Looking for a treat that’s little out of the ordinary for your flock? We all know scratch is probably a chicken’s all time favorite, but that should be your last treat choice in the summer months. Scratch produces heat, that’s why we feed it in the winter (especially at night) to help keep them warm. Layer feed already has corn in it, so lets not add fuel to the fire by giving them even more.
Try offering them rolled oats, they love it and it’s safe to feed as a treat! It’s super cheap and often sold by the pound in loose bulk feed bins. Hemp is another healthy supplement, but it’s high in protein and fattening, so just give a little. I add Hemp to the rolled oats, mix it all together and toss it to the flock mid day. Hemp is spendy too, another reason to just give them just enough to add that little diamond in the rough among the oats.
Mixture I Use: Find a suitable container and fill it with 3 lbs Rolled Oats and 1/2 cup Hemp Seed.
Tip: Here in Arizona our temps reach 115+ quite often. I find it best to only feed them early morning and again at dusk. Feed actually puts them even more at risk when they are already a candidate for heat stress. A few handfuls of rolled oats keeps them happy during the day when corn is an absolute no-no.
More information on Chicken Keeping in Extreme Heat
It can sometimes be hard to watch chickens battle the summer heat. You’ve probably seen them holding their wings away from their body, maybe even panting.
This is a good time to make an extra trip to the coop during the day to refresh their water and offer a cool treat. Fruit is always appreciated, maybe you have some tomato pieces and lettuce to offer, or grapes!
Watermelon is an excellent source of needed fluids, it’ll keep them plenty busy, and they love it!
Loosen up some dirt giving them a fresh place to scratch around in. Put a hose on a slow drip, it’ll provide a cooler place for your chickens, and it might even might attract a few bugs or worms!
What kind of treats are best for chickens? I found this article by the Chicken Chick that will help you make wise decisions when choosing nutritious treats for your flock.
Chickens are funny creatures, some will eat anything you put in front of them. Others, like my Silkies Bantams won’t touch anything but layer pellets, rolled oats, and watermelon. When they are free roaming they pick at a little grass, and grab a bug or two, but they are even picky about which bugs are a suitable snack. 😦
I’d given up bringing my Silkie girls snacks from our farm kitchen, but I will take the advice from the Chicken Chick, offer up some healthy goodies and see what happens!
This is my Gavin Flock, they eat everything, but the Silkies will have no part in this feast.