It has been a long warm Summer, my Chickens have benefited from the extra daylight and we have all enjoyed the additional eggs that the Summer months always bring. There is nothing I like more than sitting out with the girls until late at night whist they roam around the garden till dusk. As the nights draw in and the girls are heading to the coop earlier in the evening each day, what can we do to keep them in tip top health?
You've spent all Summer enjoying the sight of those shiny feathers then one day, out pops your Chicken and it almost looks oven ready! It's not a great look and in reality, it is not a great time to be loosing feathers as the colder weather approaches. Feathers are 85% protein therefor it is important to supplement their diet with extra protein at this time of year. Dried Mealworms are 53% protein and an great way to feed your Chickens the extra protein. Mealworms are also a firm favorite with most flocks.
Seeds are another great source of protein and I like to mix my Chubby Mealworms with Pumpkin and Sunflower seed. Pumpkin Seeds are 20% protein and packed with vitamins and minerals to boost your Chickens diet.
I often worry about my girls spending so many hours in the coop during the colder, darker months. I worry this could cause them stress and unhappiness. Additional vitamins can not only keep the healthy but promote overall well being, Pumpkin Seeds are also a great source of zinc which is beneficial to maintaining a healthy appetite which can often take a hit during the colder month. A well fed bird will be healthier, happier and as the cold days approach, warmer too.
When Chickens experience molting they often stop laying as they put all their protein power into growing new feather. Supplementing their diet at this time can help them get back to champion layers in no time. Sunflower seeds are high in magnesium and Vitamin B-6. Magnesium is beneficial in keeping up egg production and keeping those shells strong.
I also like to feed my Chickens fruit as a great little afternoon treat. I tend to harvest Berries and apples and freeze them ensuring I have a plentiful supply to take me through until next year. So if you can, get out in your local area and see if you can forage for some fruit! Now is the time to do it. As with my own diet I like the idea of the Chickens eating lots of fruit and vegetables to keep them in tip top condition.