Chicken treats are a good way to appreciate and make your pet chickens happy. Treats can either be foods, gifts and other things that can make your birds happy.
Most people only think that chicken treats are food stuffs. This is because certain foods like fruits, leftovers and vegetables are fed to our birds to supplement their diets.
There are a host of treats that can be given to chickens. Just like an athlete gets a medal, chickens need to be given something after they have laid you those tasty eggs for breakfast.
Let’s indulge and go through some of the best chicken treats you can give to your friendliest chicken breeds.
Grit can be one of the best treats for chickens. These feathered friends do not have teeth to chew food. Therefore, they rely on grit in the gizzard to grind those tasty peanuts you toss to them often.
In addition to that, grit is also a good source of calcium for chickens. Some types of grit are made from crushed oyster shells which are very rich in calcium.
Chickens can also collect grit naturally as they free range on the backyard. They can get it from sand, small stones and pebbles littered on your compound.
Mealworms are the best chicken treats that I know of. These dried bugs are rich in protein, calcium and other minerals which are very beneficial to chickens.
Tossing a handful of dried mealworms will make hens go nuts. Chickens love them and will keep coming for more and more.
However, these worms should be fed to chickens in moderation. They contain high levels of protein which can be toxic if it accumulate to their bodies in large amounts.
Mealworms can be bought from the local store or you can make your own mealworm farm. Fresh mealworms are also safe and can be fed to chickens.
Treat balls are good chicken supplies for your birds. These important chicken treats will make sure that cabbage, pumpkin and other food treats remain clean.
They will hold treats and chickens will be kept busy pecking at something instead of fighting and bullying each other.
Treat balls will either hook vegetables or they will either be put inside. These vegetable hanging feeders will help simulate the chickens natural feeding behavior.
Chicken scratch is one of the best treats you can hurl to your chicken breeds. Scratch is made up of several grains and cereals which will help keep your chickens warm in winter.
Because chicken scratch is made of several types of grains and seeds, your hens will benefit from a host of nutrients in one serving.
It is easy to make your own chicken scratch at home. Just take those left over grains like wheat, oats, whole corn, rice, peas and lentils.
Put them in a large bowl and mix them well. Store them in a dry place where you can scoop a handful and toss to your hens before they roost.
Cracked corn is an energy rich treat for chickens. It is inexpensive and not processed hence; it does not have other chemical additives.
Tossing a handful of cracked corn will make chickens scratch the ground looking for every single piece. Corn is a major raw material in the manufacture of chicken feeds and it is good food for chickens.
Nugget treats are made from a collection of various nuts and berries. They are flavorful and laden with a host of vitamins and minerals.
However, this chicken treat should be fed in moderation. This is because the dried berries and nuts do not have all the nutrients your hens require in their bodies.
Additionally, berries have a lot of sugars in them which can make your hens obese and overweight. Obese chickens are prone to joint and back problems.
Chicken Play Toys
Play toys are good treats and gifts for chickens. Toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the age of your birds.
They are meant to keep chickens busy and break their boredom. Some are made for chickens to peck and make their beaks and jaws strong.
Chickens can eat bird seed and enjoy it very much. It is made up of whole or cracked cereals that chickens love like corn and oats.
Bird seed is a good treat and will help keep chickens warm in winter because it will generate some metabolism heat during digestion.
However, just like all other treats, bird seed should be fed to chickens in moderation. It does not have all the nutrients they require in their bodies and can lead to malnutrition if fed as the main course.
A chicken swing will give your hens something to do when they are idle. Your chickens will play and swing instead of feather picking.
These swings are made of wood and will not freeze your chicken feet and legs in winter. All they do is create a funny environment for your chicken pets to play and interact with each other.
Chick Supplies Treat
This is a great chicken treat for your baby chicks. It contains a host of seeds and cereals making it wholesome and healthy for your little critters to eat.
These treats are loaded with nutrients and can be fed to 2 weeks old baby chicks. They are a good way to supplement their diet of chick starter feeds with extra nutrients.
Crumbles and Pellets
Crumbles and pellets are good treats for your chickens. They are well-formulated and contain all the nutrients in balanced form.
These feeds are good treats especially for free range chickens. They will help top up their diet of leaves, weeds, insects and grubs they collect on the backyard.
Most commercial chicken feeds are made depending on the age of your birds. Chicks are fed on chick starter feeds because they are high in protein.
When these little critters are fully feathered and out of the chicken brooder, they are fed on a grower feed.
They will remain on a grower diet until they are big and are sexually mature. Laying hens will eat layers feeds because they are low in protein but high in calcium to make eggs with strong shells.
What other foods are good chicken treats
There are a host of foods that are good treats for chickens. These foods are rich in nutrients but need to be fed in moderation.
There are a host of different fruits that are good treats for chickens. However, most fruits are packed with a lot of sugar which is not good for chicken’s health.
Additionally, some fruits seeds and pits can be very dangerous when eaten. Seeds of apples and pits or peaches and avocado contain cyanide which is highly toxic.
When feeding fruits to chickens, avoid those bought from the local grocery and store. They may have a lot of chemicals which can be very toxic when ingested.
Berries are good and tasty to chickens. They are packed with different nutrients which are good for chicken’s well-being.
However, most berries are sugar-rich and should be fed in moderation. If chickens develop a taste for sweet foods they may refuse to eat other non-sugar meals.
Nuts are rich in many fats and other nutrients. They are very tasty and chickens will go crazy if you toss a handful to them.
Good nuts for chickens are: Peanuts, hazel nuts, almonds, cashew nuts, pecans, chestnuts, macadamia and Brazil nuts.
Vegetables are low in fat and calories making them one of the best treats for chickens. However, care should be taken not to feed chemical laden vegetables.
Some tasty vegetables for chickens include: Chard, kale, spinach, carrots, celery, beet roots, pumpkin, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, onion and lettuce.
Leftovers and Table scraps
Most leftover foods and table scraps are good for chickens to eat. However, they should not have too much salt, butter and other seasonings.
Chickens are not choosy when it comes to food. These critters will munch on almost anything because they are always ready to try new foods.
They will also drink water to keep their bodies hydrated and cool on a hot summer day. Make sure they have clean drinking water always.
However, most food treats should be fed in moderation. They should never exceed 10% of the chicken’s diet because they do not have all the nutrients these birds require in their bodies.
Any moldy or rotten food should not be fed to chicken. It can lead to serious health issues or even death when ingested.
What chicken treats do you toss to your flock? Talk to us.
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