Based on research and my own personal experience caring for two flocks of hens, mealworms are THE go-to treat. In addition to bugs (gross!), it's important to have a variety of chicken treats on hand to supplement their feed. We compiled a list of 11 chicken treats every chicken keeper needs to refer to when they're shopping on Amazon.
Why even worry about treats for your ladies and just focus on layer, grower, and starter feeds instead? When your rooster escapes (hopefully your roo is nice!), luring him back with treats makes putting him back in the coop a lot easier! Another reason to have multiple types of treats on hand? When a fox enters the yard and while you trust your rooster to protect the ladies it's nice to get their attention and lock them up!
- Pasta and noodles are a great snack
- Corn (Limit the amount of corn as this should be a snack, not a meal)
- Scrambled eggs
Sometimes scrambled eggs get eaten quickly by one or two hens and the rest of the flock are left without some tasty treats so while these are delicious, it's better to give the ladies either a treat they can scratch and peck for or a treat that lasts a long time like a flock block.
Chicken treats prevent boredom so the little dinosaurs don't act out!
The flock absolutely loves a handful of Grubblies before the end of the day. These bugs are full of protein, promote healthy feather production and speed up molting to allow hens to regain normal levels of energy and egg output. Available for $17.00/1-pound.
The ladies run over when they see these treats! Scattering them on the ground gives them a great activity on rainy days. You can also put these in small bowls too for a smaller flock. Ingredients include corn, black oil sunflower seeds, sunflower kernels, dried mealworms, and flaxseed. Available for $9.01/2-pound bag.
You had us (the ladies) at shrimp! This is a mix of certified organic grains, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, mealworms, and river shrimp. Available for $44.99/5-pounds.
The reason we love a shrimp salad is simple. The chili flakes and oregano. And the parsley stimulates egg laying and contains beneficial vitamins A, B, C, E, and K while oregano is a natural antibiotic and antioxidant. Available for $29.99/2-pounds.
Oyster shells are mixed in! This chicken treat also has sunflower seeds so this is an affordable treat with the benefits of healthy fats. A bargain too! Available for $29.47/5-pound bag.
Packed with high-quality ingredients including dried mealworms, cracked corn, peanuts, and raisins - and flaxseed! Available for $6.98/3-pounds.
This is an insect trail mix of dried soldier fly larvae, mealworms, crickets, and grasshoppers. Gross! Available for $17.49/20-ounces.
There is protein from crab meal for an easy to feed morsel. My spoiled flock loves this treat because of the pomegranate and spices combined with high-quality protein! Available for $12.37/1.68-pounds.
We're a BIG fan of The Pampered Chicken mama. She sells herbs on her site and this is a must-have for chicken keepers. Yes! The bee pollen in this treat is one of those "superfoods" that contains not just a ton of vitamins and minerals, but also more protein than meat -- super important for healthy egg production & feather growth. Available for $37.99/4-pounds.
Straight up mealworms that will boost the health of your flock. Available for $29.99/5-pounds.
Sea kelp is an amazing vitamin/mineral supplement for the ladies. It will also increase the yellow pigmentation in their yolks. Available for $16.99/2-pounds.
There are wonderful DIY treats you can also bring to your hens including warm oatmeal, rolled oats, cottage cheese, sweet potato, and eggshells for calcium.
Don't be concerned about cooking up their own eggs and feeding that back to the hens as this is a great way to use those eggs if you have more than you need. This is a good source of protein.
If you free range your birds, it's easy to scatter their favorite treats which will ensure they're active even in damp or snowy weather. Remember though, it's just like living with dogs. Cracked corn is a chicken treat and shouldn't be their main source of food. It's important that layer feed is always available!
Many of the healthy treats we talk about are a great source of protein and calcium and will actually help your hens lay eggs. Be consistent with whatever treat you choose as their digestive systems get used to certain types of healthy snacks and poultry feed so it's important not to introduce a lot of new snacks and chicken treats all at once.
Feeding chickens is not a one size fits all action as some birds enjoy different types of treats! Chicken feeds vary as some types are pellet, crumble and scratch grain and certain birds have a preference. The same goes for treats! You should hang with your ladies to see what they love.
Which chicken treats do your hens love? Please leave a comment below!