Making sure our laying ladies are happy and healthy in their backyard chicken coop is an important part of keeping chooks. If you’re fortunate enough to have prolific layers in your chicken flock, you want those delicious fresh eggs to keep on rolling, hard-shelled and fast. But it’s not always quantity that’s the poultry problem. Egg quality can differ from season to season and chook to chook. But we have some chooky tricks in our egg basket when it comes to boosting chicken egg quality. Have a crack at these tasty chicken treats to boost your backyard chicken eggs’ nutritional value and keep those cheeky chooks flappin’ happy in their coop or run.
Very Good Greens
Vibrant leafy green vegetables like spinach, pak choi, silverbeet, kale or millet are a great treat for your laying hens. These leafy greens provide a multitude of nutritional goodies like vitamins A and C, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorous, packing your eggs like a powder keg full of healthy goodness. You could buy some greens at your local farmer’s market or, for more fun, plant some Chook Grub poultry forage seeds in a pot or planter. Once mature, place the sprouts in their chicken run or poultry fencing yard and let your little dinosaurs at ‘em - entertaining for you and your chickens!
Fruits for Feathers
Chilled watermelon is THE go to fruit treat for hot chooks. A cool slice of this refreshing tipple provides essential nutrients like vitamins B1, B6, A and C and keeps your girls cool, calm and hydrated on a balmy day. Blueberries are another hit with the ladies and provide anti-oxidants, choline, folate and vitamins K, C and A. Get your kicks by throwing a handful of these tart treats into the chook yard and watch your girls go bonkers for their berries.
While the idea of chowing down on some mealworms makes humans squirm, chooks are VERY into these protein powerhouses. Mealworms are the jack of all trades when it comes to chook treats. They help you bond with your chickens through reward training and their high protein content helps them recover from moulting season. Mealworms increase egg quality and output and make a great addition to a homemade treat shaker toy to bust chicken run boredom. Get those wattles wrigglin’!
Water Version H2.0
Adding goodies to your chooks' water supply is a cluckin’ good way to keep your chickens happy and healthy. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) boosts your chicken flock immune system and helps deter pests and parasites which will affect your chook’s egg quality and quantity. Garlic is the perfect source of allicin and diallyl sulphides which also help boost your chook’s immune system and, just like ACV, adding garlic to your backyard chickens’ water supply can keep pesky pests and parasites away. A double whammy water treat!
Let’s Get Gritty
It may seem weirdly cannibalistic at first, but chickens can get essential calcium and a digestive helping hand from their very own egg shells. Yes! Once you’ve made your frittata and baked your cake, your flock's egg shells can be put to use bulking up your chicken feed. Crush those beautiful brown, cream or blue egg shells and sprinkle the resulting grit into their feed, their bowl of treats or on the ground amid some mealworms for a fun foraging afternoon.
Of course, this is only half the story when it comes to getting the best eggs from your layer hens. Have a peck at our guide to getting more eggs from your chicken flock and how you can create the perfect environment for your backyard chickens. A happy hen home = better eggs!