Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Make Pellet Bird Food

By Mason Howard ; Updated September 21, 2017
Take full control over the diet and nourishment of your chickens with homemade pellet feed.
David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

Pellet-based bird feed nourishes farm and domesticated birds such as chickens, cockatiels and parrots with high concentrations of multiple ingredients and nutrients. You can make pellet food at home from grasses, grains, vegetables and other self-grown organic matter. Creating pellets that are stable and noncrumbly requires the use of a high-pressure pellet press. New small pellet presses are available from wood or feed pellet-making suppliers, or you can look for used presses on online marketplaces.

Research what kinds of foods, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are essential for the optimal health of the type of bird you are feeding.

Collect the necessary pellet ingredients. Common ingredients include shelled corn, roasted soybeans, wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, oats, wheat germ, fruits and vegetables.

Place the ingredients in a food processor. Add any necessary vitamin supplements beneficial for the particular type of bird as discovered in the research conducted in Step 1, such as calcium, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin E or vitamin B12.

Add approximately 1 tbsp. of a natural preservative per 16 oz. of pellet ingredients. Types of natural preservatives include rosemary extract, salt and citrus peel extract.

Process the desired pellet ingredients into powder form in a food processor.

Place the powder into the hopper of a pellet press. Set the pressure setting to high and run the powder through the press. Pellets are extruded and cut from a pellet die.


Things You Will Need

  • Pellet ingredients
  • Food processor
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Natural preservatives
  • Pellet press


  • Keep pellets fresh by storing them in an airtight, opaque bin in a cool, dry location.

About the Author


Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.