To many treats?

ChickenFajita6

Songster
Apr 1, 2017
135
322
111
Ugh and I can't edit my title but that should say TOO many treats? I can spell, I swear.

I am just wondering what is an acceptable amount of treats to give your chickens? I know some people feed their chickens table scraps as a main source of their diet, so in those cases I don't feel too bad, but our chicks get regular feed and my husband seems to think I am "spoiling" them with too much other stuff.
I have a bag of mixed stuff that came from Tractor Supply (labeled as treats - raisins, mealworms, seeds etc), but daily I like to give them fruit and/or veggies. Sometimes I bring them something twice a day, or if they only had one fresh treat I'll throw them a handful of raisins later (they LOVE those).

I don't want them not getting enough of their feed since I know it is balanced for them, and 3 of my 4 dogs are fat so I'm probably easily guilted in to overfeeding. lol.
 

LJoWilly

Songster
Oct 28, 2016
317
428
166
Illinois
My chickens will either get a cantaloupe or acorn squash everyday, only in the afternoon after they have had their chance to eat their grains worth in the morning.
 

jolly wattles

Songster
Apr 27, 2017
552
505
161
West Tennessee
Treats should only be 10% of their diet. Mine have unlimited access to their feed and free range a couple hours a day. Right now they are getting grains and cold watermelon.
 

MamaChick74

Songster
May 27, 2017
123
79
116
New Hampshire USA
I usually give treats once a day in the afternoon after they have had their feed. I give whatever I have on hand...watermelon or cantaloupe rinds, whole oats, corn on the cob, meal worms, bread and I am starting to sprout some whole oats and mung beans. The love strawberry tops too.
 

meetthebubus

Crowing
Mar 28, 2017
2,060
5,108
407
Well depends on your treats really in my opinion

Veggies shouldn't harm them at all

Fatter things like leftovers, meal worms or fruit (sugar) should be more limited

I feed treats even if it's just a little bit 3 or 4 times a day or more
They eat their feed the best first in the morning and then before bedtime so no treats then for the bubus, but yesterday I went in midday with a handful of grapes only as a quick treat and sometimes with a whole bunch of chopped lettuce, etc.

My experience was I had one particular hen that would overeat for even a hen and that became an issue so watch for that

for ME I don't think you can really spoil them as long as it's not a lot at a time they are omnivores
And crave things that aren't in their feed, they'll love you for it

So to sum up I say as many times as you want as long as each time it's not a lot
 

Noreaster Egger

Songster
May 22, 2016
240
148
116
603
I try to think of what a wild chicken would eat. Lots of protein (bugs, worms, small mammals) and then seeds, vegetation, fruits, and other random ground bits depending on the season. Therefore I'm always very liberal with the seeds and insect protein sources. The things I tend to limit are sugars (including fruit) and dairy. Of course if you are in a situation here your birds need to rely on feed to survive (cold winters and/or not free ranged 24/7) you don't want to give them so many treats that they turn their nose up at their bagged feed. I had a chicken that would do that for BOSS and raw coconut. I cut all treats out for a week and she went back to eating the feed. I wouldn't give them the same treat everyday though. Keep them guessing.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goat Kids
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,565
108,575
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
I try to think of what a wild chicken would eat. Lots of protein (bugs, worms, small mammals) and then seeds, vegetation, fruits, and other random ground bits depending on the season. Therefore I'm always very liberal with the seeds and insect protein sources. The things I tend to limit are sugars (including fruit) and dairy. Of course if you are in a situation here your birds need to rely on feed to survive (cold winters and/or not free ranged 24/7) you don't want to give them so many treats that they turn their nose up at their bagged feed. I had a chicken that would do that for BOSS and raw coconut. I cut all treats out for a week and she went back to eating the feed. I wouldn't give them the same treat everyday though. Keep them guessing.
Domestic Chickens have different dietary needs than a wild Chicken...:thCertain breeds have needs in higher protein, different lighting etc....Chickens are easy if one knows the proper dietary needs of laying Hens...:frow
 

Noreaster Egger

Songster
May 22, 2016
240
148
116
603
Domestic Chickens have different dietary needs than a wild Chicken...:thCertain breeds have needs in higher protein, different lighting etc....Chickens are easy if one knows the proper dietary needs of laying Hens...:frow
I think a domestic chicken can live a very healthy life living on a "wild" diet. The feral chickens in Kauai are getting by just fine. We decided what they eat based on ingredients that are the cheapest to mill. A chicken doesn't need soy and corn, yet it's in almost all feed because it's cheap and readily available in the US. I'll agree though that most of the birds today are bred for production and the selective breeding and diet manipulation has created birds that are laying machines. A fully free ranging bird with no added feed may not lay as much, but I think they'd live healthy lives.
 

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