All summer, we’ve been focusing on keeping our chickens cool. Of course, that means providing fresh water, shade, and even a light breeze.
But our favorite way to keep our chooks comfortable during a hot summer day is to spoil them with some cool treats.
Not only are certain treats going to keep your chickens cool, but they’re also full of nutrients (and protein) to help keep your chickens in top egg-laying condition!
Here’s our favorites:
Cool Chicken Treats To Beat the Summer Heat
The Mother of All Melons
Melons, in general, are always a hit with chickens. You can give them refrigerated cantaloupe, honeydew, or winter melons.
But the one that chickens go coo coo for is the mother of all melons; the watermelon.
Big juicy, cool, watermelons are the top treat for chickens (if they had a say in the matter).
Fresh watermelons are sweet and juicy so they’re not only tasty, but they’re also a fantastic way to help keep your chickens cool and hydrated.
If you want to extend the life of the watermelon, and pack a little extra cooling power, you can also freeze it. That way, they’re hard to consume quickly and are even more refreshing for your flock.
Just make sure you cut your watermelons before placing them in the freezer!
Chickens love watermelons, especially. They’re the fave of the flock.
But, don’t forget that they’ll also settle for what’s on sale. So feel free to give your chickens cantaloupe from the garden, honeydew on super saver Saturday, or winter melons.
Cool Garden Grub for Chickens
If you’re liquidating your garden and you’ve noticed a surplus of cucumbers (we always do) then go ahead and throw some slices into their water.
Freezing some cukes and slicing them up is a perfect way to keep your flock comfy when it’s extremely hot out.
You’ll notice that your chooks prefer the seeds and flesh more than the rind, but that’s ok, especially if you’ve got nowhere to go with your surplus cucumbers.
Popsicles For Chickens
Sometimes giving chickens treats is just as fun for us as it is for them. And this little hack is no exception…
For this cool treat, simply fill a popsicle mold with some frozen berries, add water, freeze, and hand ‘em out to your chickens.
The frozen fruit will last a little longer than if you’d given it to them without freezing. And as a bonus, the ice keeps your chickens cool and hydrated.
Fruit that chooks love are:
- Mulberries (they really like berries)
Any of these fruits can be added to a popsicle mold or ice cube trays. Then, pop them out and float them in fresh water or place them in a clean feeder!
Fruit isn’t the only thing your chickens love chilled. They also enjoy peas, corn, leafy greens, and other vegetables.
And even veggies can be frozen in popsicle form (or in an ice cube tray). Spinach is also a great vegetable for chickens needing a little extra iron or vitamin c.
Another great way to freeze veggies is by taking canned vegetables, opening the can, and freezing the whole darn can. This is perfect for added water. (Just try to stay away from anything inorganic or salt-laden)
The good news? You don’t even have to trick your chooks into eating their greens.
They love it!
When chickens have the cards stacked against them (i.e. it’s hot out) they might need a little extra protein to get through the tough stuff.
So, aside from fruit and veggies, you can also freeze some of their favorites, like worms, mealworms, or black soldier fly larvae.
If these items come dehydrated, you can rehydrate them by soaking them in water until they look plump, and well, lifelike, then freeze.
The frozen protein gives them an energy boost, helping them fight off illness, and also keep them cool and hydrated!
It might seem a little yuck to us, but your flock will love you for it!
Try some of our favorite dried insect treats for chickens:
Frozen Chicken Food
Last on the frozen food list? Well, it’s chicken feed.
Simply wet down your flocks’ layer feed and freeze it in small baggies. Giving them these frozen clumps of food not only feeds your chickens, it also cools them down, and gives them something yummy to play around with.
Who could forget the viral veggie garland images circulating on social media?
While this treat isn’t necessarily freezable (or easily freezable) veggies from the fridge will still keep your chickens cool and give them an added hydration boost.
Simply string lettuce, cucumbers, peas, and other garden goodies on a sturdy string and hang it up in the coop where your chickens can reach them.
You can also use a Henny+Roo Hanging Treat Skewer to make a game out of cool fruits and vegetables.
They’ll hop and attack the garland until alllll the goodies are gone.
And it will give you something entertaining to watch as you cool down with your own favorite summertime beverage!