Many treats designed for chickens offer protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals essential to their wellbeing; however, too many of these treats could add up to an excess of carb-rich foods that could detract from their daily feed ration.
Some healthy treats include fresh berries, cottage cheese, pasta and scrambled eggs.
Chickens love berries and will quickly consume a bush if allowed to do so. Berries contain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in abundance – including an abundance of the B complex vitamins such as Thiamin Niacin Riboflavin Pantothenic Acid as well as Folate.
Chicken treats provide your flock with natural sources of antioxidants that help alleviate stress. Packed full of calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin A; they make feeding simple while offering an enjoyable treat!
Other delicious treats for chickens include worms from bait stores, fresh fruit and veggies from your own garden, scratch grains and cracked corn. As too many treats can lead to digestive issues in chickens, be mindful when feeding these treats as too many can lead to digestive issues as well as remembering not to feed spoiled food as this can make your poultry sick and never give raw eggs as these contain salmonella and Phytohemagglutinin; rather give cooked eggs instead. Yogurt treats also make great treats; just be sure that plain yogurt rather than flavors which contain added sugar! Yogurt is another delicious treat which chickens love; just be sure that plain yogurt and not flavored yogurts which contain added sugars!
Sunflower seeds make a nutritious treat for chickens that’s also budget-friendly, since they contain methionine which aids with digestion and utilization of other foods. But because sunflower seeds contain so much fat they should only be offered sparingly as treats. Furthermore, they’re an excellent source of sunflower oil which provides additional warmth during cold weather months.
Chickens love fresh fruit for many reasons: its vitamin and antioxidant content helps them stay cool in hot weather and can promote feather growth during molting season. Unfortunately, too much fruit may result in an unpleasant crop odor.
Ginger can help your chickens with digestion, increase appetite and alleviate stress from bullying by other hens in the coop. A must-have ingredient in every poultry keeper’s pantry! Hard-boiled and scrambled eggs offer protein-rich treats packed full of iron, vitamin A and calcium that support laying eggs in particular.
Pumpkins make an ideal treat for chickens, providing essential vitamins and minerals as energy boosts during winter. Pumpkins provide extra sustenance to your flock!
Pumpkins are also an excellent source of beta carotene, an antioxidant which can help combat Vitamin A deficiency which causes dry eyes and respiratory issues in chickens(1). Pumpkins also contain potassium which plays an integral role in chick development as well as combatting extreme heat exhaustion (2).
After Halloween, keep your eye out for small uncarved pumpkins at grocery stores or farmers markets as an easy and fun way to hang treats for your chickens! Simply drill a hole at the base of its stem and use rope or twine to suspend it within your chicken coop or run. Fill with your favorite chicken treats like Happy Hen Treats Bug Bonanza to provide hours of enjoyment!
Mealworms might not seem appetizing to us, but chickens find them irresistible! Mealworms provide essential protein and other essential vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy hens to produce delicious eggs with beautiful plumage, while they also boost their immune systems during molting periods and make for an energetic finish to their day of clucking!
Treats for your flock can be an enjoyable way to watch them forage and play, but it is essential that they receive a balanced diet containing the nutrients they require in order to perform their jobs, lay eggs of high quality and bolster their immunity systems. Failing this, overweight flock members could develop other health issues. Therefore, processed foods like bread crumbs, mashed potatoes or cooked rice should never be given as treats!