Hens eat weeds, grass, vegetables, seeds, grit, grains and a variety of other foods depending on the purpose of the hen. Feeding laying hens calcium grit, natural lime sand or crushed up egg shells gives them the necessary calcium to produce high-quality eggs.
Hens raised for butchering can feast on earthworms and alfalfa. Grit is an important part of a hen's meal, as it allows the hen to break up seeds for easier digestion. All hens also eat fresh or sour milk, bread crumbs, garden waste or other types of table scraps. Offering a balanced diet that includes protein, calcium and carbohydrates ensures proper growth and development for each type of hen.