After over two years of keeping (hopefully happy) chickens in my backyard now, here are my girl’s top treats (occasionally and aside from their normal ⤷ laying grains and ⤷ grain feed diet):

  1. Mealworms/Dried Insects
    Mealworms – THE one and only NUMBER ONE if you want to do your feathery friends a favour. They’re protein bombs, full of flavour, nutrients and taste, and they seem to just make loads of fun. Remember to use them as a special treat, not normal, everyday food.

  2. Sunflower Seeds
    See above. I don’t know what my girls like about sunflower seeds much, but they’re always excited and high sprits when I march up with a good handful of them. They’re very nutritious for their high fat content and they seem to be visually appealing. Just like above, please remember they should always be a treat.

  3. Cooked rice and noodles
    Leftover cooked short noodles and rice grains resemble small, little caterpillars or grubs to chickens – they’ll devour them in no-time. Please remember: No sauces, no salt, no spices. They’re VERY nutritious (high content of carbohydrates), so I like to feed them primarily in winter (when I indeed add a teaspoon or so of rapeseed oil for vitamins), not in spring or summer, because I don’t want them to become as overweight as their master…

  4. Any Salad, Grass, Broccoli and most Vegetable greens
    My girls like their greens, they’re healthy and easy to get, but for chickens they are mere stomach fillers. Chickens have a fast metabolism, and they break down the veggies very fast, so don’t feed them in the afternoon. They’ll be full but will digest fast and then they’ll be hungry again at night. But: A head of salad hanging from a rope in the den so they can chase it is SO MUCH FUN!

  5. Dandelion and Goutweed
    Me as well as my neigbours are constantly grumbling on the many weeds growing in our gardens, but there are two types of them that my girls love like I love ice cream: Dandelion and goutweed. The neighbour’s kids like to deliver these two weeds in small batches when they’re off school, because they know my girls like them (and they know they can make it big with them by delivering a handful of delicious greens 🙂 ).


Please also have a look at this ⤷ very comprehensive and highly recommendable list of what chickens CAN and CANNOT eat. It’s very helpful, especially for the beginner!