Top Five Summer Treats for Chickens June 30, 2021

Summer treats for chickens can provide mental stimulation, nutrition, and a cooling break for birds during the season’s heat. A cooling break? Yes! A fun trick for your chicken’s summer snacking is to chill or freeze what you are providing. Just like humans, chickens will appreciate a summertime chilly snack.

Check out these top five summer treats for chickens that can be just the ticket for comfort and fun!

1. Watermelon Treats for Chickens

Who doesn’t love a good watermelon in the summer? Chickens are no exception which is why it’s considered one of the top summer treats for chickens! First, chill a watermelon, then cut it in half and give it to your birds. You don’t even need to buy the seedless kind of melon since your birds aren’t picky and will appreciate the seeds too. If you hit a watermelon sale and have too much to use all at once, don’t worry! You can scoop the watermelon using an ice cream scooper and freeze the individual scoops. Pull them out on a hot day and your chickens will love you. Besides the cooling effects of these chilled treats for chickens, watermelon also provides your birds with extra hydration during the heat.

Chickens enjoy eating a frozen watermelon.
Chickens love a frozen watermelon slice in the hot summer.

2. Berry Treats for Chickens

Although berries with all their yummy goodness don’t stick around long, be sure to hold a few back and chill or freeze them as treats for your chickens. Blueberries and raspberries aren’t packed with calories but are packed with nutrients that can be beneficial for your birds. Freeze the berries with water into ice cubes and then let your flock pick the ice cubes as they melt to reveal yummy bites.

Raspberries and blueberries frozen into ice cubes.
Frozen berries are packed with nutrients that are beneficial for your flock.

3. Frozen Garden Greens

This time of year, gardens are at their fullest, so share that bounty with your chickens. Leafy greens like lettuce, carrot and beet tops, kale and broccoli leaves freeze quickly and provide your birds with xanthophyll which is a naturally occurring plant pigment that helps keep your chicken’s egg yolks nice and orange.

4. Frozen Garden Veggies

Cucumber, summer squash, and zucchini are abundant this time of year and chickens love these veggies. You can serve them whole and let the chickens peck to their heart’s content. Or chop them up and freeze the bits with water into ice cubes. Let your flock pick the ice cubes as they melt to reveal yummy bites.

5. Corn on the Cob

This is a human and chicken favorite! There’s nothing better than fresh corn on the cob! If you’ve got access to lots of corn, feel free to pick it right out of the field, shuck it and give it to your birds. They’ll quickly get busy cleaning every morsel off the cob. If you’re having a grill out, give your birds the leftover cobs from dinner; it’s guaranteed they’ll find the bits that you missed!

An Olive Egger and Svart Hona hen eye a piece of frozen corn on the cob.
Frozen Corn on the Cob makes a perfect summer treat for your flock!

Pro Tips:

While chilled and frozen treats for chickens can provide a welcome respite from the heat, be careful with giving too much all at once. This can cause shock to the system and be harmful to your birds.

Feed treats in the morning and late afternoon/early evening and try not to disturb your chickens during the hottest part of the day. During that time, you’ll probably find them sticking to the coolest parts of your yard and trying not to be too active.

Remember, hot weather is harder on chickens than cold weather, so keep your feathered friends in mind as the mercury rises. Along with treats for chickens, keep them supplied with fresh, clean water throughout the day. If your chickens are free-ranging in the yard, be sure they have shady spots to rest and also have a nice dust bath. If your birds are confined, make sure all the windows to the coop are open and there is ample shade to keep the coop from heating up.

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