Posted on Nov 25, 2023 at 6:04 am by James T
Winter is a delicate period for our chicken friends. Indeed, these poultry need a richer diet to better cope with the cold and the deficiencies caused by the decrease in the availability of insects and green plants. In this article, we offer you some tips and tricks to provide your chickens with a diet adapted to the winter season.
Table of Contents
Foods to absolutely avoid in your chickens’ diet
While chickens are omnivorous and can consume a wide variety of foods, some products are nevertheless not recommended or even dangerous for their health. Here is a non-exhaustive list of these foods to avoid:
- Dried beans
- Expired food
- Fast food
- Homemade cooked dishes and sauces
- Banana peels
The essentials for feeding your chickens in winter
In winter, chickens’ diet should be balanced and rich in proteins, trace elements, and vitamins. Here are the main elements to include in your poultry’s menu during this season:
- Green vegetables
- Oyster shells
It is also possible to prepare a bread soup or a homemade protein mash based on these ingredients. Furthermore, fodder beet is an excellent substitute for green plants in winter, as it is highly appreciated by chickens. You can give it to them whole or cut into pieces, mixed with corn or oat flakes to obtain a healthy and fortifying meal.
Make use of peels and food scraps as supplements
In winter, it is interesting to recycle fruit and vegetable peels to enrich your chickens’ diet. You can also give them cooked food scraps, such as:
- A little bit of meat
In winter, it is essential to provide chickens with adequate nutrition, but it should not be forgotten that their living environment must also be appropriate. Discover affordable ways to heat your chicken coop in winter without emptying your wallet, thus ensuring the well-being of your chickens throughout the cold season.
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Three homemade protein mash recipes for your chickens
To build up their fat reserves in preparation for winter, chickens need a diet rich in proteins. Here are three ideas for homemade protein mashes that you can prepare yourself:
1. Nettle powder, sprouted seeds, and food scraps
Nettle is a plant with multiple virtues: it stimulates egg laying, fights internal worms, and provides a supply of vegetable proteins. Harvest nettle leaves and dry them to remove their stinging power. Then, grind them into powder and mix them with sprouted seeds and food scraps.
2. Wheat bran mash
Mix wheat bran with a little water to obtain a thick paste. Rich in minerals, vegetable proteins, and fatty acids, wheat bran is extremely beneficial for chickens.
3. Mixture based on garlic powder and sprouted seeds
Garlic is an excellent dietary supplement for your poultry, as it has natural vermifuge properties. Grind garlic into powder and mix it with sprouted seeds and food scraps.
Water: a crucial element even in winter
Even though we tend to forget, water remains essential for chickens during the cold season. Therefore, remember to regularly renew the water in the drinkers and ensure that it does not freeze during the coldest months.
By following these tips, you will provide your chickens with a balanced diet adapted to the winter season. They will be in great shape to resume laying eggs in the spring!