Farm animals are a vital resource in Stardew Valley, and they’re beneficial by providing you with useful resources you would need to purchase elsewhere, much like the fishing ponds in the game. A farm animal you want to obtain for your property are chickens, so you can gather up their useful eggs, which you can use in a variety of recipes. To keep them happy and content, you need to feed them.
You add chickens to your farm by adding a chicken coop, which you can have Robin build. She’s at the Carpenter’s Shop, to the north of town. You can upgrade the coop into a big coop or to a deluxe coop. The standard version holds four, the big coop holds 8, and the deluxe coop holds 12. After purchasing it, you can then obtain chickens from Marnie’s ranch or by placing an egg in an incubator. You then assign the chickens to the coop you have and name them. They come in three colors: white, brown, and blue. You obtain blue by completing an eight-heart event for Shane.
Your chickens only eat hay or grass. You can acquire hay by cutting the grass in your farm, or by purchasing it from Marnie. Every chicken you own requires a single hay piece every day in the feeding bench. Rather than always having hay in your inventory, you can locate it from the hay hopper on the top left side of the coop. You automatically grab the hay amount you need, making it easy to place it in the feeding bin. The hay comes from your inventory, or from the silo, which you need to purchase from Robin to build. If you are buying hay from Marine, you need to place the hay inside the silo manually.
Players who have a deluxe coop do not need to feed their chickens because their hay hopper comes with an automatic feeding function. You may want to work your way to upgrading yours by speaking to Robin to figure out what materials you need to build it to have one less chore around your farm.