Before purchasing chicks (or chickens) it is important to consider the cost of keeping them. Much of this cost is in the feed they consume. So the key question is, “How much will my chickens eat?” Chickens need a complete feed that contains protein (with the right balance of amino acids), energy, vitamins, and minerals. Today we know more about the nutritional requirements of chickens than any other animal. The amount of feed they need will depend on several factors.