The Hen Treat Guide; Everything in Moderation

Everyone loves to spoil their beloved pets with good food and treats. Of course, ex-caged hen owners are no different. We love to spoil our hens and they love it when we treat them to corn, watermelon, even scrambled egg! The list is endless in the treats we give to our beloved hens. But someone too much can be bad for them. It’s all about moderation!

The main argument to keep in mind is that chicken feed is specially formulated with a hen’s nutrition in mind. As soon as you give them treats or snacks, you are replacing that nutrition. The best way to treat your hens is to keep treats as healthy as possible but even excessive healthy treats can cause many problems. These include obesity, reduced egg production, vent prolapse, feather-picking and increased risk of heart problems. 

A simple treat guide

This simple guide will help you to know about what to treat your hens with, and what to steer clear of. First things thing, it is important to remember that treats should make up only a tiny part of your hens’ diet, no more than 5%. Obesity in hens can lead to some severe health problems which are not only stressful for her, but also for you.

If you live in a vegan household, kitchen scraps are fine for your girls in moderation. It’s good to get some healthy greens in her diet and they can be put up with fun feeders like boredom busters to make it exciting for your flock! Just be aware that if you are not in a vegan household, it is actually illegal to feed your hens kitchen scraps due to the risk of cross-contamination and disease. For more information on this, visit the APHA website.

Good quality treats like the Feathers & Beaky Superfood Probiotic Treat (shown below) designed specifically for hens and are far more beneficial if fed correctly. Visit our online shop for a full range of Hen Nutritional Treats, that your girls will love.

Available from our shop

Feathers & Beaky Superfood Probiotic Treat is a little pouch of goodness containing 100% natural health-boosting ingredients that your chickens will love. The tasty herbal pellets are packed full of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers to help improve the overall health & appearance of your flock – it’s delicious too, so your hens will love you come treat time!
• Garlic contains natural health-boosting properties which help improve gut health & respiratory function.
• Echinacea naturally boosts the immune system and improves disease resistance.
• Nettle improves the function of the pancreas, liver and stomach, whilst enhancing yolk colour and increasing shell strength.
• Flax Seed Meal contains Omega 3 & 6, which are essential oils to improve feather condition.
• Oregano naturally boosts the immune system and is a natural antibiotic.
Botanical herbs and flowers have been used for many years to naturally treat ailments, and this mixture has been selected especially to boost the immune system and improve disease resistance amongst your flock.

Probiotic treat for hens available on our shop

There are many treats to avoid feeding to your hens, this is due to their toxicity which could cause your hens to get ill or in some case it could be fatal. These treats include:

  • Avocado pits and skins which are toxic to hens as they contain person.  However, the flesh of the avocado is fine for hens in moderation.
  • Undercooked or dried beans can be harmful as they contain hemagglutinin, which can inhibit the digestion of everything your hens eat.
  • Rhubarb contains anthraquinones, which can have a laxative effect in hens. Rhubarb damaged by the severe frost can also contain a high concentration of oxalic acid, which can be fatal to hens.
  • Mouldy, rotten and very salty foods can also result in excessively wet faeces and may be toxic.   

If you’d like advice on your hen’s health, why not visit our Hen Health page, where we discuss important things to look for in your hen’s health, whether its personality or physical symptoms. Or, head to our Hen Examination Guidelines where we can show you where to find things like the crop or the wattle.

If you need to seek medical advice, click here to find your nearest Hen Friendly Vet.
You can also call Hen Central on 01884 860084 to speak to one of our rehoming assistants.

Giving a gift today helps fund our Hen Helpline. It helps support hen keepers, giving them the best advice on how to care for their hens. If you have found our advice helpful, please consider giving a gift towards the hen helpline here.

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