Since earlier we talked about a balanced feed that we have been using on our girls, I figured I would throw out some treat ideas for your chickens, as well as a few snacks to avoid.  Since, again, our feed was designed to give them the complete baseline nutrition that they need, but there is no way to put all of the protein and vitamins they need into one food.

Lettuce

Lettuce:  No need to reinvent the wheel here.  Lettuce is a great source of trace vitamins and minerals.  Its also generally available for a couple heads for a dollar.  We usually have one or two in the fridge for the girls at a time.  We chop ours up, because our girls won’t peck at the big pieces, but you can serve however you like.

MilkDairy:  Our girls loves milk, yogurt, cheese, anything of that nature.  Yogurt can be cheap, depending on sales and your area.  Obviously they don’t care if its flavoured, so getting a big tub of plain yogurt is a great way to go. If yogurt is expensive, just get a gallon of milk.  Put it in a dish for em, and watch them yum it up.  Just put it far away from the house, because the girls will make a mess, and the ground can stink.

Tilapia

Tilapia (or fish of any kind): I don’t know about your area, but protein in Tucson is very expensive right now.  Most fish is expensive too, but if you keep an eye our for Tilapia, you can probably score some deals.  I found Tilapia for buy one bag, get two free.  Now Jenn and I refuse to eat Tilapia because of the disgusting farming practices for it, but chickens find it tasty.  I like putting a frozen fillet in their coop at night, and its a thawed little treat by morning.

grapesGrapes: Now chickens love all fruit, but feeding grapes to chickens is a treat for us.  We call it Bawk Bowling.  We roll the grapes across the yard and watch the girls race their pudgy little bodies over to get it.  Their are feather flying everywhere, and its awesome.  The next bawk bowling session will include video.  It’s awesome.

Lastly, I wanted to note something.  People worry way too much about what you feed chickens.  I had originally intended to give you three good treats, and then three things to avoid feeding your hens.  Unfortunately all I found were sights like this, that basically say everything except crumbles are toxic to chickens.  Literally, this sight lists Amaranth and Cabbage as poisonous right on the same list as belladonna.

We have been feeding our chickens most anything we have for six months now, and only seen one issue.  One week recently, we were feeding the girls a LOT of citrus.  I mean like, we got a bag or oranges, and it sucked, so we gave them to the girls.  They ate a ton of them.  Then we noticed a few weak spots on a few eggs.  That’s it.  No eggs broke, no chickens died, just some weaker points.  We quit with the citrus, and the eggs are fine.  So I personally believe the key is variety and moderation.  You would die too if you ate nothing but one food, no matter what that food was, so mix it up and moderate.

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