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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 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.

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 foods can be good for your chickens when they need an extra boost. Here's a recipe they'll love: a Protein Poultry Platter!

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.

I use ingredients which I source locally and inexpensively, and those I ave 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 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. 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 because 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. A can of sweetcorn works well too.

A collage of  ingredients for the high protein chicken treat. Add whatever you have in your store cupboard that's high protein - find out more here.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 and act as a binder to tie all the ingredients together.  

Make the scrambled variety without milk since chickens cannot process dairy products properly, and 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 - 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.

Yoghurt: Most people use a natural, sugar-free and unflavoured yoghurt as a binding agent in high protein recipes, but 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 mixed with water.

Some ingredients for a high protein treat mix which will keep chickens healthy and happy during times when they need it most.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 keeps their digestive tract healthy.

So I like to keep in stock a simple probiotic supplement specially formulated for chickens (affiliate link) - the one I recommend is non-GMO. 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.

Chickens running for a high protein treat - it's a great way to keep your flock healthy and happy during times when their systems need a boost. Find out more here.My chickens would fall over each other to get to this high protein treat first!

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.
  • 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!
platter will keep your flock healthy in the hardest of winters, or during the worst of moults. And the recipe uses items you're likely to have in your store cupboard!
  • 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.

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.

What do chickens eat at different ages and in different seasons? Find out, here.
Pumpkins for chickens - link.
Want some healthy, inexpensive treats for your hens? Click here for a sprouting seed recipe.
Frozen treats to keep your flock cool in summer - link.
Want healthy treats for your chickens? Click here to get my favourites.
Electrolytes for chickens - what they are and how to make them. Link.

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Thank you for sharing the chicken love! 

Link to Raising Happy Chickens home page.