A quick note of thanks to all kind readers for your words of support about Alice. I still expect to hear that unique voice and see her head peeking out from the barn. But, it is not to be...
So, let us turn to those crazy clucks to get our minds on another subject.
Let's talk about chicken treats. Yummm.
I know it's typical for hens to like all manner of vegetable leftovers. Not my girls. I've tried greens. No. I've tried various fruits. Except for blueberries and bananas - no. So I've honed it down to five treat groups for my four picky eaters.
From least to most desirable:
1. Smashed eggshells. You might consider it cheating to include shells in with "treats", but they do eat them. It's a beneficial way to put more calcium in those hard working bodies.
I used to put the dried shells from the eggs we use into my coffee grinder and then found a simple potato masher worked just as well. It's faster and doesn't gum up my grinder.
The shells go into a glass jar that stays in the coop.
2. Bird seed. We feed the birds during the winter months so it's handy and the chickens find it tasty.
I do add rolled oats to the mix. Originally I purchased a big bag of oats for Alice, as a means to put weight on the girl. I later read that the clucks can use extra protein during the winter and oats was a option listed, so voila..
3. Harvest Delight
A pre-fab blend of dried fruits and veggies and the girls really dig it!
Here Buffy leaves the nesting box for a quick treat of Harvest Delight.
Manna Pro makes another chicken treat that the girls are not as fond of.
Yes, that's a pie plate resting on top of the chicken feeder. This keeps out dust, shavings, poop and offers a perfect place to put the treats. I also scatter them on the small coop door when there's snow on the ground and the girls don't want to venture outside.
4. We're nearing the top of the list with Happy Hen Treats. Yup, dried mealworms. The girls will grab the bag out of my hand to get them. Or at least try. I save these morsels as the end of the day treat or simply rattle the bag to get the girls to return to the coop. They love them that much.
5. BUT, the best treat of all, yes, the very best is... a banana. They have gotten a sliced banana every morning for the past year and a half. And look askance at me when I try to substitute another morning taste-treat. Blueberries will suffice, but they clamor for banana.