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It has been a long, cold winter on the homestead this year for our chickens. Today the temperature is moderate, so I put together a treat for our girls. We do provide some heat for them during the coldest days below zero, but it still isn’t exactly chicken nirvana out there, I suspect. Our winter treats for hens include a lot of fresh stuff: any treats like apple cores, bananas (no peels!), rice, old bread, leftover salad greens, shrimp husks, etc. I also occasionally just dump 3-4 cans of corn kernels in there, or a bag of frozen corn that has thawed in the fridge. Cheap, and they love it. (Check out this post by Fresh Eggs Daily for more ideas on keeping your flock winter healthy.)

Today they were able to get out and about in the run, so I thought I would give them a nice surprise, and something to keep them occupied. Here is what I put together for them:

Winter Treat For Hens

Whenever I cook a turkey, I save the plastic netting…it’s perfect for hanging this lard treat for the birds. Onion bag netting works well, or you can just put it on a plate or in a bowl in the run.


These are really complicated directions, folks, so pay attention. Put the lard in a large bowl. Add the corn and mealworm treats, the kernel corn, and any other ingredients you like…enough so that the whole mess holds together. Pat into a ball, put it in the netting, close and tie at the top with a long piece of twine. Hang this in the coop, and voila! Chicken heaven.

Healthy winter treats for chickens

This is a great winter treat for hens, and our girls really enjoy it. Not only is it delicious and healthy for them, but they LOVE when it swings back and forth. And happy chickens means yummy eggs!

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