The Best Healthy Treats to Give Your Chickens

Keeping your chickens to a strict feeding schedule is important, but adding a few healthy treats here and there can be beneficial to your flock.

Your chickens will spend most of their days either eating or nesting. There are times, however that they will get bored, and providing the rare treat to your flock can be a great way to boost their mood and help them pass their time without resorting to bullying and other mischiefs. 

Chickens do require specific nutrition to ensure they are healthy to prolong their life and boost egg-laying. It’s important to note that treats should not be given to growing chicks under the age of 18 weeks, as it will get in the way of the nutrition and protein they need to grow and may limit their lifespan. Treats should be rare and well thought out to ensure they are healthy. 

Here are five of our favorite healthy treats to give your chickens. 

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a great option as a treat for chickens, especially during the winter months. It’s a great source of antioxidants, protein, and vitamins such as zinc, magnesium, and calcium. You can add it directly to their feed as it will allow all of your older flock to access it and get a share. 

Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is a great source of calcium for your chickens. You can give it to your flock straight from the tub or dry it out first. Because of its high-fat content, it can be ideal to mix it with carrots and other vegetables.

Mealworms: Your flock will love mealworms as a rare but much-appreciated treat. They contain excellent amounts of protein, fat, crude fiber vitamins, and more. You can purchase mealworms from a local fishing store or grow your own. 

Watermelon: Watermelon is full of vitamins for your chickens if given in moderation. A whole watermelon placed or hung within a coop will also keep your chickens busy and entertained for hours. 

Corn: Corn is often the first choice as a treat for chickens, but we’ve left it for last as there are so many other options that can give your flock a tasty treat. Corn is great for keeping chickens full and warm in the winter months and is an excellent source of fiber. Do not give chickens too much, however, as it can get in the way of their feeding and keep them from ingesting the other nutrients they need. 

The Grandpas Feeder is excellent for providing your chickens with an all-access pass to their own feeding. Chickens cannot overeat, but they can fill up on treats if given too often. Make sure their food is always available and won’t be subjected to the weather or unwanted pests. 

Treats are a great way of staving off bullying among your chickens. Take a lot at other ways to curb the boredom of your flock on our blog page here.