Do you like to give your chickens treats? That is a great way to spoil them rotten.
After all they do for us, a little spoiling never hurt anyone. However, a lot of spoiling with unhealthy treats can hurt your birds. That is why it is important to be sure to feed our chickens healthy snack alternatives.
Now, I know what you are thinking. Healthy snack usually equates to a hefty price tag.
Which is why we are bringing you over 20 different healthy hen treats that you can make at home.
Here they are:
1. Oatmeal Balls
I like these little balls. The reason is that it doesn’t take a ton of them to keep your hens happy. They are made of all natural ingredients that most of us have around the house for baking purposes.
However, they are rolled into little balls that will take the hens a while to peck at. This means that they stay busy longer and don’t eat as much. But what they do eat is healthy for them. It is a win for the hens and a win for your budget too.
5. Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits
I love fruit and yogurt parfaits. Well, guess what? So will your chickens. They are able to eat many fruits and vegetables without facing adverse effects of them and dairy is very similar.
So you can take fruits and vegetables and mix them with yogurt or cottage cheese, and your hens will be very happy. It is also very healthy for them too as it gives them necessary vitamins plus calcium which is key to egg development.
6. Left Overs
Not everything we eat is always healthy. However, if you eat a healthy meal around your table and have some left then go ahead and toss it to your chickens.
Plus, whatever they won’t eat they’ll grind it around and turn it into a wonderful composts. So almost any fresh vegetables and fruits that you feed your family for good health will give good health to your chickens too.
7. Meal Worms
Meal worms are a great snack that is packed with protein for your chickens. They are also a very budget friendly snack considering you can raise them yourself.
So if you like the idea of giving your hens healthy treats while not breaking the bank, then you should consider this healthy snack idea.
Chickens love fruits especially watermelon. I think it is where the fruit is mainly made up of water so it keeps them hydrated with the extreme juiciness of it.
But I have always noticed anytime I put a watermelon in their chicken yard, my birds go bananas for it. So keep these fruits in mind at chicken treats when planting your garden.
12. Egg Shells
Egg shells are actually a treat to chickens. The reason is they love the calcium they get from them. Which makes this treat very easy and affordable.
So when you crack an egg that your chicken laid, simply grind it up and feed it to them. They will adore the treat for the nutrients that they value so much.
13. Flock Block
This recipe is great and seems to be fairly inexpensive to make. The best part about this block is that it is super healthy for your hens and also appears to be a way to keep them from being bored.
So follow the recipe, make your own flock block, and then hang it from your coop somewhere where the chickens can peck at it until their hearts are content.
14. Pumpkin Seed Treat
This pumpkin treat is very simple. You will cut a pumpkin into chunks. Then you’ll need to put the chunks into the food processor.
When that is complete and well pureed, then you’ll mix a little of their feed in with it and give the pumpkin seed puree to your birds. Hopefully they’ll be as pleased with it as your budget will be.
15. Molt Meatloaf
When your chickens go into molt they need a treat. Really, they probably feel like they need a hug (but I wouldn’t suggest it due to the loss of feathers.) In reality, my chickens wouldn’t let me hug them even if I did advocate hugging a molting chicken.
But we are moving on, this molt meatloaf is a great source of protein and will help your chickens recuperate during this time that they are busy rebuilding and replacing their feathers.
17. Apple Garland
This apple garland idea is really cute and one that your chickens are sure to love. She just slices and cores the apples.
Then she strings them with popcorn and runs them as a garland. I can only imagine the fun chickens would have trying to get the food from the garland.
18. Scrambled Eggs
I mentioned scrambled egg pops earlier in this post to help cool your chickens down during a hot day. But if you don’t feel like taking that extra step on a regular day with normal temps, then you don’t have to.
Actually, feeding chickens scrambled eggs is one of the best protein sources you can give them during the fall when many chickens are going through molt. So keep this protein packed treat in mind when you are considering healthy chicken treats.
19. Homemade Suet Cakes
Homemade suet cakes are made out of very natural ingredients that are easily accessible. In fact, you probably have most of them on hand.
So if you need a tasty treat (it includes beef fat so I’m sure your chickens will be in love) then keep this snack in mind. Your birds will be in hog heaven.
20. Poultry Protein Platter
This poultry protein platter is another great treat idea for the chicken in molt. It is not difficult and is very healthy for your birds.
So you’ll take a few basic ingredients such as frozen peas and oats, then mill them down into a fine powder so that it can be easily ingested by chickens. It’s that easy!
21. Prepared Oatmeal
I’ve mentioned a lot of chicken treats that used regular rolled oats, but I haven’t mentioned fixing your chickens a warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold winter day.
So if you need an easy and warm treat for your flock this winter, then consider making them a simple bowl of oatmeal. I’m sure it will be humorous to watch them eat it.
22. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a food that is easy for chickens to ingest while also being loaded with protein and calcium. I mentioned earlier how you could mix fruits and vegetables in with cottage cheese.
Well, if you don’t feel like adding anything to it, cottage cheese is a healthy treat all by itself. So keep this tasty treat in mind for your chickens’ healthy treats.
I give my chickens small amounts of left over pasta. If possible make it whole wheat pasta in order to keep things as healthy as possible.
But my chickens absolutely love pasta. It is funny to watch them run around the yard with pasta stringing behind them while other hens are in hot pursuit trying to snatch it from them.
24. Corn on the Cob
Chickens love corn. It just has to be given to them in small amounts because it can make them fat. But if you’d like to give your chickens corn every now and then simply give it to them on the cob or mix a little sweet corn in with their feed.
Believe me, chickens love corn. It is also very funny (and cute) to watch them pecking corn from the cob. Not to mention the funny noises the rooster makes letting all of the girls know that there is a special surprise for them.
Ginger is considered a super food. It is highly recommended that you feed your chickens ginger because of the benefits that can be passed on to you through their eggs.
So if you’d like the benefits of ginger without consuming it yourself, then give it to your chickens. They’ll love it and hopefully you’ll still reap quite a few of the benefits of ginger through your bird.
Every year I use a lot of pumpkins to decorate with and every year my chickens get a treat as we roll into winter and it is time to change out my décor.
So if you grow a lot of pumpkins, find a great deal on pumpkins, or need something to do with the pumpkins after you are done decorating with them then be sure to pass them on to your flock. They will love them.
Well, there are 26 DIY chicken treats that you can easily make for your flock. Some of them require a little more preparation than others but all come with some pretty amazing benefits for your flock.
But now I want to hear from you. What healthy treats do you give your flock? What are the benefits of the treats that you feed? Can you give us a ballpark figure of how inexpensive they are to make? And please, if you are willing, we’d love to see your recipes for these treats too!