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Healthy Chicken Treats

27 November 2012

I’ve been wanting to put together a blog of what you can feed chickens as treats. At last! I found lots of information on the internet and wish I could take full credit for all the information below. But there are people out there with much more experience than I have so I’ve borrowed what I needed.

Most of the food in this chart, I have given to my hens at one time or another and they have been most enthusiastic! I usually give a small bowl of treats to them in the afternoon when I know they have eaten their fill of their enriched food. If you give them too many treats they’ll cut back on their feed and their health my be affected. So be reasonable with quantity  and watch them enjoy!

Apples Raw apples and applesauce Apple seeds contain cyanide. Hens love apples but feed their seed in moderation.
Asparagus Raw or cooked Not a favorite.
Bananas Feed hens bananas without the peel High in potassium, a good treat.
Beans Well-cooked only, never dry Also, greenbeans.
Beets Red beet root and greens Full of vitamins.
Berries All kinds A real treat for hens
Breads All kinds – stale bread okay. Feed bread in moderation.
Broccoli and Cauliflower Vitamin and calcium rich. Raw. Put in a suet cage let them pick away.
Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts Whole head or parts Hang a whole cabbage from coop ceiling. Gives them greens and exercise!.
Carrots Raw and cooked My hens love carrot tops too.
Cereal Cheerios, etc. Avoid highly sugared cereal.
Cheese Hens love cottage cheese and small chunks of hard cheese. Good source of protein and calcium. Feed in moderation.
Cooked Chicken Throw in bones of raw chicken too. They pick at it until nothing is left. Good source of meat protein.
Corn On cob, canned, raw or cooked Hand feed to tame hens.
Crickets (alive) Can be bought at bait or pet-supply stores. Great treat – provides protein and entertainment.
Cucumbers Something to pick at. Let mature for seeds and flesh.
Eggs Hardcooked scrambled are a good source of protein. Feed cooked eggs. Feeding raw eggs encourages eating own eggs.
Fish / Seafood Cooked. Small amount of uncooked okay.
Flowers Must be pesticide-free. Marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, etc.
Fruit Pears, peaches, cherries, apples Served whole, chickens will pick away.
Grains Bulgar, flax, niger, wheatberries,etc. Raw or cooked.
Grapes Seedless only. For chicks, cut them up. Hens will play keep-away.
Grits Cooked
Lettuce / Kale Any leafy greens, spinach collards, mustard greens. A big treat, especially in winter.
Mealworms and compost worms Available at pet supply stores or on the internet. Make your own compost worm box and raise them. A favorite treat. Good for chicks in moderation.
Meat scraps. Not fatty or too spicy. In moderation. A good source of protein
Melon Cantaloupe, honeydew, etc. Seeds and flesh are good chicken treats.
Oatmeal Raw or cooked Cooked is better.
Pasta / Macaroni Cooked spaghetti, etc. Not very nutritional but they love it.
Peas Peas and pea tendrils and flowers Hens like leaves of plants too.
Peppers (bell) Chopped or whole
Pomegranates Raw Seeds are a big treat.
Popcorn Popped, no butter, no salt.
Potatoes / Sweet Potatoes/Yams Cooked only. Green peels are toxic. Starchy, not much nutrition
Pumpkins / Winter Squash Raw or cooked. Both seeds and flesh are a nutritious treat.
Raisins In moderation.
Rice Cooked only. Pilaf mixes are okay. Plain white rice has little nutrition.
Scratch Scratch is cracked corn with grains such as wheat, oats and rye. Scratch is a treat, not a complete feed. Toss it on the ground and let them scratch for it for something to do.
Sprouts Wheat and oat sprouts are great! Good for greens in mid-winter.
Summer Squash Yellow squash and zucchini Some hens love it, some not so much.
Sunflower Seeds Sunflower seeds with the shell still on are fine, as well as with the shells off (unsalted). A good treat. Helps hens grow feathers after moulting.
Tomatoes Raw and cooked.
Turnips Cooked. Not a favorite but okay to feed.
Watermelon Served cold in hot weather to keep hens cool. Seeds and flesh are both okay to feed.
Yogurt Plain (no sugar) Chicks and adults love it and it’s good for digestive systems.


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One Comments to “Healthy Chicken Treats”

  1. Great information, thank you. I can attest to many of the treats on this list that my girls love!

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