A high energy chicken treat your flock will love  : Poultry Protein Platter.

Worried that your moulting hens are looking like refugees from a caged poultry farm?

If you're worried about how your flock is coping with their feather loss, or concerned that winters in your area are taking their toll on your flock - or even if you just need to give your broody hens a boost, this recipe is for you.

It's a great, easy to make, inexpensive high protein treat for those difficult times in your flock's life!

Chickens running for a high protein treatMy chickens would fall over each other to get to this high protein treat first!

An important note about concentrated high protein treats.

It's important to make sure your chickens get their beaks into some well balanced food before they make themselves too full with this - and that their diet is also supplemented with healthy treats. 

Overloading them with protein will not help them in the end - it can cause serious problems with the liver and kidneys.

Make sure you offer this kind of treat only when there's a specific need and even then, no more than two or three times a week.

What's in this yummy treat?  Explaining the ingredients.

There's nothing magical about this - you'll find dozens of similar treat recipes on the internet and in books.  What you're aiming for is to mix together a variety of high protein foods to give your chickens a tasty, occasional boost.

I use a lot of ingredients which I source locally and inexpensively and my 'recipe' will vary each time I make it, depending on what I have available.  You don't have to stick to this - be creative!

Some ingredients for a high protein treat mixSome of the ingredients for the protein platter treat.

Here's what I use for this treat - and why.

Dry ingredients.

Cayenne pepper : I know, this sounds weird for something called a 'treat'.  I add it because it's said to speed up chickens' metabolism.  Does it really?  Who knows, but it can't hurt.  It doesn't (despite what you might read online) make their eggs taste any different, and as chickens have very few taste buds it won't  cause them problems in terms of making the end result too spicy for them.

Eggshells : I grind up the shells of the eggs I add to this mix into a fine powder.  It adds a little calcium and no, the chickens don't recognise it as their own so it will not encourage egg-eating.

Oats : I don't use the 'quick' type personally since I try to keep everything I feed my chickens as un-processed as possible. Plain old oats are the best.

Sunflower seeds : I use the whole seed and the black and white version since that's what's available in this area, but the black seeds are great too.

Peas : If it's autumn and I don't have my own fresh peas I use frozen, or a can of sweetcorn works well too.

A collage of  ingredients for the high protein chicken treat.Some of the ingredients for the Protein Platter chicken treat.

Wet ingredients.

Cooked eggs : I hard boiled eggs and chop them into bits, but scrambled eggs are also good (made without milk since chickens cannot process dairy products properly) and act as a binder to tie all the ingredients together.  Don't use them raw - it can lead to egg-eating.

Fish : This is probably the treat my flock loves best.  If they're available I use fresh sardines, mashed up (and including the bones as they're very soft) but if I don't have those I use the canned variety - in oil, not brine.  Brine is too salty.

Garlic : Well I do live in Italy - food is not food without garlic!  Contrary to popular belief it will not make the eggs taste, and garlic is an exceptionally good source of Vitamin B6.  It's well known for its antibacterial properties and protection of the immune system.  It's also great if you have mosquitoes - for some reason they don't like it, so hanging some bulbs in your chicken coop can help with the pesky things in the summer.  It's very easy to grow and doesn't take up much room, so even balcony pots can be used.

Olive oil : I add some organic extra-virgin oil since that's what we make on our Italian farm so mine is 'free'.  If it's too expensive, try using sunflower oil.

Probiotics : Most people use a yoghurt but it's not so much the yoghurt itself which is the important thing here - that just acts as a binding agent - but the probiotics it contains. So if I can, I use a simple probiotic supplement and bind with water, but if I don't have any in stock I will use an organic, plain yoghurt - not the flavoured kind, which has far too much sugar and too many additives.

High protein chicken treat : amounts.

I generally make two or three times the amount I need and either keep it in the refrigerator or freeze it, depending on how quickly I intend to use it.

Because this is so concentrated, you don't need to give lots of it.  These amounts will feed 15 chickens on two occasions.

2 cups oats

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

2 cups/20 fluid oz/500 mls plain yoghurt

or a probiotic supplement.

4 eggs

12 fresh sardines or 2 tins sardines in sunflower oil

2 tablespoons Cayenne pepper

6 cloves fresh garlic

Protein Platter chicken treat : how to make it.

  • Chop the garlic.
  • Mash the fish, leaving the bones in.
  • If using frozen peas, boil them for just long enough to de-frost them; strain but keep the water to one side.
  • Hardboil and then chop the eggs into small pieces; keep the egg shells to one side.
  • Crush the eggshells into a fine powder.  I use a pestle and mortar but if you don't have one, put them into a plastic freezer bag and use a rolling pin.
Grind the eggshell into fine pieces.
  • Put the oats, sunflower seeds and Cayenne pepper into a large mixing bowl and mix together.
  • Add the eggshells, chopped egg, fish, garlic and peas and mix everything together well.
  • If you're using yoghurt, add it now; if using probiotic powder add this and use the water from the peas to moisten the mix.
  • The texture should be firm but not hard - a bit like a cake mix.
  • Now, spread on a tray, give to your chickens and stand back before you get trampled in the rush!
High protein chicken treat - the final product.
  • If you've made more than you need, the treat will store well in freezer boxes in the fridge for up to one week, or freeze it and use within two months.
  • And finally remember - this is just one possibility.  Feel free to experiment with other high protein foods until you find a mix your own flock loves.

Please remember - high protein treats should only be given sparingly, and concentrated amounts should be kept for specific events like moulting.

To see more detail about different types of supplements to a chicken's diet, click on these picture links.

Grit and oyster shell - why they're crucial to a chicken's diet. Click here.
Want some healthy, inexpensive treats for your hens? Click here for a sprouting seed recipe.
Want healthy treats for your chickens? Click here to get my list of ten.

Some links on this page are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission. There is no extra cost to you.  This helps me keep the information on the website free of charge.  It also helps support my family and my chickens!  Because my integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me, I only recommend products I have purchased or would purchase myself and which I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my affiliates disclosure document.

If you found this helpful, please take a few seconds to share it - thank you!

Link to Raising Happy Chickens home page.