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Chicken Supplies: 7 Things Every Flock Needs

chicken supplies

Keeping chickens is relaxing and enjoyable, but before you get your fluffy little friends there are a few things you should have ready.

Just as we need some furniture, carpets and other goodies to make our homes complete, so do chickens.

They aren’t as demanding as most folks, but there are a few poultry supplies they need.

We have put together a list of chicken supplies we think every coop should have or may need.

We will go through a list

Of course, you can tailor the list to suit your needs by adding of taking away things that are important to you, but here is the basic list for you.

Chicken Supplies 7 Things Every Flock Needs infographics

Chicken Supplies Reviewed in This Guide

ImageChicken Supplies DetailsPrice
Scratch and Peck Feed
  • Best Chicken Feed
  • Non-GMO, soy free
  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Milled in the USA
Check Price
ChickenGuard Premium Automatic Chicken Door
  • Best String Operated Chicken Coop Door
  • Battery powered
  • Easy DIY Install
  • All in one kit
Check Price
Grandpa's Feeder Automatic Chicken Feeder
  • Best Automatic Chicken Feeder
  • On-demand feeder
  • Eliminates spilling
  • Galvanized Steel
Check Price
Cozy Safe Chicken Coop Heater
  • Best Chicken Coop Heater
  • No need to replace bulbs or lamps
  • Can keep 6 chickens warm
  • Cost Effective
Check Price
RentACoop 5 Gallon Chicken Waterer
  • Best Automatic Chicken Nipple Waterer
  • Keeps water clean
  • Complete system, no assembly
  • On demand water at all times
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Little Giant Single Plastic Nesting Box
  • Best Plastic Nesting Box
  • Quality Materials
  • Easy mounting with perch
  • Can be cleaned easily
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Woods 0324 18/2 Gauge Brooder and 150-Watt Heat Lamp
  • Best Chick Heat Lamp
  • Most affordable heat lamp
  • Can clamp it on just about anything
  • Has an adjustable bulb cage
Check Price
Storey's Guide To Raising Chickens 4th Edition
  • Best Book on Raising Chickens
  • Very easy to read
  • Only book you will need for raising chickens
  • Problem solving tips and ideas
Check Price

Top 8 Chicken Supplies Every Chicken Keeper Needs

Chicken Feed

Best Organic Chicken Feed

Scratch and Peck Feeds Naturally Free Organic Layer Feed
  • Scratch and Peck’s layers feed is one of my hens’ favorite
  • Non-GMO, soy free and crucially its USDA certified organic
  • Milled right here in the US
  • Egg yolks turned a deeper golden orange color and are bursting with flavor

See Price on Amazon

If you are raising laying hens they will require a 16% protein feed.

This will keep them in good health, and also keep them laying all those beautiful eggs.
Whether you use crumbles or pellets is a matter of choice. My bantams prefer crumbles but manage with pellets just as well.

You will find you have choices like ‘omega 3 enriched’, organic and conventional feed. You can read more about this here.

Most people feed their hens’ free choice, meaning that allow the hens to take what they want, when they want.

If you prefer, you can do set feeding times, but this ties you into a set routine each day.

You can expect your chickens to eat about 1/4lb of feed each day, this equates to 1 cupful each.

This number will vary of course; they eat less in summer and more in winter.
In addition to their feed they will also need access to some oyster shell to give them extra calcium for the eggshells and their own bodies.

Insoluble grit is also another item they should have available to take if they wish.

Please don’t add the oyster shell or grit to their feed; they need to be able to regulate their own intake of both. Set out separate feeders or bowls for the oyster shell and grit.

If you allow your hens to free-range or have a natural dirt run with some small grit like rocks and pebbles, you probably won’t have to give them any grit at all.

Automatic Coop Doors

The Best Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener & Door Kit

Chicken Guard Automatic Coop Door
Chicken Guard: Premium Door Opener
  • All in one combination kit with the control box and door; everything you need!
  • Integrated programmable precise timer and light sensor to operate the opening and closing of the door.
  • Battery powered and easy DIY installation

See Price on Amazon

This is another one of those items that you may or may not want to invest in. If you hate getting up early in the morning, this will solve that problem for you!

The advantages of an automatic door, apart from allowing you to stay in bed a bit longer, are:

  • You don’t have to be home to lock them in for the evening.
  • You can adjust the door open/close time to suit your needs.
  • Most doors are very well made and stop predators breaking in.

The disadvantages are:

  • Slow chickens may get left outside.
  • You may shut a predator in.

There are several different types of automatic door available, for an in-depth guide, please see our article here.

Chicken Feeders

The Best Chicken Feeder

Chicken Feeder
Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder
  • My favorite chicken feeder
  • On-demand feeder means your hens will have access to feed all day round, which ensures optimal laying and healthy chickens
  • It also helps to eliminate feed spillage, keeps pests away and as a result means you save on feed cost

Check The Price

The first thing to know about feeders is you need the appropriate size.

You can buy 10lb plastic hanging feeders inexpensively and that size will take care of a lot of chickens (flock of 24) for a day or two.
If you have 6 chickens or less, one feeder will be enough. If you have more hens than 6, a second feeder would be helpful. Your second feeder doesn’t have to be a chicken feeder as such.

A deep dog bowl will be sufficient. This will give everyone a chance to feed and if there is any food guarding going on, they have a second feeder to go to.

If you have a small area within the coop, a wall hanging hopper will take up minimal space although hanging feeders seem to be the most popular.

If you have your feeder outside, make sure it is out of the rain and is not accessible to rodents. A feeder cover is much better; it will keep out the weather and prevent birds from roosting on the top and pooping in the feed.

Coop Heaters

The Best Chicken Coop Heater

Cozy Products Safe Chicken Coop Pet Heater
Cozy Products Safe Chicken Coop Pet Heater
  • No need to worry about replacing bulbs or lamps
  • Cost effective as it only heats area you need it to
  • 1 heater can provide enough warmth for 6 chickens

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A coop heater may not be necessary where you live, but it is worth thinking about for many people who live in the colder northern states.

Chickens will tolerate the cold better than heat and humidity, but there is a point when a little warmth is needed. If you keep some of the more heat tolerant breeds, you may find they need supplemental heat in winter.

They will huddle together to provide warmth – each chicken can put out the equivalent of a 10w light bulb (so ten of them huddled together produce a good amount of heat).

Winter time is the killing time for poorly or sick hens, also some of the older birds may not survive if it becomes too cold.

If you do use a heater, aim to keep the coop temperature between 34-40°F.

Why so low?

Chickens will be very comfortable at this temperature. Also if the power goes go out, you don’t want them to have to abruptly try to adjust to a very cold temperature – the stress will kill some of them.

Chicken Waterers

Horizontal Nipple Chicken Waterer

Nipple Waterer for Hens
Horizontal Nipple Chicken Waterer
  • The best style of drinker to keep your water clean
  • This is the complete system, no assembly needed
  • Built from 100% BPA free plastic

See Price on Amazon

A good quality waterer will last you for years, whether or not you choose to use metal or plastic is entirely personal.

The type of watering system you design is up to you.

You can use the fount ‘as is’ or use water nipples or cups for your birds in conjunction with the fount.

The nipples and cups certainly do save water, but some birds just don’t get along with them so have a regular waterer on hand too.

Ideally you should place your waterer outside the coop to prevent spillage and wet bedding and moisture inside the coop. Moisture in the coop can lead to frostbite on combs and wattles.

If you live in the colder parts of the country a water heater may be in order to prevent the water freezing, unless you enjoy changing frozen water several times a day.

There are several types of heater out there – some for metal heaters and some for plastic heaters, so be careful what you buy.

Chicken Nesting Boxes

The Best Chicken Coop Nesting Box

Little Giant Nesting Box
  • Quality Materials
  • Easy Cleaning
  • Wall Mounts / Included Perch

See Price on Amazon

Some folks don’t use nesting boxes; this means their chickens will lay their eggs anywhere they please!

Hunting for eggs loses its novelty when it’s raining or snowing, so I encourage nest-boxes.
It is much better to have nesting boxes.

Once you train them to use nesting boxes they will happily lay warm, fresh eggs each day for you.

Ideally you should have one nest box for every 2-3 hens, although they will likely have a favorite box and all want to use the same one! Boxes for standard hens should be about 1 foot square and bantams will be slightly less.

You can make your own or buy ready-made wood or metal boxes.

Chick Heat Lamp

The Best Chick Heat Lamp

Best Chick Heat Lamp - Woods 0324 18:2 Gauge Brooder and 150-Watt Heat Lamp
Woods 0324 18/2 Gauge Brooder and 150-Watt Heat Lamp
  • Can clamp it on just about anything
  • Most affordable heat lamp
  • Has an adjustable bulb cage

Check Latest Price

If you have new chicks or are planning to get them, you will definitely need a brooder. I personally would choose the most cost-effective option.

That’s why I suggested this one. If you have the budget, go for the brooder heating plate.

This does the job and it’s simple, and I like simple. In my opinion, this is one of the most simple poultry supplies you can have.

And it’s super easy to set up.

Chicken Books

This is for you to read, not them!

A good book that gives you all the information you need to know at your fingertips is essential.
I have found Gail Damerow’s Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens absolutely invaluable.

Ms. Damerow is easy to read, straightforward and helpful. It’s a book that you can pick up and put down as needed – I would not be without mine.

It is very well written and easy to understand. The chapters are self-explanatory and contain lots of little pearls of wisdom. It contains all sorts of problem-solving tips and ideas, charts and line drawings. If you are looking for even more must read chicken books, see here.

Top 7 Chicken Supplies: Final Thoughts

These are all the chicken supplies your hens should need.

We didn’t include a roosting perch here since it should be part of the coop itself, but if there are no perches to be had, you will need to put some in place.

Although hens will sleep on the floor, they should sleep on perches.

This will keep their feet warm by snuggling down over the roosts and should you have any issues with rodents, the hens won’t get their toes nibbled! It also happens to be more hygienic.

We hope this cheat sheet will be a useful checklist for you when setting up the coop for your hens.

Let us know in the comments section below which poultry supplies are your hen’s favorite…

Disclosure: We may earn affiliate commissions at no cost to you from the links on this page. This did not affect our assessment of products. Find full disclosure here.


chicken supplies

3 thoughts on “Chicken Supplies: 7 Things Every Flock Needs

  1. I’ve found that having a large plastic container inside my pen is very useful for having clean, dry, fresh bedding when spot cleaning during the week. I have purchased kids yard toys to use for cleaning inside the houses…kids snow shovel, shovel, hoe and rake.

  2. Chickens needs are simple and somewhat inexpensive, especially when you factor in the return you see on those eggs! But they do require a small investment up front. Female chicks typically cost between $4 to $7 each. (You can get them for even less if you order an assorted flock instead of a specific breed.) A 50-pound bag of quality chicken feed costs approximately $25, which a flock of six will go through in about a month. Your biggest cost will be that coveted chicken coop, which can ring in for as little as $100 for a simple mail-order kit to upwards of $10,000 for a designer look. And just like any other beloved pet, don t forget the occasional trip to the vet (find a listing of avian vets at

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