Looking for a way to cool your chickens off in the hot summer sun? These simple summer chicken treats will do just that!
Feeding frozen treats in the summertime is debated among chicken keepers. Some swear by it and some refuse to try it. In my experience, it has been a fun distraction from the summer heat for my birds. Sure the cold treats won’t take the heat away, but it does help a bit… kind of like giving your children popsicles to enjoy on hot days.
How to Make Homemade Summer Chicken Treats
What Foods are Okay for Chickens to Eat?
Let’s discuss foods that are safe for chickens to consume before getting to the treat recipes.
Research which seeds would benefit your backyard flock the most. Different seeds provide different levels of fat, vitamins, and Omega-3s. I prefer to feed Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and Flax Seeds.
Oats contain a mix of vitamins and nutrients that have been shown to improve health and reduce aggression in laying hens. You can read more about the benefits of oats here.
**Feeding oats to chickens is a debated topic since oats aren’t the most digestible treat, so be sure that you do your research and make the best decision for your flock. Personally, I would only give oats as an occasional treat, but not as a supplement to their daily feed ration.
Use caution when adding whole beans to your summer chicken treats. They need to be properly heated to kill a toxin that could be fatal to your birds. Soybeans are my favorite to add to my homemade suet treats because they have very high levels of lysine and methionine, which are essential for poultry growth and production.
Peas, like soybeans, have high lysine levels…BUT…unlike beans, peas can be added to poultry diets without prior heating or processing.
Corn is a good source of protein and energy for laying hens and it is the easiest grain for birds to digest. Add more corn in the winter and less in these summer chicken treats. I know this post is about occasional treats, but I feel the need to add this tidbit anyway–>Don’t use corn as the only source of feed for your birds. Chickens are NOT vegetarians so they need more than a grain-only diet.
#6 Dried Fruits
Make sure that the fruit has no added sugar and that seeds and pits are removed. Citrus fruit should also be avoided…this one is controversial, but as long as you stick to the guidelines for feeding dried fruit and you only give it as an occasional treat (to avoid overfeeding) it should be just fine.
I like to mix coconut oil with bacon grease. This mixture provides extra an extra fat boost for your birds. Use this if you are giving treats in colder weather.
Coconut Oil has a TON of benefits for flock health. It is anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. It improves circulation & the immune system. That’s just taking the tip off the ‘ol iceberg, y’all. If you don’t keep coconut oil on hand, no worries… Leftover cooking grease is fine to feed.
These summer chicken treats are made with an ice base so the birds can peck through the ice to cool off, rehydrate, and enjoy a snack.
#8 Whole Fruit
My birds love to eat cold melon and berries on hot days. There are some fruits that can cause issues in chickens so do a quick Google search on whatever you plan to add to your treats.
#9 Eggs & Eggshells
Chickens can eat eggs and eggshells for extra protein & calcium. These can be added to your summer chicken treats just like the other ingredients. I even freeze raw eggs into blocks to toss to my flock.
Summer Chicken Treat Ingredients:
The ingredients can vary according to what you have available and what you want to feed. I have used peas, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds in ice as well as frozen raw eggs and berries.
- Dried Fruit
1. GATHER INGREDIENTS AND SUPPLIES
Start out by gathering any ingredients that your birds enjoy. My favorite ingredients for summertime chicken treats are peas, dried fruit, seeds, berries, and raw eggs. You will also need an ice cube tray or a mini muffin pan.
3) FILL THE TRAY
If you are using solid ingredients, then you will need to fill the ice cube tray with water (each well should be about half full). Place your dry ingredients (peas, dried fruit, etc.) into the water.
If you are using ingredients that include liquid (raw eggs, reduced berries with syrup, etc.) you can pour these straight into the ice cube tray.
4) SOLIDIFY THE SUMMER CHICKEN TREATS
Place your filled tray in the freezer to let the liquid turn to ice.
5) REMOVE FROM TRAY
Pop the solid homemade chicken treats out of the tray and store them in the freezer in a plastic container or a zip lock bag until you are ready to feed them to your birds.
6) SERVE TO YOUR BACKYARD BIRDS
Throw a couple of your homemade chicken treats out to your barnyard birds and watch them gobble ’em up! Seriously, they love these things!
Keeping detailed flock records can help track your hens’ production & growth and maximize their production! Download the Chicken Record Book to take advantage of my flock record sheets!
>More Livestock Resources<<
- How to Make Simple Homemade Horse Treats
- How to Make Homemade Winter Chicken Treats
- Homemade Rabbit Treats
- Make Sugar Cakes for Honeybees
- The Livestock Management Binder