It’s the holidays and cranberries are everywhere. Can chickens eat cranberries? Yes. They make a great treat by themselves or mixed in other recipes. Chickens do fairly well in the winter keeping themselves warm by fluffing their feathers to trap warm air next to their bodies but feeding your chickens winter chicken treats can give them a boost. Treats loaded with scratch grains, nuts and berries give them a little bit of fat and protein. Plus they act as a boredom buster, keeping them occupied during long, dark, cold winter days.
Bored chickens can start pecking at each other or get aggressive, so offering fun winter chicken treats or feeding chickens scraps when they can’t be out running around looking for bugs is always a good idea. Sometimes chickens molt later in the year, and molting chickens will also benefit from the protein in the nuts in this winter chicken treat to help them grow in their feathers as quickly as possible.
Winter Chicken Treats
I like to lure my chickens outside on even the coldest days, and hanging this edible winter chicken treat wreath in the run does the trick! That way they enjoy their treat while soaking up some sunlight and fresh air. The more you can get them outside in the winter, the healthier they will be, and the cleaner your coop will stay. If there’s snow on the ground, try making a path through the snow with straw for your chickens to walk on. This will encourage them to come out.
This wreath is pretty quick and easy to make, holds together well and the chickens love it! Have you been wondering can chickens eat cranberries? Now you know the answer. This is a great way to incorporate cranberries into their winter diet. Here’s how to make a wreath for your girls.
- Cooking spray
- Bundt pan
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3 envelopes of Knox unflavored gelatin
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup coconut oil, bacon grease (preferably low-salt with no nitrates), suet or Hamburg grease
- 8 cups of a mixture of scratch grains, seeds, nuts, cracked corn and unsalted nuts
- 20 fresh or frozen cranberries
- Three bowls – small, medium and large
- Scrap of pretty holiday ribbon
Generously spray the Bundt pan with the cooking spray and set it aside. In a medium bowl, stir or whisk the gelatin into the cold water to dissolve it and then let it sit for a minute. Pour the boiling water over the gelatin and whisk it well.
Heat your cooking grease or oil to liquefy it, then pour it over the seeds, grains, and nuts in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to mix everything, then pour the liquid gelatin into the bowl. Mix well until all the nuts and seeds are well-coated and all the liquid is absorbed.
Place the cranberries in rows in the indentations in your Bundt pan. I used three in half the indentations and two in every other indentation. Carefully spoon the seed mixture into the pan over the berries. Press the seeds down with the spoon to pack them well. Refrigerate the Bundt pan overnight to let it set.
The next day, take the wreath out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Then invert the pan and tap it gently on the countertop to unmold it or use a knife around the edges to release the wreath.
Tie a pretty ribbon in a bow at the top and then attach the wreath to the fencing in your run for your chickens to enjoy.
Don’t have chickens? The wild birds will also love this pretty treat! Wondering what do roosters eat? Well, they’ll love this fun winter chicken treat too.
Quick Tip: If you decide to use coconut oil as the base, remember that coconut oil has a far lower melting point than other types of fats, so only serve the wreath on cold days!
Do you make winter treats for your flock? Do your chickens like to eat cranberries? Share your recipes and experiences in the comments below.