Jun 3, 2013

5 Healthy Treats for Chickens AND 3 Food Myths, Busted!

5 Healthy Treats for Chickens AND 3 Food Myths, Busted!
Everyone enjoys spoiling their pets. We get a kick out of seeing our pet chickens run to greet us at the mere sight of the treat container or the sound of the back door opening, but the wrong type of treats and treats in excess can be harmful to a chicken's health, stunt its growth, shorten its lifespan and interfere with production in a laying hen. So, what can they eat, what they not eat and how much is too much? Let's find out!
A good rule of thumb is: if you shouldn’t eat it, your pet chickens shouldn’t either (mealworms, insects and dirt notwithstanding). Common sense should be the guide in treat selection. The types of foods we require to maximize our own health are the foods we should consider when spoiling our chickens: high protein, whole grains, low salt, low sugar, fruits and vegetables. Dairy products are an exception to this general rule because birds are not equipped with the enzymes necessary to properly digest milk sugars. Think about it: mother birds do not nurse their young- chickens do not naturally drink milk. Some yogurt on occasion is fine and does contain beneficial cultures, but too much can cause digestive upset and diarrhea. A better choice would be to add probiotics specially formulated for chickens to their diet.
Giving chickens excessive treats, even healthy ones, can cause any of the following: obesity, reduced egg production, malformed eggs, habitual laying of multiple-yolked eggs, potentially resulting in vent prolapse, protein deficiencies, feather-picking, fatty liver syndrome, increased risk of heat stroke & heart problems.
Bertha is a Partridge Cochin. She's actually not obese, she is just beautifully fully-feathered.

What’s the problem with too many treats?
When chickens eat treats, they’re not eating feed, which is their primary source of nutrition. The ingredients in commercially prepared feed are carefully calculated by poultry nutritionists to ensure that a chicken’s daily vitamin, mineral and protein requirements are met. Supplemental foods (treats/snacks) replace a portion of those essential dietary elements to some degree. Excessive treats, even healthy ones, can cause any of the following: obesity, reduced egg production, malformed eggs, habitual laying of multiple-yolked eggs, potentially resulting in vent prolapse, protein deficiencies, feather-picking, fatty liver syndrome, increased risk of heat stroke and heart problems. 
5 Healthy Treats for Chickens
1. Scrambled Eggs- it may seem ironic to feed chickens eggs, but eggs are an outstanding source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin E and beta carotene.2 During a molt, eggs are one of the best sources of protein to feed a chicken. Feather production and egg production are very protein-intensive and scrambled eggs  can help provide the protein necessary for these nutritionally demanding processes. Chickens will not develop a raw, egg-eating habit as a result of eating cooked eggs.
Scrambled eggs are a healthy, high protein treat for chickens.
Everyone loves scrambled eggs!

2. Pumpkins are packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, minerals including copper, calcium,
potassium and phosphorus, dietary fiber and protein in the seeds. Pumpkin seeds contain 30 grams of protein per 100 grams of seeds.1  When in season, I make my flock  Peeps' Pumpkin Pie," for a nutritious snack.  Unsupported claims propose feeding pumpkin seeds to chickens as a 'natural dewormer," however, there is no scientific evidence anywhere to suggest that pumpkin seeds are capable of deworming or reducing worm loads in chickens. As such, I do not rely on pumpkin seeds as a preventative measure or as a treatment option in my flock. I give my chickens pumpkins and pumpkin seeds simply because they're nutritious and they enjoy them- that's reason enough for me.
Peeps Pumpkin pie recipe for chickens
Dried mealworms
3. Mealworms are a good source of protein, reportedly containing 49% to 51%. They can be purchased live or dried and can also be farmed very easily at home. During a molt, mealworms are a particularly smart snack choice as re-growing feathers is a very protein-intensive activity.
Homemade Flock Block Substitute recipe
4. Flock Block Substitute- Flock Block is a commercially available treat for chickens that is intended to entertain them and fulfill their natural pecking instincts.They can be purchased at feed stores for approximately $13. I have only purchased the product once or twice, but have always thought there had to be a more nutritious and economical option. I made my own treat block recently and am much happier knowing that my homemade Flock Block Substitute is a healthy, fresh, nutritious treat for my flock. 
Even healthy treats should be provided to chickens in moderation.
5. Chickens' Soup- In the cold winter months, I occasionally feed my chickens a high-protein, vegetable packed soup as a mid morning or afternoon treat. It's a breeze to throw together from leftovers and is a good excuse to clean out the refrigerator and freezer.
A special warm soup recipe for chickens in the winter.
For an extensive list of healthy treat choices for 
chickens, see my article here


MYTHS and FACTS about CHICKEN TREATS
MYTH: Chickens should not eat avocados.
FACT: Chickens can eat the flesh of avocado in moderation. However, avocado pits and skin contain persin, which can be toxic in significant quantities. Don't worry about sharing your turkey and avocado paninni or guac dip with your feathered friends. They'll thank you for it. 
Fact: Potatoes are an acceptable treat for chickens. Green potatoes are not a safe treat.
Green potatoes are not safe for chickens to eat. Potatoes that are not green are safe treats for chickens.
MYTH: Chickens should not eat raw potatoes or potato skins.
FACT: Chickens should not eat GREEN potato skins. The green color indicates the presence of solanine, a toxin that affects the nervous system when consumed in large quantities. However, the average, healthy human would have to eat 4.5 pounds at one sitting to experience any neurological effects. Similarly, a chicken would need to consume large quantities of green potato skins to experience any effects. The leaves and stems of the potato plant DO contain high levels of solanine and are toxic to chickens. The take-home message?  If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t feed it to your chickens.


MYTH: Chickens should never eat onions.
FACT: Chickens can eat onions, chives and garlic in small quantities, occasionally. Significant quantities of onion and garlic can be harmful to chickens, causing hemolytic anemia, aka: Heinz anemia.  "The alkaloid N-propyl disulphide is present in cultivated and wild onions, chives and garlic, and affects the enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in red blood cells,” which can cause Heinz anemia. "Allicin, which gives garlic its odor, is also a strong oxidant. In rare cases, this chemical can be dangerous and can cause Heinz body hemolytic anemia, as well."  Again, if you wouldn’t eat a side dish of raw onions, chives or garlic, don’t feed them to your chickens.
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick
They'll follow me anywhere if they think I  have treats!

Citations & Further Reading:
1 http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin.html
2 http://www.motherearthnews.com/eggs.aspx#ixzz2AcKccLNq
http://www.poultryhelp.com/toxicplants.html
http://www.exoticpetvet.net/avian/onions.html
http://www.avocado.com/site/fun-facts/avo-info/avocado-toxicity-in-animals-and-pets 
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/213200.htm
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/213200.htm (salty foods are acceptable in moderation, occasionally as long as there is plenty of fresh water available, but never salt alone)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytohaemagglutinin
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/211102.htm
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=15+1912&aid=2236
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7255913
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick


243 comments :

  1. teri snowden6/3/13, 9:54 PM

    i love giving my chickens treats. they love there watermelon, and they know when i get the shovel out there will be treats coming when i start turning over the dirt.

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  2. Thanks for always having helpful tips

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  3. Cynthia Booth6/3/13, 10:06 PM

    I just started raising chickens for laying eggs. I give them mealworms about every other day. They go crazy over them.!!! Thank you for all your advice. I love this site.

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  4. I'm not sure how to subscribe to your blog via email ...

    Sarahbrasfield@yahoo.com

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  5. Krystal Stone6/3/13, 10:11 PM

    I finally got my chickens trained to go in the coup at night. I'm such a proud mama right now.

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  6. disqus_5I359yAyPb6/3/13, 10:11 PM

    My girl loves Happy Hen treats mealworms and everyone thinks I am nuts when I tell them that I give her scrambled eggs sometimes. :) She would love this giveaway!

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  7. Dianne Vela6/3/13, 10:16 PM

    My chicks love treats!

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  8. cindy bowman6/3/13, 10:18 PM

    Will start scrambing eggs for my chickens. Mine love watermelon. I would love to win.

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  9. Windy Wallace Rodgers6/3/13, 10:19 PM

    Great info...thanks for all the awesome pointers.

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  10. Bobbie Scogin-Davis Woodruff6/3/13, 10:24 PM

    Love your blog. I will have to try your flock block substitute. I know the ladies will love it. Thanks

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  11. Erin Stewart6/3/13, 10:26 PM

    I scramble up eggs for the girls on occasion. Glad to know it is doing some good!

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  12. My girls would love a new pack of treats!!! :-)

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  13. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:31 PM

    Sarah, I put your email address in the subscription form, all you need to do is open your inbox and confirm it!

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  14. I made my first Flock Block today following your recipe (mostly). We'll see how the girls like it tomorrow!

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  15. Joyce Zaleski6/3/13, 10:44 PM

    I would love to be entered to win the treat package. Thanks so much. queenb@epix.net

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  16. I follow your blog via email and Facebook! My chickens just moved in to their coop! Very exciting!

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  17. Linda Taylor6/3/13, 10:51 PM

    I follow you on FB and get your emails! Love your site!

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  18. Beth Lukich6/3/13, 10:53 PM

    Love your info!

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  19. Tina Johse Rainwater6/3/13, 10:55 PM

    Thank you for the great treat ideas that actually are good for the girls!

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  20. Kathy, I love all the good advice you've given. One question concerning pumpkin....Is canned an okay alternative to fresh?

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  21. Love your suggestions, very helpful

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  22. My chickadees and chickadoos would go CRAZZZY over all those mealworms!! They don't get treats like that too often. It gets a lil expensive, I have a pretty good lot of chickens and I can't leave 1 without having nice treats! That just wouldn't be fair..lol!!

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  23. Denise Allison Magil6/3/13, 11:32 PM

    those meal worm treats look like chickens would love

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  24. Tina Wahl Gosnell6/3/13, 11:35 PM

    Great info!

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  25. Connie Griffin6/3/13, 11:39 PM

    When my chicks get big enough I am going to have to try the flock block too. I had to use mashed hard boiled egg to teach my newborn chick to eat, good to know it is good for them! Thanks for all you do

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  26. My girls say YES PLEASE to the thought of Happy Hen Treats!

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  27. Linda Warner6/4/13, 12:55 AM

    Good info on onions/potatoes for chickens. I save kitchen scraps and have wondered about potato peelings and onion scraps. Thanks.

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  28. Love your blogs!

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  29. Michelle Chun6/4/13, 2:18 AM

    I'm gathering the ingredients now to try your flock block substitute. I'm thinking maybe adding pumpkin puree might make a great addition as well in the mix. Maybe instead of the apple sauce or part replacement?

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  30. I enjoyed reading this! I just got backyard chickens last week and I just love feeding them :)

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  31. Already subscribed so please sign me up for the treats (my chickens would thank you) lol.

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  32. Thanks for the tips!

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  33. Morris Family6/4/13, 7:47 AM

    We just subscribed through YouTube and are FB followers. Love the info you've shared!

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  34. Thanks for more good ideas :)

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  35. my chickens aways love a good treat.

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  36. Karen Brogden6/4/13, 9:42 AM

    We just started with our chicks (13 of them!) about 2 months ago & I have been reading your blog & following on FB for longer than that to learn all I can - Thanks for all of the great info!

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  37. Thanks for all the great information you post! Sure makes things easier for those of us still learning :)

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  38. almamcanales6/4/13, 10:46 AM

    My hen had baby chicks about 1 month ago. When is it ok to reunite my hen with her beau?

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  39. Always love your pictures!

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  40. So far two of mine like melons and two don't. None of them are crazy about treats but they are healthy and growing.

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  41. Kissiah Aiken6/4/13, 11:59 AM

    Our hen, Ethel, lays an egg and then comes to the back door and loudly announces the fact so my husband will go out and give her mealworms.

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  42. Backyard Chicken Lady6/4/13, 12:30 PM

    Great information as usual! Thanks for the myth busting...I am now corrected on a few things. I would love to win the prizes the prizes you offer. Wish me luck!

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  43. Thanks for another great post! I found you via a backyard chicken group I'm a part of on FB. I've had chickens for a few years but am always looking for tips and advice.

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  44. Matt Johnson6/4/13, 1:18 PM

    Thanks for the Great info on healthy snacks for chickens!

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  45. Thanks for all the healthy treat ideas. I think I will grow some pumpkins for my chickens. I follow with GFC as Sue D

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  46. Can't wait to try your flock block recipe!

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  47. Nancy Evans Wolff6/4/13, 3:21 PM

    I love reading your tips about keeping chickens! We have a small flock of 7 older birds and 6 new baby chicks.

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  48. Kenna Rogers6/4/13, 4:38 PM

    My little sugar babies come running when they know I have mealworms for them. They are so much fun!!

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  49. As always, love all of your information. Thanks!

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  50. Elizabeth Lea Barnes6/4/13, 5:24 PM

    never have gave chickens treats well they are only 6 weeks too lol love your blog

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  51. I really enjoy your blog! I learn so much with every post! I am always looking for nutritious snacks for my girls. Thanks for the tips!

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  52. Rachel Dennis6/4/13, 5:55 PM

    Thanks for the infromation

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  53. Terri Willey6/4/13, 6:19 PM

    I love making my girls and boys happy and your blog is so helpful with that. I also love the random DIY and crafty things you share, It is fun to discover some of your many ideas and thoughts when I wander through the past topics list, too.

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  54. i finally got my girls marilyn, shelby,pepper,baby, and buffy also a roo called bojangle love your cite great ideas lbruesch1950@msn.com

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  55. Tonia@thegunnysack6/4/13, 8:18 PM

    Awww...your chicks are adorable! We don't have chickens but my brother does!

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  56. Carrie White6/4/13, 8:25 PM

    Thank you for the flock block substitute! I have a hard time paying so much for it in the store when I knew there had to be a way to DIY!

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  57. Judith Blinkenberg6/5/13, 12:27 AM

    Great information. I have been trying to follow your suggestions and appreciate you help. Thank you

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  58. Judith Blinkenberg6/5/13, 12:28 AM

    I receive your emails and love them. Thank you.

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  59. Little Brushwood Alpaca Farm6/5/13, 9:18 AM

    Our chickens LOVE Happy Hen Treats!

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  60. Krystal Stone6/5/13, 9:19 AM

    My chicken butt faces would love the treats. I call them butt faces because one bit me this morning just because I was a little late letting them out of the coup. Geeze :)

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  61. getting lots of good info from ya thanks

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  62. Alishia Bigelow6/5/13, 9:58 AM

    My girls are so picky! Their favorite treat is fresh picked peas from the garden. grubs are good too.

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  63. Sharon Lee Ledford6/5/13, 9:59 AM

    I'm gonna try the flock block substitute also!

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  64. OH Kathy! I enjoy your picture and all the information you give out. I am going to make my baby's some of the treats you have shown on your posts. I love hearing of all your baby's! I enjoy my chickens so much. They are just like a bunch of little kids! Thanks again for every thing!

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  65. Susanne Varner6/5/13, 10:06 AM

    Very great info on treats! My hens love the Happy Hen treats and my 4 week old chicks love them as well!

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  66. Karen Lawrence6/5/13, 10:17 AM

    awesome

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  67. Carmen Jones6/5/13, 10:24 AM

    I do love your blog, so helpful in many ways, thank you for taking the time to share with us. My girls love the mealworm frenzie treats, they all stumble all over themselves trying to get to give them some.

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  68. My babies love these! It makes moving them back into their coop so much easier when I need them to go up a bit earlier :)

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  69. Maria Reaser6/5/13, 10:27 AM

    Great information, I make treat blocks ( suet cakes ) by melting lard and mixing it with scratch grains. mareaser@yahoo.com

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  70. I am going to try making your flock block. I absolutely love your blog. It keeps me so informed and gives me so many ideas of things my girls would like to try and usually always love! Hope to win! :)

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  71. Denton Loomis6/5/13, 10:37 AM

    Kathy...this site is a godsend to those of us who are new and soon-to-be new chicken owners!

    Do you have any resources to help me talk to City Council Members who are considering allowing urban chicken raising? Thanks!

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  72. Melissa Ann Mazzarella-Ferman6/5/13, 10:44 AM

    I love the blog and the emails :) I'm new to having a flock, our oldest are 10 weeks and I never knew how much I would love them! :) we could you some of those treats ;)

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  73. Maria Campbell6/5/13, 11:15 AM

    I subscribe and read you daily.

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  74. Jonnie-Michelle Riggs6/5/13, 11:34 AM

    Thank you for the feathered myth busting!

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  75. Shelley Carpenter6/5/13, 11:41 AM

    My hens would definately be Happy Hens with those treats!!

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  76. Natalie Buehler6/5/13, 11:46 AM

    Hi there,

    I am a regular visitor of your blog, and am now following you :)

    Visiting today from The Great Blog Train!

    x

    Natalie

    Marigolds'
    Loft

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  77. Yes please I would love to win the Happy Hens treats for my hens so they too will be happier!

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  78. Check this out...
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=465080793578480&set=a.193658340720728.50023.189991031087459&type=1&ref=nf

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  79. S. Portash6/5/13, 1:15 PM

    Would love to win some treats for my peeps!

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  80. These chicken people want some happy hen treats

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  81. Dina Dalzell Falasco6/5/13, 1:21 PM

    Thank you!

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  82. I'm so happy I found you! I am going to start raising chickens someday and this will be good reading! Hope I win!

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  83. Terry Young6/5/13, 2:29 PM

    Love your blog, lots of info. Thank you for the chance.

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  84. Charlotte Thomas6/5/13, 2:51 PM

    Great treat ideas! Love your blog.

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  85. Love your blog and FB posts !

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  86. My chickens LOVE mealworms. Looking forward to trying some of your other ideas, too!

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  87. Shelia Dawn Carter6/5/13, 3:09 PM

    Thanks so much for the info. I really enjoy your blog.

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  88. I absolutely love you blog. I have been raising five beautiful hens for about 2 months now. i ave to admit I have become a bit of a fanatic in such a short time... i love our beautiful ladies.

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  89. Never thought about buying special treats...gonna have to try this!

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  90. I can't feed my girls these treats out of my hand cause I would lose a finger.....

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  91. Rhonda Williamson6/5/13, 5:00 PM

    My girls LOVE these dried meal worms. They also have a lot of fun eating the Mock Flock Blocks, that I made thanks to you. I wonder if I could put meal worms in the next batch of MFB.

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  92. Thanks for all the great treat ideas! I follow with GFC as Sue D.

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  93. Darlene Beckett Anderson6/5/13, 5:18 PM

    Thanks for all the great information on your blog

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  94. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 5:59 PM

    Cool. Let me know!

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  95. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 6:00 PM

    You'll be collecting eggs before you know it!

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  96. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 6:00 PM

    Canned is fine.

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  97. They LOVE it! Even my new girl was wild over it, and she hasn't really gone after any treats. Thanks for the recipe!

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  98. Debbie_Bruening6/5/13, 7:47 PM

    I would LOVE to win the hen treats. My hens would love it too!

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  99. my girls go crazy for these treats! Would love to win some for them :) Thank you for posting this contest :)

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  100. Rhonda Williamson6/5/13, 10:04 PM

    I'm so glad that I made your flock block. When introducing my new pullets it keeps the big girls occupied.

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  101. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:08 PM

    Thanks for following, Natalie!

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  102. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:09 PM

    I'm working on it, Denton. Stay tuned!

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  103. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:11 PM

    I make sure that my free-range flock has a feeder full of layer pellets at all times. They know how much they need and will take what they require.

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  104. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:11 PM

    Thanks Beth. :)

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  105. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:40 PM

    LOL! How nice that she has him trained! :)

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  106. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:41 PM

    As long as you think she can take care of them within the flock, you can reintroduce them any time.

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  107. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:41 PM

    Congratulations on your new pets, Karen! Enjoy!

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  108. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:42 PM

    Sounds good to me!

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  109. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:42 PM

    Welcome to chicken-keeping, Michelle and thanks for being #2,000! :)

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  110. Kissiah Aiken6/5/13, 10:43 PM

    We tease him about being trained, often.

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  111. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:48 PM

    I'm so happy to know that, Rhonda. Happy chickens, healthy eggs! :)

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  112. Denise Allison Magil6/6/13, 10:19 PM

    i would love to win anything it is always fun to try new things i am new to chicken world and love it

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  113. My ladies love the Happy Chicken meal worms. They leave any treat I give them just to run over the meal worms. So they must be delish

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  114. I have two hens & they both stopped laying..I will not kill my chicks..they are my pets..but if i get more hens..will they except the new girls? Thanks Kathy...

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  115. Our girls love frozen fruit when its hot, pumpkin in the fall and mealworms all the time!!

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  116. My girls love the mealworms treats. It's how I always have people introduce themselves to the chickens, with mealworms in hand!

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  117. My grandchildren love to visit Grandma and Grandpa on the farm and feed the flock Happy Chicken meal worms.

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  118. My chickens love meal worms but I have yet to be able to find any of the other Manna Pro treats. Hopefully I will see them in a store here soon.

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  119. Like nearly all chickens, my girls LOVE the Happy Hens Treats Mealworm Frenzy. But, also like most , they love anything that's different from their regular food-- oatmeal, peas, peaches, cabbage, etc. We had a couple of hot, humid days here,already, in the 90's, and the girls got frozen peas and cold cut up grapes in the afternoon. They needed it, poor things were panting. Luckily, today has been in the low 60's. Next, they'll get some strawberries, that 'we' need to go pick for jam. Yum! ,

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  120. My chicks love lettuce..cold and well washed; they love grapes chilled. I really want the to try this Harvest Blend. Hope I win.

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  121. I'm getting my girls soon, so it would be awesome to have extra supplies and free is even better

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  122. My little chickies LOVE mashed hard boiled eggs and they absolutely go NUTS in the mint patch in our yard!

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  123. mine love almost anything but i love to watch them eat melon

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  124. My chickens love corn on the cob...I boil a few ears and then toss it into their coop and they go nuts!

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  125. Im pretty positive my ladies would love these!

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  126. It's so much fun feeding my girls treats! I throw some here and watch them run to it, I throw some there and LOL as they hurry over to that spot! I want to make a flock block from your recipe sometime this week as well. Should we be adjusting what, how and when we feed them as the weather gets hot? You have been a lifesaver to me as I'm fairly new to keeping hens as well. Sometimes I just sit and read your blogs even when I'm not looking for anything in particular. Forewarned is best!

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  127. The ladies favorite treat is a weed we call hen and chick and/or mealworms. The weed grows wild in SC and they go crazy for it. Thanks for the giveaway, subscribed to your blog via email.

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  128. So far my hens only like dandelion greens and watermelon, they are kind of picky!

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  129. My chickens go nuts over wild bird seed. It's easy to get them hooked and trained to cone when I whistle.

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  130. Omg.. My pullets and ducks figured out a way into my garden and for the last few days manage to eat most of the leafs of my potato plants

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  131. My chicken girls love mealworms, eggs & melons. My roosters love whatever the hens love...:)

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  132. I am new to raising chickens and I have learned so much from you--thank you!! We call green grapes "chicken candy," but I would love to win and try the meal worms. Thanks again!

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  133. My chickens love mealworms for a treat mostly but there are days they don't seem to want them so when they can not get out and free range I chop up some lettuce and brocolli . They all love pasta too any kind but spaghetti is their favorite.

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  134. Our chickens love Happy Hen treats... and pretty much anything else that's given to them. There is only one picky eater, the rest eat anything. :)

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  135. My chicks favorite snack is watermelon. I clean out the inside but leave a little for them,and serve it cold. Living in Alabama this time of year it is really hot.

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  136. my girls LOVE watermelon. It's great in this hot weather

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  137. I am sure my chickens and ducks will love to have some yummy treats, they would be soooo happy!!

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  138. My chickens LOVE blackberry season (right now!) because I give them many strawberries. They especially love the leftover bread heels. They also love any discarded strawberries and tomatoes, pretty much anything leftover from the garden that they'll eat! I'd love to try this garden treat, its one of the manna pro items that my tractor supply doesn't have!

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  139. My girls like just about any treat i give them. Always like trying something new to see how crazy they will go for it!!

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  140. My 25 chickens love watermelon, seeds, and anything else I give them

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  141. This time of year my flock loves melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon) they also enjoy the black oil sunflower seeds.

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  142. When 1 of them finds an earth worm they all start singing like they're in a choir! The I feel bad for the ones who didn't get to 'have' any and go and dig some up! I know...spoiled right?

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  143. I never thought to boil the ears, I just always throw an ear or two in uncooked (which they LOVE) - I'll have to try boiling one and see what they do!

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  144. They all come running when I open the jar of meal worms! But they also love the flock block substitute I made from your recipe - and I like that it's so nutritious!

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  145. Would love to give treats to my chickens!!

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  146. We tried some banana last weekend. A few of our young ladies tried it, most did not seen interested.

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  147. My flock's favorite treat is the flock crack recipe I created for them. But they're also very partial to fresh fruits, veggies, and scrambled eggs. To be honest, there isn't much they'll turn their noses up to, since they know when it comes to treat time, they're eating better then us. :D

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  148. not that it has anything to do with treats but...I have to say I LOVE that pix of you walking towards the coops with the trail of chickens behind you :)
    As for treats...um...my garden mostly! came home yesterday to...basically...nothing green left. At least they don't like tomato plants!

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  149. Feeding treats to our birds makes us as happy as it does them!

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  150. I'm new to raising chickens (5 days!) My pullets LOVE apples, blueberries & watermelon! They'll all run over an peck at the apple core I'm holding. Loving this new experience & your blog! So helpful!

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  151. My hens absolutely LOVE treats and come running anytime I'm out in the yard, always thinking it's treat time!

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  152. My chickens love meal worms, lettuce, strawberries, spinach, etc. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  153. My chickens favorites are grapes, watermelon, tomatoes, and corn on the cob! Oh, and rose petals! I bet they would LOVE this

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  154. my girls would love the mealworms. pratersplace@hotmail.com

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  155. That's nice to know, Lin. Thanks. :)

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  156. My girls will eat anything I give them. I try most recipes I see on your blogs and most food items. My husband says that they eat better than him :-) I like the Manna Pro Products.

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  157. On very hot days I like to give the girls frozen grapes (not too many). They love them and it helps to keep the cool.

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  158. My chickies have never tried these because I am cheap...but it could be love at first taste for them!

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  159. My chickies have never had these because I am cheap...but it might be love at first sight for them!

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  160. Freeze dried mealworms are my girls #1 favorite treat. They hear the shake of the container and they can't swarm fast enough to get as many as they can gobble up.

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  161. My girls usually get cooked potato peels. I boil the potatoes for potato salad and instead of wasting the peels, they go to the girls. I have to put them in a bowl for the girls otherwise I would lose fingers! They just go nuts for them! :) They only get them in the summer and only like once a month! :)

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  162. Kristy Ford-Strop6/29/13, 8:02 AM

    I feed my chickens a giant frozen cube filled with fruit and veggies - to keep them cool this summer :) No store bought treats..not on the budget ;)

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  163. Love your blog! So informational for a newbie like me! Thanks!

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  164. Barbara Thorbjornsson6/29/13, 8:21 AM

    woo hoo

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  165. Tina Surdi Meeker6/29/13, 8:50 AM

    So far they love meal worms, watermelon rind and apple skins.

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  166. Robin Martin6/29/13, 8:52 AM

    So far my girls, And my boy! Love fresh picked anything from the garden!! You name it - handfuls of red and green leaf lettuce, strawberries (they only get the ones that the ants beat us to) peas, Black raspberries are starting to ripen now here in WV so they will be getting some of those too! they get bowlfuls of yummy weeds (clover dandelions, grass) Broccoli chopped up, cut up grapes. The list is endless!! Yeah I am pretty sure they are spoiled....

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  167. Primal Wannabe6/29/13, 9:08 AM

    My girls presently enjoy diced apples and bananas. They also go bonkers for Pumpkin Seed Snacks by Treats for Chickens.

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  168. Karen Parsons6/29/13, 9:12 AM

    Meal worms and bread is our flocks favorites so far. Would love to try new things. We don't feed them too much bread, pancakes, biscuits but it is their favorite thing. When they see us coming they mob us, making it almost impossible to walk to our chairs so they can hop in our laps to get to their treats.

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  169. I subscribed and my chickens LOVE berries, but mostly anything we feed them by hand

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  170. Nick Abbott6/29/13, 9:18 AM

    My chickens love the happy hen treats

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  171. They scarf up just about anything I give them, but the really love scrambled eggs!

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  172. P.l. Forgash6/29/13, 10:17 AM

    My chicky ladies rush the back door any time I go outside in hopes of ambushing the "treat giver" :) Kitchen scraps of any sort are their favorite!

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  173. Andrea Burson Robbins6/29/13, 10:35 AM

    My chicks love the Manna Pro Harvest Delight treats!!! I tried the freeze dried meal worms and they wouldn't eat them, but they love these treats!!! They come running when they hear the bag! :) I have to make sure to keep them stocked up or my chicks get mad at me! :)

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  174. So far, my 6-week old chicks have had scrambled eggs, grass clippings and watermelon!

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  175. Donna McGlasson6/29/13, 12:04 PM

    My girls love scrambled eggs and meal worms!

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  176. Esther widgren6/29/13, 2:28 PM

    My girls go CRAZY for bananas! You'd best throw the bananas to them and run or else you'll lose some fingers!

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  177. Tina Williams Schroeder6/29/13, 5:14 PM

    Our chicks love to eat strawberries and mealworms out of our hands.

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  178. LaDonna Martin6/29/13, 5:53 PM

    Gotta love treats!

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  179. My chickens like all the treats you've listed, I haven't tried the ones in the giveaway yet.. I will say, their favorite by far are the dried mealworms,,they will do ANYTHING for dried mealworms:)
    Diane
    vmstevens@snet.net

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  180. Karri Hazlett6/29/13, 8:45 PM

    My chickens love bananas and yogurt.

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  181. Barbara Thorbjornsson6/29/13, 8:52 PM

    grapes, lettuce, celery greens, ...so far tis is all I have tried

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  182. Mealworms are my chickens' favorite treats!

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  183. I have 2 hens and a rooster. They love the frozen dried mealworms. They actually recognize the package and run over when they see it.

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  184. I think our girls are old enough to start thinking of some treats.

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  185. Jaime Booker10/19/13, 8:40 PM

    love giving my chickens treats. these were some great ideas. thanx

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  186. Darlene Reisterer12/11/13, 8:55 PM

    To the Chickenchick... I am so greatful I found you. You have helped me save our silkie hen flower(she's all white) when she became egg bound with giving her an epsom salt bath it made her relax enough to pass an empty egg sak ( I had to help) and she loved being blow dried she fell asleep during the process and I have and still am taking in your vast knowledge. Thank You for helping all of us who are learning. My Chicka's thank you too!

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  187. Estelle, Nelson, New Zealand12/16/13, 8:54 PM

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading what you have written and looking at your photos! Thank you... it's put quite a smile on my dial and I'm feeling rather well-informed !!!

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  188. I love your blog and have been raising hens and roosters for about 15 months. For treats I give my roosters and hens cooked white rice, fry bread, and cooked pinto beans. My hens and roosters are beautiful and healthy. I never thought of buying special treats because I didn't know there was such a thing. Now I will look into it. Our feed store is very limited.

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  189. I was told not to feed citrus; orange peels, grapefruit rinds, etc.is that true?

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  190. My girls love mealworms! I also give them oatmeal on these cold winter nights!

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  191. Patty Kennedy2/2/14, 10:43 AM

    My girls have always loved the handful of dried mealworms I give them in the mornings. However, I recently found bought a bucket of mealworms and crickets. They can hardly wait for me to get the bucket open. Bertha will even fly up and perch on my shoulder to get a better look and hurry me along. They are so funny.

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  192. Joanna Hatcher2/2/14, 11:08 AM

    Great article! And I love the pic of them following you! :)

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  193. Valerie Denver-Atkinson2/2/14, 11:12 AM

    I work at a restaurant and get the lettuce, vegs, some fruits, etc for my girls. Love to watch them as I get the sack out!! I will set in coop and hand feed as well a few will jump on my lap... love it!!

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