Chubby Mealworms wants to invite you to their chicken celebration party! It’s May, and it is the month that we show our appreciation for these beautiful birds. People and chickens have been intermingling for thousands of years. May 4 th is International Respect for Chickens Day – but the entire month is dedicated to these exceptional birds.
Here are a few ways you can say “thank you” to your chickens:
1. Chubby Mealworms knows that chickens love treats. Pamper your flock by using mealworms as a special snack. Chickens are omnivores and they munch on a variety of foods from plants to fruit. They scratch through leaf litter and under brush to scare up some insects. Offer them the mealworms as a breakfast treat. When you open their door in the morning toss some mealworms for the birds. The next morning will find your feathered friends anticipating a repeat breakfast.
Consistency is important to help the birds understand their routine. The chickens will be really looking forward to your arrival and this is an ideal way to build your bond with them.
- 2. Planting a garden that’s for the birds is fun and easy. Chickens love gardens and by planting several gardens, you lessen the risk of the birds over working a single patch. Chickens adore and crave variety. The secret to having a garden with chickens to have several gardens! These birds love to be out farming so break out the rake and shovel and get everybody working. Gardening for chickens is like an exciting walk in the dog park for your pup.
Working the land with your favorite-feathered assistants is hard to beat. Remember to facilitate the birds’ abilities to really boost your growing power.
Behavior note: Chickens are verge and jungle birds. They naturally gravitate to spots that offer food and protection. This is great news, since we plant our tender vegetables in the open – spots that chickens will avoid. Simply fence off the plants when they are sprouting, so passing chooks won’t grab a snack. Once the plants are standing tall, they will not be of interest to the flock.
- 3. Oenophiles will take heed. Construct a mini vineyard for your chickens. They won’t be pressing wine, but they will be enjoying the weaving grapevines and the juicy grapes. Grapes offer the same perks as raspberries and blueberries, they are hotspots for safety and food. Digging a vineyard is easier than you would think as grapes are generally very hardy – most varieties are well suited to waste ground and difficult terrors. But these plants won’t turn their leaves up to good soil either!
Skip the course in horticulture and visit your local nursery for a few sprigs of grapes. Southern chicken gardens will be looking to scuppernongs and table varieties (like they grow in sunny CA). Northern folks will want to dig in a row of Concords. These are the famous grapes that put the term “grape flavor” in the juices and jams we love. Get bubbly and plant some tiny champagne varieties. Their small size is just right for beaks!
Train the grapes like the pros by stringing a wire between two tall poles. Tie the vines to the string and watch them grow. You will want to let the grapes grow a bit more luxuriously than they do in crop vineyards. Your chickens need that twisty cover.
Plant your vines adjacent to fence lines (chicken wire is perfect) and let the plants do their thing. Reinforce chicken wire with added brace poles, as the vines get heavy and they will “walk” down the wire.
- 4. There are so many ways we can add fun and joy to our birds’ daily endeavors. But at the end of the hard run of digging, eating, laying and bathing …its time to come home to roost. Chickens will fill their tank before bedtime. They need to have a full crop for the long night of snoozing. This is a good time to prepare a goodnight snack for your best buddies. These birds love the same foods we do, and they require the same sensible diets too. Limit sweet treats and bread to rare occasions (sounds familiar!).
- Offer a plate of fruits like chopped apples, watermelons, cantaloupe, berries and cherries.
- A cup of plain yogurt is a welcome snack. Vegan yogurt is great too. Don’t feed the fruit flavored ones – they contain too much sugar.
- Unsweetened cereals are a delicious supper. They like milk or vegan milk with their cereal. And surprisingly, chickens actually can digest dairy.
- Add a few pieces of vegan cheese or dairy cheese. Cheese is relished by the birds, but feed it sparingly as a really wonderful snack.
- Limit processed foods like vegan meat products. Chickens love protein, but they do not need that much. You can feed cooked human meat products in small amounts. Too much protein is not good for the birds. It can cause inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Chickens love to steal cat and dog food. Don’t let them eat too much of that. Fido and Fluffy will thank you.
- Pasta and corn are great supper items. They are fattening, so as with everything else that tastes good – feed with caution. Chickens absolutely love corn-on-the-cob. Set some cobs out for a wonderful summer treat.
Chickens give us unconditional joy, boundless affection and companionship. They share their wisdom with us and they teach that compassion is the root to a perfect life. Chickens bring us peace, they show us that we will always have a place with them in their special flock – greet those open wings and hug your birds! Let’s celebrate chickens.
Tell us what chickens have brought into your life! Let’s get clucking’.