good for treats or not?


In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2017
My Coop
My Coop
I find this and added and removed somethings. I was wondering what everyone thought about this. what good or bad. for chick 1 to 8 week and even older chickens.



General Opinions

Raw and applesauce

Apple seeds contain cyanide, but not in sufficient quantities to kill.

Raw or cooked

Okay to feed, but not a favorite.

Without the peel

High in potassium, a good treat.

Greens also.

Berries, Blueberries, Raspberries

All kinds

A treat, especially strawberries. ( strawberry tops are great)
Broccoli & Cauliflower


Tuck into a suet cage and they will pick at it all day.
Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts

Whole head -

Hang a whole cabbage from their coop ceiling in winter so they have something to play with and greens to eat.

Raw and cooked

They like carrot foliage too.

Including cottage cheese

Feed in moderation, fatty but a good source of protein and calcium

On cob and canned, raw and cooked

Crickets (alive)

Can be bought at bait or pet-supply stores.

Great treat – provides protein and it’s fun to watch the chickens catch them.

Let mature for yummy seeds and flesh.





Make sure they haven't been treated with pesticides, such as florist flowers might be.

Marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, nasturtiums, pansies, etc.

Pears, peaches, cherries, apples


Bulgar, flax, niger, wheatberries,etc.


Seedless only. For chicks, cutting them in half makes it easier for them to swallow.

Great fun - the cause of many entertaining "chicken keepaway" games.




Only feed your chickens that which is still considered edible by humans, don't feed anything spoiled, moldy, oily, salty or unidentifiable.

Lettuce / Kale

Any leafy greens, spinach collards, chickweed included.

A big treat, depending on how much other greenery they have access to.

Available at pet supply stores or on the internet, although shipping is expensive!

A huge(!) favorite treat, probably the most foolproof treat on the books.
Meat scraps of any kind.

Not too fatty.

In moderation, a good source of protein

Cantelope, etc.

Both seeds and flesh are good chicken treats.

Raw or cooked

Cooked is nutritionally better.

Peas and pea tendrils and flowers (thanks to YayChick for the advice)

Peppers (bell)




Seeds are a big treat.

Popped, no butter, no salt.

Potatos / Sweet Potatos/Yams

Cooked only - avoid green parts of peels!

Starchy, not much nutrition
Pumpkins / Winter Squash

Raw or cooked

Both seeds and flesh are a nutritious treat.



Scratch is cracked corn with grains (such as wheat, oats and rye) mixed in.

Scratch is a treat for cold weather, not a complete feed. Toss it on the ground and let them scratch for it for something to do.

Wheat and oat sprouts are great!

Good for greens in mid-winter.
Summer Squash

Yellow squash and zucchini

Yellow squash not a huge favorite, but okay to feed.
Sunflower Seeds/ black old sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds with the shell still on is fine to feed, as well as with the shell off.

A good treat, helps hens lay eggs and grow healthy feathers.

Raw and cooked.


Served cold, it can keep chickens cool and hydrated during hot summers.

Seeds and flesh are both okay to feed.


Plain is better.

Basil: Used for mucus membrane health and has antibacterial properties

Catnip: Repels insects and used as a sedative/relaxant

Cilantro: Helps keep fungus at bay, antioxidant properties, bone health, high in Vitamin A for eye health and Vitamin K for blood clotting

Dill: Respiratory health, antioxidant properties, sedative/relaxant

Fennel: Enhances reproductive health (egg laying)

Garlic: Enhances reproductive health (egg laying) / helps control parasites

Lavender: Smells wonderful, lowers stress, circulatory health, , insect repellant

Lemon Balm: Smells nice in the coop, lowers stress, antibacterial, repels rodents

Marigold: Enhances reproductive health (egg laying)

Marjoram: Enhances reproductive health (egg laying)

Mint: Used in nest/coop -(all kinds) - insecticide and rodent repellent

Nasturtium: Enhances reproductive health (egg laying), antiseptic, antibiotic, insecticide, de-wormer

Oregano: Contains antibiotic properties which may help prevent avian flu, blackhead, coccidia, e-coli, infectious bronchitis and salmonella

Parsley: Promotes circulatory system development, enhances reproductive health (egg laying), rich in vitamins

Peppermint: helps control parasites, insect repellant,

Pineapple Sage: Promotes nervous system health, smells wonderful

Rose Petals: Highly aromatic, high in Vitamin C

Rosemary: Pain relief, respiratory health, insect repellant

Sage: Antioxidant, helps control parasites,

Spearmint: Antiseptic, insecticide, stimulates nervous system, circulatory and brain functions

Tarragon: Antioxidant properties

Thyme: Promotes respiratory health, antioxidant, has antibacterial properties, helps control parasites


5 Years
Oct 4, 2014
Reading, PA
I have never feed any of my Chicks 0-7 weeks old anything other then starter feed. Starter feed is the most important feed at the most important time of their lives. It is complete and nothing more is needed nor should you fill their bellies with anything else. Come the 8th week you may wish to add foods as very small treats but lets face it store bought feed has been around for more years then you and I for a good reason. Come week 16 or so I love to supplement their layer feed with treats to help save $ and make them happy. No living thing enjoys eating the same food forever. My adult chickens love black sunflower whole seeds 15% protein. I watch for it when it's on sale for about $20 a 50 lbs bag. I do my best to be self sufficient and $ thrifty but not until my chickens are fully develop and make sure they are getting a good % of protein per day. Many years ago I decided to save $ so I feed my chickens my farm grown corn and clover. They were very happy, fat but needless to say they did not lay very good.
In closing I looked at your list but did not research it. I do not feed my chickens meat or types of worms. They can get insects if they wish when they are in their outside run. Be careful what fruits or veggies/ greens you feed them because it could cause a distasteful egg.

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