Jump to content
The Dogmother

Do you give your chooks treats?

Recommended Posts

OK, so out of idle curiousity (seen lots of posts elsewhere about what folks feed their birds) do you give yours any treats?

  • Do you give them a treat bought from the shop/feed supplier?
  • Do you string up some healthy greens in their run?
  • Do you give them human food; stuff that you have cooked?
  • Do you opt for healthy treats, and if so, what?
  • Do you add healthy additives to their feed or water?

Don't all fight to answer! 😂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, they have a handful of mealworms and corn every evening along with a handful of mixed grit (a handful is between 7) - i may encourage them back into their run if i've let them out with a few mealworms too. Occasionally greens if we have leftover bits and very rarely leftover rice or pasta (probably less than once a month).

I put a supplement in their water once a week as a vitamin boost and that is about it.

I don't think that's toooooo bad?! 🤔

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, rachel84 said:

Yes, they have a handful of mealworms and corn every evening along with a handful of mixed grit (a handful is between 7) - i may encourage them back into their run if i've let them out with a few mealworms too. Occasionally greens if we have leftover bits and very rarely leftover rice or pasta (probably less than once a month).

I put a supplement in their water once a week as a vitamin boost and that is about it.

I don't think that's toooooo bad?! 🤔

Not at all Rachel - you read some very alarming posts elsewhere about what folks feed their chooks. :roll:

I have just looked at your website - what beautiful work - you are very clever!

Edited by The Dogmother

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

Not at all Rachel - you read some very alarming posts elsewhere about what folks feed their chooks. :roll:

Including people that feed their chickens chicken...🙀

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's chicken boot camp out here - no treats except to bribe them back into their runs (mixed corn) and then poultry tonic/minerals when moulting.  Broodies get a few mealworms for their chicks if I'm feeling nice/want to catch them:twisted:.  Sick hens (very rare thankfully) get pellet porridge and poultry tonic/mins/nutridrops.  The stable brigade (elderly pekins get to live inside in Winter) get greens from the garden  when they can't forage for grass because they're stuck inside - the rest have to find their own - but they do have a field, so they're spoilt really!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: mine are mostly the same. I use poultry tonic seeds (Crofts) to get them back in the run as they are less fattening than corn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poultry tonic seeds sound interesting.  I'll try that when our current bag runs out - sometime next year at the rate we're using it at the moment!  Still waiting for a broody - though now I've said it I'll probably be greeted by 10 of them first thing tomorrow - stupid me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have 3 broodies you can have!

Next time I see you, I'll bag some up for you. Or at least try and remember to!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to make a mash of oats and veggie scraps in the winter and served it, in small doses, warm. The odd head of greens either in the run or hung up for pecking. Fat hen, which grows in my garden, always went down well. 

We all need treats from time to time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m frightened to answer this post because I’ll get shouted at by the Dogmother 😨

Having said that for the most part mine don’t get much. They have a small mug of mixed corn between the 8 of them most evenings before bed. And if I need to get them back in the run during the day I usually use sunflower hearts. In the winter or at any other time of year when they’re shut in their run all day I’ll usually try to give them something green (hang up a cabbage, some cut in half broccoli stalks, brassica plants from the garden that are past it - that sort of thing), or if they’re being really spoilt a hung up corn on the cob. If they’re out and about and I’m eating an apple I usually fling them the core. And if we’re eating outside (very rare although frequently afternoon snacks over the last few weeks) they’ll usually goad us into giving them a bit of whatever we’ve got (cinnamon roll, cheddars, quavers 🙄). All of this is rare though apart from the mixed corn.

There is however, an exception :oops: Duck. Duck is a proper pet chicken. Since we’ve been on lockdown she comes in every morning when we’re making our breakfast and has a few beakfulls of my granola before hot footing it down the hallway for some cat food. She then appears at the patio door at regular intervals to check to see what we’ve got and pretty much always gets a taste of everything. I did draw the line when she decided she liked chocolate and started retrying to get into my Easter egg!! I know it’s bad for her and we shouldn’t do it but she’s got us wrapped around her little wing! She’s going to be seriously miffed when we go back to work!
 

Blimey! Sorry - that’s an essay!! Don’t buy any specific ‘chicken treats’ - just think they’re all too expensive for what they are.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, The Dogmother said:

 

I have just looked at your website - what beautiful work - you are very clever!

Thank you! It's not the easiest time to be running your own small business like this but hey ho!

Glad i'm not breaking too many of the chicken keepers commandments!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, when I read the question I thought, 'of course I don't' but on reflection, I did use to. I don't think that using wheat as a bribe to get them into the run on the odd occasion is a treat, more an essential aid!  I never bought them special things or gave them greens as they were on the range.  In the early days I used to put a tonic or ACV in the water, but as I couldn't discern any benefits I soon gave it up.  On very cold mornings with snow on the ground I did sometime give them warm pellet porridge, particularly the small polands, and a bit of wheat before bed to keep them going. However, I will admit to boiling up broccoli stalks when we were having it, 100% on purpose for the chooks, nothing else and now I think about it, I'm not sure why!  When I was growing up my Nan would boil up leftovers and veg peelings and mix it with bran, and that is what she fed the chicken every day.  I don't remember seeing pellets ever, or corn, although maybe she did have the odd sack of that.  There was a huge bran tub in the shed, with a scoop, and a heavenly smell, which reminds me of brewing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had been giving them dried mealworms until I read it was a no-go area as most are imported from China and they contain pathogens.  We have enough already!  So live mealworms only - haven't had those for a while, but Garvo alphamix - they go nutty for it.  I noticed it now is labelled as GMO free.  So that is a good one to have now and again.  I've also boiled eggs and crushed them all up, added cod liver oil which was well received.  A special treat is a tin of tuna mixed up with grains.  I do buy human grade grains and seeds which gets added to the mixed corn and sometimes I vary what I add - like hemp one time or rye another.  They do like flax seeds and sesame seeds and millet. That is their tea time scratch so they don't have them during the day.  I'm fermenting some grains and mixed corn at the moment, but I use it all up in one go and restart another when I remember - it just varies things.  With the flubenvet I add some sultanas to the corn which will get a fair amount stuck to the outside.  I used to cut the sultanas in half many, many moons ago, dip the sultanas and reseal them but I think I must have been bonkers (or more bonkers - am less likely to faff around nowadays).  This new lot don't care and scoff everything - unless it has the garlic and mint granules added. 

In their water they have ACV from time to time, a drop of oregano oil in the winter, Avipro, Lifeguard and then they just find a disgusting poopy puddle and slurp as though it's a cocktail!  They get greens from the veg patch - before I used to buy greens from the grocers to give them - now it is a bit easier.  They also free range so plenty of buggy treats to chase.  Grasshopper hunting is amusing to watch. 

Nutridrops when they are under the weather and ooh - they do not like Marriages Royal Mix!  Spoilt brats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't it funny how you'd think they would like some things, but they really don't?

On 4/29/2020 at 7:54 PM, mullethunter said:

I’m frightened to answer this post because I’ll get shouted at by the Dogmother 😨

Oh, please don't think that MH :oops:

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

Isn't it funny how you'd think they would like some things, but they really don't?

My current lot refuse broken corn, whereas my previous lot scoffed it down!🧐

3 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

Oh, please don't think that MH :oops:

We all fear the wrath of the big DM! 🤣

😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Cat tails said:

We all fear the wrath of the big DM! 🤣

😉

Haha, you'd do better fearing the wrath of the lurchers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, rachel84 said:

Thank you! It's not the easiest time to be running your own small business like this but hey ho!

Glad i'm not breaking too many of the chicken keepers commandments!

Oh wow Rachel your work is stunning 😍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

Oh wow Rachel your work is stunning 😍

I agree!!!! 🤩

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aww thanks guys, that's really nice of you to take the time to look 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hello all, I’m new to the forum and only two months into Hen keeping. Very interested to read this topic as I just want to feed my ladies ALL the time as they are SO skinny.

I have a couple of questions if I may and someone might be so kind as to advise please?

1. I have been putting dried mealworms into an omlet peck toy which they empty every day. I’m not sure if they came from China, are they bad for the hens in general? I thought they’d be good for calcium 🤷‍♀️ I have also been feeding them a mug full of defrosted sweet corn each day as my go to, to get them all into the run, if I need to.
 I feed them organic layers pellets and they free range in my pretty mature herbaceous flower garden and dig and scrape for Britain. 
 

2. As I said, my hens are very skinny they are about 6 months old now, is that normal? I feel worried that they just feel all bones when I pick the wee souls up. I have five and they are a Rhode Island Red,a Leghorn, a Plymouth Barred Rick, a Black And a Lavender. 
 

3. The Leghorn has had trouble forming egg shells since I got her, some drop at least twice a week into the sawdust beneath the roosting tray just in a membrane with no shell, and maybe once to twice a week she’ll lay an egg with quite a thin shell but it’s ok, other than a bit wonky shaped. I’m putting Omlet grit through their layer feed as well as NET TEX Mineral boost through it. I’ve washed and baked egg shells, crushed and put through their feed also. Anything I can do that I’m not trying? 

I’d be really grateful if anyone can offer advice. 

Edited by Mother Tweed
Spelling mistakes and missed words

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you wormed them recently?

Mine do get dried mealworms. But I doubt they provide much calcium. They consist mostly of proteins.

Laying hens don’t pack much fat and you should be able to feel the breastbone. But it shouldn’t feel “sharp”. There should muscle on both sides of it. But layers aren’t bred for meat.

If your hens free range a lot and get regular treats, I doubt that they are eating much of the layers feed. So I doubt that they are getting much of the grit/eggshells. You might want to restrict their diet for a bit and see if the egg quality of your Leghorn improves.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cat tails said:

Have you wormed them recently?

Mine do get dried mealworms. But I doubt they provide much calcium. They consist mostly of proteins.

Laying hens don’t pack much fat and you should be able to feel the breastbone. But it shouldn’t feel “sharp”. There should muscle on both sides of it. But layers aren’t bred for meat.

If your hens free range a lot and get regular treats, I doubt that they are eating much of the layers feed. So I doubt that they are getting much of the grit/eggshells. You might want to restrict their diet for a bit and see if the egg quality of your Leghorn improves.

Thanks for your reply. Yes I worked them about four weeks ago, but. Read somewhere On here you should follow up within about three weeks the first time, so will do it again for the next five days. Our coop opens itself at 6:30 and they haven’t been getting out of the run until about 09:30, I do that to try to get them to eat their pellets, but will now cut their treats right back to only those I need in an ‘emergency recall’ which has only happened when they’ve flew over the fence 👀 Their breast bone is indeed sharp, so I’ll go with the working again and encourage them to their pellets of an evening too for at least the last hour and see if that helps. Thanks again for taking the time to respond. 

48 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

^^ agreed  ^^

Thank you,  restriction it is. I have Labradors too so am well used to ‘begging for food’ faces 😅

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would even restrict free ranging for a bit. Maybe an hour at the end of the day? Chickens can wait, and will wait for goodies. I assume you wormed them with medicated pellets? Those only work when they only eat the pellets and nothing else.

I know how it feels. Believe me... I have been trying to convert my chickens from mash to pellets for the past three days. And so far they’re not really eating it... Don’t know what they are filling themselves up with, because it certainly isn’t pellets... but they just chucked out all mash from the feeder and just eating the best bits. I went through scoops full of the stuff and it all ended up on the ground. They have been trying to convince me to get other stuff, but I’m keeping strong this time!!! 😅

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cat tails said:

I would even restrict free ranging for a bit. Maybe an hour at the end of the day? Chickens can wait, and will wait for goodies. I assume you wormed them with medicated pellets? Those only work when they only eat the pellets and nothing else.

I know how it feels. Believe me... I have been trying to convert my chickens from mash to pellets for the past three days. And so far they’re not really eating it... Don’t know what they are filling themselves up with, because it certainly isn’t pellets... but they just chucked out all mash from the feeder and just eating the best bits. I went through scoops full of the stuff and it all ended up on the ground. They have been trying to convince me to get other stuff, but I’m keeping strong this time!!! 😅

I have just mixed up their wormer in with a weeks worth of pellets, put it out and have briefed my husband that they are to get absolutely no/zero/nada treats this week. I will see if that makes a difference and if not will restrict their free ranging time right down further again. I will keep them cooped up until 10:00 and put them back in from 18:00 on a strict routine this week and that cuts them back by 3.5 hours per day from their current raking about time ☺️
 

Thank you so much for taking your time to give me advice, I actually already feel so much more confident in a couple of hours of having people who know what they are talking about helping me! 👍

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...