Your Chickens Deserve a Treat!
Chickens deserve a treat too! Curious about adding different treats to your flock’s diet? I have chosen what I call, my top 10 go-to treats, for adding to my chickens’ diet. These recipes are packed full of protein and various nutrients and serve well as boredom busters.
1. Watermelon- A simple treat that you can grow yourself or buy at the grocery store. Watermelon serves as a great source of hydration. Try freezing it on hot summer days! Chickens can eat the pink flesh as well as the rind.
2. Mealworms– Mealworms are the perfect treat that is packed full of protein. You can purchase mealworms at your local farm supply store. Jess from our remote team has also shared a video on her experience raising mealworms.
3. Cucumber Tetherball- This is a great treat for your chickens but also can serve as a boredom buster. I have noticed that if you peel the cucumber a little that the chickens seem to be more intrigued.
4. Apple Garland- Apples are a great treat for chickens however you want to be cautious about how you feed apples to your flock. Apples themselves serve as a great source of vitamins, amino acids, pectin, and minerals however the seeds of the apple can be deadly to your chickens. Apple seeds contain very small amounts of cyanide. I like making the apple garland because I choose what portion of the apple is fed to my flock, and it helps keep them entertained!
5. Scrambled Eggs/Frozen Egg Pops- Yes, chickens can eat eggs prepared any way you want to cook them. In the cooler months, I prefer to treat my chickens to warm scrambled eggs or even an egg casserole mixed with herbs and oats. In the summertime I have found it quite easy to add water to mixed up yolk and whites, place in muffin tins and once frozen, provide my chickens with a cool treat, that is sure to help beat the heat.
6. Egg Shells- If your chickens are not receiving enough calcium you can consider feeding them eggshells. I personally break up my eggshells really fine and mix them with their feed and placed in a separate feeder.
7. Pumpkin- Do you have leftover pumpkins from Halloween or fall decorations? Pumpkins serve as a great source for Vitamins A, D, C and contain Zinc. Some chicken keepers believe that if you ground the pumpkin seeds it will serve as a natural dewormer.
8. Seed Block– These blocks do take some time to make however they will last a long time in the coop. Loaf Pans are highly recommended to bake theses blocks in. These seed blocks can be made with a variety of scratch grains such as oats, cracked corn, barley, etc. You can also add crushed eggshells, sunflower seeds, molasses, and other safe additives to the block.
9. Strawberries- Strawberries are the first sign that summer is on its way. Strawberries can be an excellent and simple treat for chickens. You can actually feed the entire strawberry to your flock. I tend to feed mine in a dish but if it is extremely hot I might add strawberries and other fruits to an ice water bath that is sure to cool them down.
10. Corn- You may find cracked corn in certain feeds and scratches. Corn is great for chickens however it is considered a “hot” food. I like to feed leftover corn on the cob to my flock. You can also hang them like the cucumber tetherball to help overcome boredom.
These treats are simple to whip up and guaranteed that your chickens will love. Go ahead, make one today, your chickens will thank you!
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We have 3 1 1/2 year old bared rock hens one of the hens I just noticed has orange legs and one of her feet is swolen slightly with her toes one is really crocked with one nail really long what will cause this she is fine other then that. Runs ever where does not slow her down
Hi Debbie. Thank you for reading the Meyer Hatchery blog! Barred Plymouth Rock chickens typically have yellow legs. If she has not been laying for quite some time, the pigment may have returned to her legs. When a hen is laying eggs, over time to pigment will leave her leg shanks, eye rim and skin as the pigment is used in the egg yolks.
Crooked toes can happen and it’s hard to say what may have caused it initially. Once it has healed there isn’t much that can be done to straighten the toe. If the long nail is interfering with her ability to walk, it may need to be trimmed like a dog’s toenail needs to be. but it sounds as if she is able to get around OK in spite of the crooked toe.