Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Treats to Keep Your Hens HaPpY - or you might get a TriCk!

My hens have gotten access to wild seeds, bugs, and grasses during the months when the weather cooperates.  In Michigan, those days are becoming shorter and shorter.  Soon Old Man Winter will be arriving.  The food that Mother Nature provides is what's best for laying hens, and the greens provide Omega 3's which contribute to the health of hens and the tasty and healthiness of the eggs those hens produce.
 This past summer I started offering the Purina Feed with extra Omega 3.  The price is the same as a 50 lb bag of Purina Layena, except there is only 40lbs in each bag.  Boo.  But, the hens seem to like it as well as the Layena.  I'm not noticing any difference in color of the egg yolks since switching to the Omega 3 brand.  But, in winter when the greens are non-existent, I offer frozen spinach greens and other fresh greens to the hens to help keep their boredom at bay, and to add to their micro/macro nutrient levels.
Another product that has been popping up in our TSC stores is the Meal worm Frenzy - freeze dried Meal Worms!  I thought the idea was unique, and creepy....but, the worms are packaged when dried, and actually smell like peanut butter...AND - the Working Girls and new Pullets alike are actually crazy about them once they taste 'em! 
 The meal worms packaged in this fashion are a little pricey (almost $10.00) and so I ration them out, using them for training or just special occasions...Live meal worms would be less expensive, I'm sure.  And perhaps healthier.  And probably don't smell much like peanut butter.  But, just look at the response I got to an open handful of these treats!
Yes, they ARE spoiled, aren't they?  But, they provide us with those tasty eggs, so they're well worth the pleasurable treats I "shell out" now and then!  Currently I have been collecting 6 eggs a day. 
 That means 2 pullets have not yet started to lay.  Maggie May is one of them - her comb is not large enough nor is it red yet - but I'm not sure who the other "slacker" could be - perhaps one of the Buff Orpingtons - one has a pinker colored comb than the other.....So hard to tell at a certain point in time. 
Maggie May is pictured above.  She's not as full bodied as the other hens, but she's very pretty.  She has lovely green legs - perhaps she will lay green EgGs to match!  She's the prankster - this evening I found her roosting at the peak of the hen house, outside, 6 ft in the air!  Hubbs had to remove her - but her little toes were clutched around the edge of the rooftop!  Think she needs her wings trimmed back a bit..... More later!
the ChickenWrangler


Chatty Crone said...

Well it's nice to see how they are coming along. So many interesting stories. Not sure about two things - meal worms and how she got on top of a six foot roof! sandie

Angela said...

They really do seem to like those freeze dried worms. You should look into raising your own worms for those girls! hehehe Just what you'd want to do, start a worm farm! lol

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I need to get my ladies some freeze dried mealworms!

Together We Save said...

Wow - freeze dried worms!! Who knew!

Michaele said...

I hadn't heard of these. Wonderful chicken treat!

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Y'know...I never thought about each hen having their own unique personality!! That was really dumb, huh? Yummy....those treats don't appeal at all to my taste, but can imagine the girls gobble 'em up.

Courtney said...

Hi! I came over from Millie's Mats and boy am I ever glad I did! I want very much to get my first chickens this spring and your blog looks like a wealth of info!! Hop on over to my blog for a giveaway, if you'd like! It's open until Nov. 1st.