What Can Chickens Eat as a Treat? — Chickens In A Minute Video

What to Feed Chickens is an Important Decision That Affects the Health of Your Flock and Egg Quality

At Backyard Poultry, we love to tackle common reader questions, such as: “why have my chickens stopped laying” or “why are my chickens laying soft eggs.” With our popular Chickens in a Minute video series, we’ve created quick, informative videos to answer your common queries in an entertaining way. This video answers the question: “what can chickens eat as a treat?” This is important because what our backyard chickens eat eventually comes back to us through their eggs and meat. The healthier they are, the healthier the foods we eat.

Today’s complete feeds, including organic chicken feeds, contain almost everything our birds need to be healthy and productive. But, most backyard birds do receive treats, because to tell the truth, it’s fun for the owners! Just don’t overdo it. Excessive snacks are dangerous because our birds can fill up on them.

Healthy Snack Options

  • crickets and mealworms
  • fruits and greens
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • unsalted seeds
  • vegetables – raw, steamed or cooked
  • scratch grains (The ultimate winter treat!)


Creative ways to give treats include hanging a cabbage from the coop ceiling and stuffing goodies into hanging suet baskets.

Can chickens eat corn? Yes. Some other treat ideas include cooking eggs for chickens, growing a garden with treat plants for your chickens and raising red worms as a treat. On hot summer days, blueberry mint ice cubes can help keep your chickens cool.

Chickens Eat as Treat

A great supplement is to feed your chickens their own shells. Save the used shells, clean and microwave them for a few seconds. When they’re crispy, break them up and mix them with their feed. You can also add more calcium into your flock’s diet by purchasing a commercial feed with added calcium. Learn how you can have strong eggshells with the new Purina® Oyster Strong™ System.

Always keep a fresh supply of water on hand.


And, remember, while we think treats are important for taste. Chickens only have 24 taste buds compared to our 10,000. But, treats can be valuable tools for training, relieving boredom and even health.

These videos are a great reference for both new and experienced chicken owners alike. So feel free to bookmark them and share! And look for more Chickens In A Minute videos in the coming weeks.

Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy.

How Long Do Chickens Live? Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/how-long-do-chickens-live-chickens-in-a-minute-video/
What Can Chickens Eat as a Treat? Purina http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/feed-health/what-can-chickens-eat-as-a-treat-chickens-in-a-minute-video/
What’s the Best Bedding for Chickens? Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chicken-coops-housing/whats-the-best-bedding-for-chickens-in-a-minute-video/
How to Keep Chickens Cool in Summer Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chicken-coops-housing/how-to-keep-chickens-cool-in-summer/
What are Bantam Chickens? Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens-101/bantam-chickens-vs-standard-chicken-breeds/
How Old Do Chickens Need to Be to Lay Eggs? Purina http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/eggs-meat/how-old-do-chickens-need-to-be-to-lay-eggs-chickens-in-a-minute-video/
Do Different Chicken Egg Colors Taste Different? Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/eggs-meat/do-different-chicken-egg-colors-taste-different/
Why Are My Chickens Laying Soft Eggs Purina http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/eggs-meat/why-are-my-chickens-laying-soft-eggs-chickens-in-a-minute-video/
How Much Room Do Chickens Need? Fowl Play Products http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chicken-coops-housing/how-much-room-do-chickens-need-video/
  • What causes “floaters”? I have 30 chickens and my eggs are never over 10 to 15 days old. After 6 or 7 days I will refrigerate those eggs while they are never older than 15 days old I have gotten 2 or 3 eggs that were floaters. This is the first time I have found a floater.
    What does this mean or what am I doing wrong?
    Thank you for any help you can give.

    • Catherene C.

      I too get the occasional floater egg. I’ve even gotten one from a few days old egg, candled it and there was no yolk. Sometimes it may be just that there was something wrong with the egg itself such as a pin hole you can see in the shell. Some eggs start getting air pockets sooner than others do as well. I feed floaters to my dogs unless I know they’re older than 5 weeks or have an odor when cracked open. Any eggs that are 3-4 weeks old are boiled, thrown in the blender and fed back to the chickens as a warm treat.


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What Can Chickens Eat as a Treat? — Chickens In A Minute Video