A frozen chicken treat to keep your flock cool in the heat.

No, I'm not talking about a chicken salad - I'm talking about a salad treat for chickens!

Chickens' summer frozen treat. Pin for later.

Did you know that poultry don't do well in the heat?

They're great at regulating their temperatures in the coldest of cold weathers. Of course - they have a feather duvet to help!

But that doesn't work well when the temperatures soar in the summer. It's at that time that your flock relies on you to help them keep their body temperature at an acceptable level.

There are various ways of doing this, and one of the simplest and most effective is to feed them frozen treats.

Of course, with the glut of summer fruit and veg, it's possible to freeze more or less anything chickens love to eat.

But freezing them separately can be a pain, and they do get bored if they're fed the same food time after time.

This very simple recipe for a frozen chicken treat is the ultimate answer.

It uses up fruit and veg which you may not want to use for human salads for one reason or another - for example, I often use zucchini which have bolted and are fairly tasteless, or windfall apples showing signs of worm infestation (because, of course, that's a chicken's idea of heaven!).

So it's very inexpensive, yet healthy for your hens.

It take just a few minutes to prepare, it's easy to freeze and, as well as keeping your flock cool and hydrated, it gives them some fun.

What do you need?

Very little.

Any kind of large-ish tin. Don't use small containers like muffin pans - the treats will melt too quickly.

I use loaf tins and jelly (jello in the US) moulds, although my all-time favourite (and, I'm sure, my chickens' favourite) which has a myriad of uses is this bundt tin - worth its weight in gold. (This is an affiliate link, which means I get a small commission at no cost to you if you buy something when you click it).

Bundt pan with vegetables ready to be made into a frozen salad treat for my chickens.My Bundt pan has lots of uses, including my frozen salad chicken treat.

When I make high protein treats with it in winter, I can hang them through the hole in the middle.

I never hang these frozen treats, though. My chickens are hot enough - they don't need to get their temperatures any higher by jumping for treats!

What ingredients are in a frozen chicken treat?

More or less anything you have to hand. 

The idea is to keep your flock hydrated, as well as cool, so choose mostly ingredients which have a high water content.

I use fruit and veg I have in my store cupboard or fridge which I don't want to use for our own meals.

So for example, tomatoes which have gone too soft for my liking (I like a nice firm tomato in my own salads!); cucumbers which are a bit too dried out; any fruit from the orchard which has fallen and been lying on the ground a little too long...

I then add in anything other treats I have available. Sometimes I add frozen peas, in this case I threw in a tin of unsalted sweetcorn which made for a pretty coloured treat...

A frozen veggie treat for chickens including some sweetcorn.

To create a bit of variety I also add random things like ground up egg shell, if I happen to have some in my kitchen container, or chopped up hard boiled egg (and no, it doesn't make them more likely to want to eat their own eggs!), or a few mealworms...

It's not gross – I don't use the tins for our own cooking!

What not to use...

I never use any ingredients which have gone off, have mould spores or anything that's just downright bad for my flock. You can find an article about things that chickens should definitely not eat, by clicking on this link.

How to make it.

It's not rocket science...

  • Put the ingredients into the pan. Mix them up a bit so you get a nice colour combination (I'm sure my chickens appreciate that).
  • Top up nearly to the top of the tin with water.
  • Freeze.
  • When it's frozen, hold the pan upside down under cold running water for a few seconds and you'll feel the frozen treat begin to come away.
  • And then - feed to your flock!

What do the chickens think of their frozen treat?

The proof of the pudding (or in this case, the frozen salad) is, as they say, in the eating...

My hens eating their frozen treat.Some of my flock tucking into one of their frozen salad treats in the heat of an Italian summer.

I always feed it in the shade. In very hot weather I'll give at least two of these treats each day, one in the late morning and another early afternoon.

The chickens not only love to peck at the ice block, they enjoy standing in the cold water as it melts.

And that's it!

That's all there is to it. As I say, it's not rocket science!

Sometimes, to ring the changes, I'll make an all fruit block, sometimes I make different shapes...

A frozen salad treat for chickens on a hot summer's day.Ring the changes with an oblong frozen treat! This one's made in a bread tin.

...but to be honest, I don't think my chickens really care. As long as there are tasty summer treats in there, they're good.

My flock of chickens enjoying a frozen treat.My chickens line up to get to their welcome frozen treat!

If you enjoyed reading this article, you may like these.

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Thumbnail chicken care summer, T2.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion in chickens - link.
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Can chickens eat watermelon? Link to article.
Grandpa's automatic feeder review - link.
What do chickens eat? Link.
Grit and oyster shell for chickens - link.
Raising chickens in August: 20 tips for a healthy flock. Link.
Link to Raising Happy Chickens home page.