I keep my chickens’ diet simple but nutritionally balanced: cracked corn, shelled sunflower seeds, yellow field peas, oats, and occasionally some homemade yogurt. During the summer they get fresh food from the garden like overgrown summer squash. I cook the squash by simmering it in water until it is soft. They really like the cooked squash but aren’t too interested in raw squash.
In the winter the opportunities for fresh food are diminished but not terribly. I always grow winter squash and some potatoes for them. This year after I harvested and froze enough summer squash for my use I let rest grow to full size to add to the chickens’ winter food store. There is enough full-grown summer squash now to last three months. Depending on the size of the beet harvest I may have some extra beets for the chickens, too. By growing food for my chickens I am able to supply extra calories and some protein, as well as vitamins and minerals that they might not get from their grain ration.