Chickens are some of the first farm animals you can raise on your farm in Stardew Valley. Just like in real life, your chickens need to be fed. Here’s what you need to know about how to feed chickens.
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What You’ll Need to Feed Your Chickens
There are a few things you should prepare before you start thinking about feeding chickens. First and foremost, you’ll need to build a Coop for them to live in. To build a Coop, prepare 4,000G, 300 pieces of wood, and 100 stones. The Coop has a 6×3 footprint, so be sure to clear out any weeds, stones, or trees on the plot of land you wish to build on. Once prepared, visit Robin’s shop north of Town Square and hire her to construct the building. It will take three days to build the Coop.
You’ll also need to stock up on hay. There are a few different ways you can get hay, but the easiest way is to build a silo and then cut grass on your farm with your scythe, which turns it into hay. You can always buy hay from Marnie, but that can get expensive quickly.
Regardless of how you get hay, it’s highly recommended that you have a decent stockpile before you purchase any chickens. Your chickens won’t die if you don’t feed them, but they’ll be extremely upset and won’t produce any eggs for you.
Once you’ve built the Coop and silo and have stocked up on hay, then you can buy chickens from Marnie for 800G each. They’ll appear in your coop the same day, though you won’t need to start feeding them until the day after.
Manually Feed Your Chickens
If you own the Coop or Big Coop, you’ll have to manually feed your chickens each morning. To feed your chickens, enter the Coop, walk up to the Hay Hopper, and then press the confirm button. The amount of hay you get from the Hopper will match the number of animals living in the Coop. Note that you must have hay in your silo for it to appear in the Hopper. If your silos are empty, then your Hopper will be too.
Next, walk up to the feeding bench. With hay in hand, press the confirm button to place one piece of hay.
Place one piece of hay on the feeding bench for each chicken you own.
Let Your Chickens Graze
Free-range chickens are the happiest of chickens. When you let your chickens graze on your farm, they’ll eat the grass, saving you the work from having to harvest it. Not only that, but they also receive a mood boost which yields better quality eggs. To let your chickens graze, open the Coop’s chicken door and they will come outside and eat grass.
Beware of leaving your chickens outside at night, on rainy days, or during the winter, as it will lower their mood and prevent them from producing eggs. Even worse, they could also be attacked by wild animals. To keep this from happening, be sure to close the Coop door each night before going to sleep. Chickens automatically return to the coop at 5:00 PM.
Automatically Feed Your Chickens
You’ll notice after a while how time-consuming feeding your chickens can be. With all the mining, fishing, community work, and other friendly-farmer-related tasks you’ve got going on, you’ll need to automate the feeding process to make time for your other priorities. Good news—the Deluxe Coop has an automatic feeder.
To get the Deluxe Coop, you’ll have to have first built the Coop and then upgraded it to a Big Coop. Once you have a Big Coop, the Deluxe Coop will become available. You can hire Robin to build one for 20,000G, 500 pieces of wood, and 200 stones. Once built, the Hopper automatically sets out the hay each morning.
Feeding Your Chickens in the Winter
Feeding your chickens in the winter can be a bit troublesome if you’re not prepared for it. Grass doesn’t grow in the winter, and that causes a few problems. Without grass, you can’t let your chickens graze, nor can you harvest hay by cutting the grass. One tip to avoid running out of hay is to build several silos and make sure they are at max capacity before winter comes.
Instead of cutting all the grass on the farm, stop cutting once your silos are full. When you start getting low on hay, cut some more grass. Remember, grass disappears on the first day of winter.
Your Spouse Will Sometimes Feed the Chickens
If you’re married and your spouse is happy, they will occasionally feed the farm animals, including the chickens, before you wake up. Your spouse will use hay from your silo and fill every empty spot of the feeding bench regardless of the number of animals you have. However, unused feed is still there the next day.
It doesn’t matter who you marry—every spouse will occasionally feed the chickens.