Ep. 150 What Can Chickens Eat?

Interview with Patrick Biggs, PhD

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Adobe Stock/Ilshat

In this episode of Mother Earth News and Friends, Dr. Patrick Biggs joins us to talk about keeping the layer hens in your flock well-fed and healthy. We’ll be learning about the nutrients in chicken layer feed as well as some best practices when it comes to providing feed to your poultry and letting your hens forage.

Senior Nutritionist and Companion Animal Technical Solutions at Purina

It started with a college job at the pet store. Patrick brought home a cockatiel, and from then on, he was all birds all the time, going on to specialize in poultry nutrition.

As passionate as backyard flock owners are, the modern chicken is not as easy to manage as the chickens our grandparents kept.  Patrick helps people sort fact from fiction to keep their chickens happy, healthy, and productive. He guides flock fanatics on oyster shells and chick treats, brown vs. white eggs, and caring for an older hen that’s become a pet.

Patrick holds a master’s and doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There, he looked at different ways to manage flocks without antibiotics. He continues the work at Purina by developing feeds with prebiotics and probiotics to keep birds healthy.

Additional Resources:

Hear more from Patrick in our previous episodes:

Prepare to Care for Baby Chicks
Preparing for Chicks
Managing a Mixed Flock


Our Podcast Team:

Carla Tilghman and Jessica Mitchell
Music: “Improvisation: Fast Blues in A” by Reverend Gary Davis

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