There are so many awesome Ideas for treats and the chickens really love them! Of course, we have picked our top treat- the ones that our girls love the most. It is important to do your research and find out what is healthy and unhealthy for your girls (and boys if you have them). I did a lot of research on the good vs. the bad with chickens. For Instance, nothing that has pits in them or something they can choke on. The best list of good foods vs. bad foods that I have found is here: https://itsasunshineyday.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/dont-feed-your-chickens-this-a-printable/.
I chose last spring to go ahead and grow certain things that have a dual purpose to our chickens. For instance, I grew parsley. Rosy loves to eat the parsley when she free ranges in our backyard. Parsley is a great source for enhancing egg laying and different types of Vitamins. It is also great to spread in nesting boxes and their coop. Lavender is another favorite of mine- also used to in nesting boxes/coop to keep insects away- a type of repellant. For a great guide on the best herbs to grow that your chicks will love, visit http://www.hobbyfarms.com/5-herbs-your-chickens-will-love-4/
With that, here are my girls top favorite treats
- Happy Hen Treat Mealworms– (Ugh Gross!) Yes, this is my girls #1 snack food. 100% natural dried worms.
- Wild Bird Seeds– For some reason, Rosy and Pearl love to go and eat all the bird food that has dropped on the ground.
- Watermelon – Perfect during the summer. The girls would eat a whole one in no time at all if I let them.
- Hawaiian Break – They get this every three months. I have a family member who is in charge of communion at our church every three months. It is said that any left overs from communion are to go back to earth in which our bread comes from, therefore the chickens, every week during that third month, will get whatever is leftover.
- Vegetables – The girls like most of our leftovers- their favorite seems to be broccoli. At least if my kids won’t eat it, they will!
- HotCakes – This is a treat that we found at Tractor Supply- It was a log of seeds, worms, and healthy things that are natural foraging.
- Treat Blocks – These are square blocks that are made up of seeds and dried worms. Great entertainment to keep the chicks busy!
- Leftover Foods – Often when we have leftovers (if it is on the approved list for chickens) , we give them whatever we ate for that night or week.
- Pumpkins – Did you know chickens love pumpkins?! Well, my Pearl does at least. Don’t just throw away those pumpkins after Halloween- give them to your chicks!
- Insects/worms/ and whatever else they find in the yard – YES! we let our girls free range as much as possible- usually this means locking the dogs in their kennels for a couple hours, but it is the most beneficial source of food and way of living for chickens.
All of the treats are incorporated into the girls daily meal which always includes a scoop or two of laying pellets. Let’s not forget WATER! Water is the most important thing for your chickens- they should have fresh water everyday to keep them laying. When they do not get enough, you will see them skip days laying eggs. I think it is important to balance your chickens to give them the best possible. When you have happy and stress free chickens, you have more eggs.. and frankly, a happy mom to go with it!