Chicken treats make healthy supplements to your regular chicken feed and help keep your birds warm in the cold by addressing their winter dietary needs.
There is an endless list of chicken treats you can make at home, but this one is my favorite.
Homesteader's Guide on How to Make Winter Chicken Treats
- Bacon fat and coconut oil
- Soya beans
- Flax seeds or Black oil sunflower seeds
- Dried Fruit
- Non-stick spray or oil
Equipment You’ll Need
Step 1. Mix the Ingredients
Melt your grease and oil together in a pan and set it aside. The best way to do this is to throw in a few coconut oil spoonfuls in a pan anytime you cook bacon and mix the two before storing.
Alternatively, you can keep a plastic container where you store up your bacon grease until you have enough, or it's time to make your next batch of chicken treats.
Next, add all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the melted oil mixture. Now, use a spatula to mix everything up, so you are left with a semi-hard mixture.
- While this chicken treats recipe uses bacon grease and coconut oil, feel free to change these up with any other fat or oil you find that your chickens enjoy more.
- Also, mixing all the ingredients first ensures all the oil goodness is evenly spread so that every nibble is nutritious to the birds.
Step 2. Spray and Fill the Muffin Tray
Now spray your muffin tray with non-stick spray. If you choose to use oil, a brush will be the easiest and fastest way to have every muffin hole coated.
Next, use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin tray holes with the mixture. Though the ice cream scoop makes the work more effortless, a regular spoon will still work well.
How much mixture you have and the number of chicken treats you want to make will determine how far you fill the tray holes.
Alternatively, skip the first step and add the dry ingredients directly to your muffin tray holes then fill the holes with your oil mixture.
- Besides a muffin tray, you may also use a loaf tin if you want larger treats for hanging feeders.
- You can also use a silicone mold or ice cube tray if you are looking for smaller treats to mix with your regular chicken feed.
Step 3. Solidify the Chicken Treats
Place the filled muffin tray in a refrigerator and allow the mixture to solidify. How long it will take to solidify depends on the grease and oil you use, but it should be good to go in one hour at most.
Note: The treats will solidify faster if you mix all the ingredients in a bowl first than when you add the oil to the dry ingredients in the muffin tray.
Step 4. Pop the Chicken Treats and Store or Feed Your Birds
Once entirely solidified, pop them out, put them in a large plastic container and store them in a freezer until it's time to feed your birds. Otherwise, if you made a small batch of treats, throw them to your chicken and marvel at how much they enjoy the treats.
Tip: The chicken treats can last for months as long as they are in the freezer.
- Oats are a nutrients powerhouse and help reduce the aggression that most laying hens have.
- Research on the best seeds to feed your birds as different seeds have different levels of omega-3, fats, and vitamins.
- Only feed your chicken oat treats occasionally to reduce the risk of indigestion associated with oats.
- Remember to heat the beans properly to remove any toxins that could be harmful to your birds.
- If you choose to add dried fruits, only go for the ones that have been pitted and have no added sugars.
- Your birds will benefit from more corn in winter as it is an excellent source of protein and energy. But consider reducing the amount when making chicken treats for other seasons.
- Peas make an equally healthy substitute for beans when making chicken treats because you can add them without heating, unlike beans.
Watch this video from Rainbow Gardens on DIY winter protein snack for chickens:
Like human beings, animals also need a boost to keep up with the cold winter weather. You can make chicken treats from practically anything as long as it will benefit your birds. It is, however, essential to be informed on what is suitable for your birds.
Which other winter treats do you like making for your birds? Let us know in the comment section below!
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