your article, reminds me of the times when I had those glorious sunny yolks. Another tip you might consider for your readers, esp. if a flock can no longer free range, is chamomile, or manzanilla. You can grow it easily or purchase at the store or in bulk. Serves many purposes including physical and mental health, fresh smell, and aids in composting!
    Pinning your article and subscribing to your blog. Congratulations on your homestead and thank you for sharing!

  • your suppose to not give your chickens grass clipping that are more than a hour cut because they go off really quick is this true

  • Mouse eggs??????

  • Shouldn’t that be Ms Naughty, not Mr Naughty? 🙂

  • I know this is an older post, but….. We don’t have chamomile we have wild pineapple weed, very similar plant. In the summer I use a reel mower with a catcher bag once a week or so to gather it and sprinkle it in the chicken coop, make it smell so good I could hang out there for hours. no wonder it was a strewing herb back in the medieval days.

  • Mice don’t lay eggs, they have babies, thanks for the information about feeding for golden rich yolks. I’ve also used garlic as protection from lice and fleas! It really works and it’s cheaper than flea collars for your dogs and cats.

  • I make my own kefir. Everyone in the family drinks it daily, and the chickens get fresh, rolled oats soaked in kefir for breakfast every morning. Oddly, my chickens are picky eaters, and aren’t particularly interested in the fruit and vegetable scraps that I put out for them every day. But they fall all over themselves to get their beaks on the kefir and oats! Kefir provides beneficial bacteria for the gut, (the place where our health resides), and strengthens the immune system.

  • My Grandchildren Buy Carrots and shred them up ;also We buy Salads that ‘s marked down to 25 cents to give Our 50 yes 50 Pet Chickens .

  • In winter when the girls get bored and start picking at each other, I give them a half a cow liver. They LOVE it, and calm right down. I also give them a deer rib cage in hunting season. They can pick bones cleaner than you can believe. Great tasting eggs!

  • How do you feed them garlic? Fresh minced? Sliced? Whole clove?

  • Leili Hendrickson

    It’s a joke, because many chickens will eat a mouse if they have the opportunity, therefore laying “mice eggs” 🙂 I’ve seen chickens be wonderful mousers. They go nuts over them, and a mouse can start a frenzy between the girls. It’s like an entertaining football game, if you ask me.

  • I was in Rome, Italy 30 years ago and I STILL remember how good those eggs tasted and how orange the yolks were. Best eggs I have ever had. Thanks for letting me know how to get that goodness again 🙂

  • I have yet to start keeping Chickens but it is all being planed for the near future, when I was a boy we had an allotment over here in England and I remember they had Chickens on the next allotment and I spent a lovely afternoon digging up big worms and throwing them over, their capacity to eat was endless, today I have my own large allotment and in the winter I get a lot of mice move into my greenhouse and feed on my stored stuff – so I trap them and throw them over to my neighbours Chickens and I always amazed at their ability to choke them down whole.
    I have done masses of research into keeping Chickens and also intend on keeping and breeding a selection of bugs for my girls and I like the idea of growing various grains for them.

  • Edward Madison

    My Grandmother feed laying mash scraps, let them run wild they eat grass bugs all day. They went to coop in evening shut them in every night .she had dark yokes good tasting eggs.

  • I am enjoying reading your articles and have subscribed to your news letter. I am a newbie at this. So, I’m sure I will be in contact often. Lol My girls are now 6 weeks old and I’m ready to put them in their coop. I was reading about what you feed them…but there is not a recipe. I know you said you just mix…can you give me some kind of portions? I have six girls. Also, do they have to be a certain age before I can feed them this particular diet?
    Thanks so much for your time!!

    • Hi Karen! If you’re looking for a specific recipe, you’ll love my article about making your own feeds here –> http://thefrugalchicken.com/organic-homemade-chicken-feed/ This feed is for layers. It would work for older pullets (after 16 weeks) as well. Just remember for layers to also offer a calcium supplement such as oyster shells too. I feed my hens 1 cup each per day (split between morning and night). You might have to feed more or less depending on your flock, but this is a good place to start. Hope this helps!

  • My chickens have feed table scraps and free range. Their absolute favorite is papaya. We moved into a house with lots of papaya trees. Plenty to share. I also saw one if mine eat a lizard she caught.

    • I feed my chickens fresh minced Garlic in cultured yogurt with some kind of mashed berries every other day, and they love it! I used to mince garlic and put it into a container in the coop, but it turned green and they did not eat it.

  • I feed my girls laying pellets old fashion oats water melon grapes crandraisains cheereoes they killed the grass in ther hard I let them out to eat grass carrots I switch it up. Give them treats twice a day they are spoils they love bread

    • My chickens “aren’t” eating the greens (lettuce, etc.) that I’m giving them from the garden. Why?

  • The persons I used to by eggs from fed their chickens bananas. The kind you used to get at the grocer right before they threw them out. The chickens loved them. The eggs were the best I’ve ever had before or since. Thank you for your blog

  • Can they have the peelings as well🍌

  • Hi im in Australia and have been seasrching for helpful hints re my chickens thank you for confirming what i have found .i feed my girls fermented wheat 250gm of cooked pasta some whole grain bread which is sold cheap at the end of the day kitchen scraps they have access to my compost area and the veggie garden but only during winter otherwise they free range of a day ‘ i add herbs etc to their nest boxes and hang herbs to dry in their hen house whuch then get spread into the nests and floor area i use a mixture of wood shavings and wood ash under their night roost rails ‘ to get then to lay during winter we have put in a light that comes on a couple of hours before sunrise iam in the process of planting a second herb garden around the coup for the sole use of the chickens i have used alime white wash to paint their new updated nesting boxes as they are made of wood their old ones had been metal again thank you for the information and i will continue to follow you

  • I have a small operation with chickens and a few ducks. After AGES the ducks finally started laying and I LOVE their eggs. I have about thirty eggs in the incubator so I’m hoping for another thirty chickens in a month (right!).

    Here’s my question: I can tell the difference between the leghorn (white) eggs and the “others”, but I can’t tell the difference between the others. There are light brown, darker brown, spotted brown, but I don’t know which chickens they come from. I will do some experimenting in a bit, but would you know?

    How much garlic do you give them?

  • We live on the Alaskan coast and I give my hens as much seaweed as I can collect and all the fresh salmon roe I can get they are very healthy. I’m got to try adding the garlic and oregano see if it makes a difference.

  • We give our girls garlic, and we often buy them salmon they love it. We give them fresh lavender, marigolds, mints and various other herbs and in the winter we give them the dried herbs we saved from summer. Sometimes I even give them goldfish. Sounds mean, but we get the feeder fish from the pet store… and we put them in a “Pool” and my chickens love chasing them and eating them. We get dark gold yolks and our eggs are so good. 🙂

  • I have 10 lovely Barred Rock hens. What do you think about planting clover and annual rye in range areas? I already have
    winter wheat and red clover up in one range area. Jo Ann in NC

  • We had chickens when I was a teenager. We fed them everything, including chicken and eggs haha. When my mom would make a pork roast, I’d take the fat and skin and nasty stuff out to the coop and let the chickens and the rooster (cuddles) eat it all.
    I once watched my brother throw them a stick of butter which they LOVED! Not sure if it was good for them, but it was definitely hilarious! My wife and I are getting chickens in a few months. I’ll be feeding these ones better haha.

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