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The basic ingredients of chicken feed includes cracked corn, soybean meal, fishmeal, or meat. Chickens diet should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Chicken should eat about half a cup of feed each day. You should feed your chickens in the morning and evening. During the winter it is important to keep your chickens on a high-carb diet so that they have the energy they need. In the summer however, their bodies don't have to work as hard so they can have feed with a higher protein level. Chickens with smooth, clean feathers and bright eyes are getting enough protein, fat, and Vitamin A and E. Chickens should be fed in small amounts throughout the day. If they eat too much at one time it may cause them to lose their appetite causing their feed to go stale and lose its nutritional value. Sugary foods can cause problems with egg laying and weight gain. The most common mistake chicken owners make is not feeding their chicken enough protein. This slows egg production.