Top Chicken Raising Tips: Give Your Chickens Treats!
Give your chickens treats? Like people, chickens like treats. If you have a backyard flock of chickens, it’s fun to spoil your chickens and offer them treats.
While humans like chocolate, candy, and sweet things as treats, chicken treats are usually mealworms, vegetables, or fruits. In addition to being tasty, offering your chickens treats alleviates boredom. When chickens get bored, they can start pecking each other and some breeds can get aggressive.
Some chicken keepers even train their chickens to come when they hear the treats so they can quickly call in their birds if one wanders too far or there’s a predator or inclement weather.
There are special chicken treats and mealworms available in pet stores. These treats are great options for your birds, but they can get expensive. Most chicken keepers turn to kitchen scraps for treats. Your birds will love most kitchen scraps, and they can be a good supplement for their diet and help combat boredom.
However, it’s important to watch what you give your chickens for treats. Although they can have several different kinds of foods, there are some foods that they can not eat because they can be harmful.
Best Treats for Chickens
Even though chickens aren’t the most intelligent animals, they do have their own preferences for treats. You might notice that some of your flock won’t eat certain things. Like people, chickens have their own tastes and preferences.
Chickens like yogurt, and it’s good for their gut health. Yogurt also has calcium that the chickens use for eggshells. In the summer, spread yogurt on a pan and freeze it. Then offer your chickens yogurt bark for a cool treat.
Give your chickens treats: Apples
Most chickens will happily eat apples. They like both applesauce and raw apples. Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, so be sure to core the apples before serving to your chickens.
Chickens love bananas, but they won’t eat the peel. Bananas are a good source of potassium, so it’s good for their muscles.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Although your kids won’t think broccoli and cauliflower are treats, your chickens will. You can toss the whole head in the coop or hang it so they can peck at it. These are great boredom busters for winter.
Like heads of broccoli, heads of cabbage are great for hanging. The birds will peck at it and have fun chasing it as it moves around.
Give your chickens treats: Carrots
Chickens love carrots cooked or raw. They will even eat the leaves off of carrots if you grow them in your garden.
Chickens eat small bugs in the wild. If they get outside in the nice weather, they will often look for bugs in the soil. In the winter or if you just want to have fun watching them, get some crickets from the pet store and watch your chickens chase them.
If you give your chickens cucumbers, give them mature cucumbers because the seeds and flesh are softer.
Give your chickens treats: Eggs
I know, this just seems all kinds of wrong. You can also feed your chickens their own eggs. Avoid feeding them raw eggs because it could encourage them to eat their own eggs after they lay them. Instead, scramble them and offer them scrambled eggs.
Fish or Seafood
Give chickens fish or seafood sparingly because it can alter the taste of their eggs.
Chickens like marigolds, pansies, and nasturtiums. Make sure the flowers haven’t been treated with pesticides.
Chickens like most fruits like cherries, pears, and peaches. They also like grapes, but cut them into pieces because they can get stuck in their throat.
Give your chickens treats: Herbs
Chickens like fresh herbs. They will eat lavender, cilantro, mint, basil, parsley, and oregano.
Chickens love corn on the cob. You can simply put the cobs in the coop for them to peck at or hang them. They will get every bit of corn off the cob and leave a clean cob for you to clean up.
Chickens love watermelon. Buy it when it’s cheap in the summer and freeze it. Then give your chickens frozen watermelon to help them cool off. They also love fresh watermelon, but they won’t eat the rind.
Give your chickens treats: Oatmeal
Chickens really like cooked oatmeal. Simply prepare it with water or milk and serve warm to your chickens on cold days. You should feed them steel cut or old-fashioned oats because they are less processed. You can also add fruits for more flavor and nutrition.
Chickens love pumpkins. Cut one in half and let them peck at it. They will eat the stringy part, the seeds, and the flesh. They will leave just the shell for you to pick up later.
If your girls are laying eggs, you can offer them more calcium by giving them cottage cheese. They will eat it plain, or you can add vegetables or fruit.
Eggshells are high in calcium, and chickens need to replenish their calcium to make more eggs. When you use eggs, let the eggshells dry. Then crush them by hand into about ¼ inch pieces. Then sprinkle in the run or offer with their food. Only give your chickens their own eggshells because other eggs can have bacteria that can harm your flock.
You can compost your leftover food through your chickens. Be careful giving chickens people food though. Don’t give them food that’s high in salt, sugar. or fat. Also, do not give them anything that is spoiled or moldy.
–>Chicken Treats to Avoid
There are some treats that you should not give your chickens. Some of these can change the taste of their eggs, and other foods can be harmful for your chickens.
Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions can change the taste of your eggs, so avoid giving them to your chickens.
Avocado pits and skins contain persin, which is toxic to chickens. The flesh of the avocado is fine, however.
Avoid giving your chickens dried beans or undercooked beans. They have hemagglutinin, which can affect the bird’s digestion and cause it to get sick.
Rhubarb can act like a laxative. Rhubarb that has been damaged by cold temperatures can be high in oxalic acid, which can kill a chicken.
Offering your chickens treats is a great way to dispose of food scraps, and your chickens will enjoy a special treat. Chickens will quickly learn to come running when they see the scrap bucket heading towards the coop. With this guide, you’ll be able to offer your chickens safe treats to keep them healthy and happy.