For us, having healthy chickens is equal to living a happy and healthy family.
I don’t know about you, but I love to pamper my chickens. My husband loves it even more than I do. They run to greet my husband when he comes home from work like he has bread in his pockets. Knowing him, could.
Top 10 ways to grow healthy chickens
Quality and healthy chicken feed will provide most of the nutrients that chickens need. Giving them treats that also provide nutrition is a great way to pamper your chickens. Besides diet, there are other things chickens need to be healthy. Let’s take a look at all the things we can do to have healthy chickens
1. Provide sand for your healthy chickens
Chickens need sand to help them grind their food as they do not have teeth. I don’t provide litter because my chickens are free, and we literally live in a litter box (which is a great litter material). If your chickens are free, they may pick up small pebbles as they scratch and peck at the ground for insects. If they are not farmyards, you may want to give them sand.
2. Giving laying hens calcium
When I got chickens, I bought oyster shells. My chickens would have nothing to do with these things. So instead I just use their own eggshells for calcium. After I boil the eggs, I save the shells, to give them later or I smash all the boiled egg (shell and all) and give them to them. They love to eat boiled eggs! Save the eggshell to feed to the chickens later: Place on a tray and bake on the lowest setting for 15-20 minutes. Keep them in an airtight container.
3. More protein
Most chicken feeds have the required amount of protein that healthy chickens need. I like to feed my chickens mealworms when they are molting. A little extra protein helps them grow their beautiful feathers back.
4. Healthy chicken snacks
Check out healthy snack ideas below!
5. Keep your healthy chickens busy!
Keep your chickens busy with some boredom breakers, check out the list below.
Give your chickens a healthy treat
6. Keep your rooms clean and dry
I am a fan of the deep litter method. You can use whatever method you want as long as you keep them clean as best you can.
7. Chicken First Aid Kit
Being ready to treat a sick or injured chicken can be the difference between saving a chicken and losing it.
8. Set them free
You don’t have to raise your chickens in the wild, but they are probably happiest when they are not in a cage. If you just can’t raise your chickens in the wild, a big compromise is a fenced version. Something between being in a cage and being free. Providing a fenced area for your chickens to roam will also help them live a happy and healthy life.
9. Chicken Powder Bath
Provide them with a way to bathe in the dirt, sand, and/or other materials. If your chickens don’t have access to dirt/sand then they can make their own homemade chicken dust bath.
10. Provide clean water
Providing clean water is one of the most important things you can do for chickens. Be sure to clean the waterers as well. It is not enough to fill the waterer. I use a scrub brush, and my favorite cleaner for this is Dr. Bronners. It works wonders and lasts a long time.
Snack ideas for healthy chickens
The vet once told us that we give our dog too many treats, which is why she is fat. We had to eliminate unhealthy snacks from her diet and provide her with healthier ones. This ensures that even when she is eating, she is getting what she needs. When she gives her chickens treats think about the impact it will have on her eating habits. Will dinner spoil them? Giving them nutrient-dense snacks is the best way to go.
Note: there is such a thing as too many snacks!
- Cooked Rice, Beans, and Mixed Vegetables (Especially nice on a cold day, when served hot) – I like to add herbs from my herb garden.
- Boiled Eggs – I crush the shells and everything, and my girls and boys go nuts. This is definitely one of your favorite snacks! As you know, eggs have protein but they also have calcium, which is good for egg production.
- Frozen Mixed Veggies are great for chickens on a hot day.
- Hot Oatmeal Oatmeal – We love having hot oatmeal on a cold morning. You can eat some of your favorite fruits if you want! Don’t feed chickens raw oatmeal, rice, or beans.
- Fruit – Chickens enjoy many types of fruit. Don’t give them a bunch of apple seeds, they contain a bit of arsenic. They would have to eat a lot for it to hurt them, but I like to be safe.
- Garlic – The lady I bought Camo (our pet) from said she gave her chickens raw garlic cloves, and she never had a sick chicken. I can’t seem to get my chickens to eat garlic like this, but if you can, more power to you! Garlic has many great properties and nutrients.
- Dried herbs – There are some herbs that chickens are not interested in. Like rosemary, yes, my chickens don’t touch it. I have several plants that have not been destroyed although they are within reach. However, they ate my mint. Other suggestions are lavender, oregano, parsley, and sage. My chickens haven’t touched my sage, and neither have the parsley now that I think about it. I give them oregano in some beans, rice, and vegetables sometimes.
- Black Oil Sunflower Seeds – These tiny seeds are packed with protein and other nutrients.
Things not to do
- Let them fill up on sandwiches. They are like children with sandwiches, every time you go out, they come running asking for treats. Don’t let them fool you into always giving them some kind of gift. Finding their food is one of the best ways to get what they need and less than what they want.
- Using the scratch for food. Scratching is a pleasure. It does not have the necessary nutrients to keep chickens nourished, healthy, and thriving. If you want healthy chickens, the best place to start is with a good diet.
- Give them too many leftovers. Yes, they love leftovers, but you have to make sure they get enough protein by allowing them to eat enough of their regular food or eat bugs and all that.