Why not spoil them?

Mosey2003

Crowing
Apr 13, 2016
2,810
4,126
351
North-Central IL
Chickens have no understanding of being spoiled. They don't stand around wondering why we don't love them because we don't give them treats. The reason I feed a proper ration with only a small amount of extras is because I care about them and want them to be healthy. Giving them low-protein extras may make you feel warm and fuzzy, but it's denying them important nutrition, and that's not how I tend to my livestock.

I watched an acquaintance feed four of her hens literally to death. Oatmeal, fruit, vegetables, scratch, as much as they wanted, plus all the layer crumble they could eat. They were fat as bowling balls and perished from egg binding one by one, slowly. That's not love.
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
12,944
63,327
1,237
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
Treats are fine in moderation just like for us. If you just eat a small bowl of chips no biggie but the whole bag is a no-no. Treat timing is also a big factor, putting out some eggs or mealies during molting or after illness are going to be put to better use than if you just chuck it out everyday. Obviously choice is huge too! If you've got either melon or white bread to offer don't think twice give the melon! You can probably tell I do treat my birds, their lives are fairly short even in the best conditions. I want them to be happy and have choices but I don't want to have to roll them out of the coop either.:)
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
12,944
63,327
1,237
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
Won't get anything but jealousy out of me. I had a hard old doughnut for breakfast.:caf
Okay I’ll out myself. For breakfast this morning my girls had (in their own individual bowl) chopped cherry tomatoes, grapes, pasta, canned corn, and romaine lettuce. Some black sunflower seeds and some dried worms. My husband rolls his eyes. Lol. can’t wait to show him the replies I get from this posting.
 

FarmerTony

Chirping
Sep 7, 2016
88
16
61
Mine get treats all the time, i the form of kitchen scraps. That fat I trim off the steak? Chicken treat. The hashbrowns that came with my fast food breakfast? Chicken Treat. (although the cats like them more). Stale bread? Chicken Treat.

I free range my chickens, which is fancy talk for I let them run loose in my woods eating bugs and weeds. So a few treats wont hurt them and it keeps them around the house.
 

b. evans

In the Brooder
May 17, 2018
7
8
11
Austin, Texas
"Beekissed" from here taught us all years ago to ferment our feed for our chickens. I use various feeds; right now it is milo, oats, corn, and black sunflower seeds. Cover with water and add a glug of apple cider vinegar for overnite ferment or let it sit for 3 days to make its own "vinegar". The soaking makes the grain more easily digested and the "ferment" gives them valuable probiotics.They also get crumbles and organic layer feed. They love pasta and flour tortillas as treats, but these are empty calories so they shouldn't get much. I went a while being very busy and not spending much time with my girls so no treats. I noticed that sans treats they were eating much more of their fermented feed. Duh! What my girls lack, even though they free range, is greens. Long ago they ate the last blade of grass in the yard. I put alfalfa in their fermented feed, but that ian't enough. Grocery stores here aren't allowed to give us their green garbage. I'm trying to find a restaurant supply.
 

tripletfeb

Songster
Jun 9, 2018
622
1,980
216
The little farm, northern Ohio
I am a fan of "what have they done to deserve a treat?" Being a chicken doesn't count. I don't give my kid cake just cuz he's a kid. I don't give my dog a treat just cuz he's a dog. But if the chickens go where I want them to, it's treat time. And I don't feed them anything they wouldn't find in nature. No pasta, no bread. They do get fruits and veggies but it is very little. They get a lot of greens and bugs, things they would eat if they were on their own. Just because something looks healthy on the outside does not mean it is healthy on the inside.
 
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