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

An important note about concentrated high protein treats.

It's important to make sure your chickens tuck into some well balanced food before they make themselves too full with this.

It's also important that their diet is supplemented with other, low fat, healthy treats

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

Be 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.

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

High Protein Poultry Platter - pin for later.

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

It's one of the best, easy to make, inexpensive high protein treats for those difficult times in your flock's life!

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. 

Aim to mix together a variety of high protein foods to give your chickens an occasional tasty boost when they most need it.

I use ingredients which I source locally and inexpensively, and those I have in my kitchen cupboards. My 'recipe' will vary each time I make it, depending on what I have available. 

You don't have to stick to my recipe - be creative!

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

I use ingredients which I know to be well documented sources of protein

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. Like other peppers 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: To be on the safe side, I bake their own egg shells for ten minutes before grinding them into a fine powder. I use them to add a little calcium. And no, the chickens don't recognise it as their own shells, 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 and natural as possible. Plain old oats are best.

Sunflower seeds: I use the whole black seeds from the plants which I grow myself. Double benefit - cheerful plants in the summer, nutritious seeds in the autumn (fall) and winter.

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

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

Wet ingredients.

Cooked eggs: I hard boil eggs and chop them into bits. Scrambled eggs are also good and act as a binder to tie all the ingredients together.  

Make the scrambled variety without milk since chickens cannot process dairy products properly. 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). 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. The jury's out on its effectiveness, but hanging some bulbs in your chicken coop could help repel 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. Make sure, whichever oil you use, it's non-GMO.

Yoghurt: most people use a natural, sugar-free and unflavoured yoghurt as a binding agent in high protein recipes. It's not so much the yoghurt itself which is the important thing here - it's the probiotics a natural yoghurt contains. 

However, chickens do not easily digest dairy-based products, so a better solution is to add some probiotic powder (see below) mixed with water.

Some ingredients for the high protein treat mix.Some of the ingredients for the protein platter treat.

A word about probiotics.

I don't use medicated feed for my chickens - they don't need it - but I like to provide some natural ingredients to help keep a healthy balance in the digestive system.

To put it simply, probiotics supply some of the "good bacteria" that help poultry digest food and keep their digestive tract healthy.

So I like to keep in stock a simple probiotic supplement specially formulated for chickens. The one I recommend is non-GMO. 

(This is an "affiliate link", which means that if you click and buy something, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you)

In this recipe I just bind it with water and add to the mix.

If I don't have any probiotics in stock I will use an organic, plain yoghurt - not the flavoured kind, which has far too much sugar and too many additives.

But remember: chickens don't have the natural enzymes to process dairy, so use yoghurt sparingly.

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. In between feeds I keep the mix in an airtight container in the fridge.

6 chickens eating a dish of high protein treat.My chickens running to be first at the high protein treat platter!

2 cups oats

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

2 cups / 20 fluid oz / 500 mls probiotic supplement mixed with water (use about 1/ teaspooon to 1 pint water)

or 2 cups/20 fluid oz/500 mls plain yoghurt.

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.
  • Bake the shells for ten minutes in the oven, allow to cool and then crush 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.
Eggshell, ground 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!
A platter of the high protein recipe.The finished dish - yum!
  • 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 and getting through winter months.

Did you know some plants are good for chicken health, too?

Here's a short video of my favourite flowers for the garden - and for my chickens' health.

Low in fat, high in beneficial nutrients, excellent as immune system boosters and best of all, easily grown in your garden! Try some now!

My favourite books about making sure your chickens are as healthy as can be!

I have all these books and have learned a huge amount from them. If you're looking for detailed, accurate and easy to read sources, start with any one of these!

(These are affiliate links, which means if you click and buy, I receive a small commission at no cost to you).

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

All about what chickens eat - link.
Thumbnail link to article: how to care for hens.
Treats for chickens: which are healthy? Link.
Thumbnail link: can my chicken eat...
Pumpkins for chickens - link.
Free range chicken gardens book review. Click for article.
Sprouting seeds for chicken feed - link.
Choosing weeds as chicken treats - link.
Thumbnail link lentils.
Link to Raising Happy Chickens home page.