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We’ve had chickens for a few months now, and so far only 2 of our girls are regularly laying for us. In the meantime, I’ve been researching what herbs and ingredients are best to feed your laying hens to get the best nutrients out of our eggs and came up with this concoction!
We scatter 2-3 handfuls of this chicken scratch mixture to our 17 chickens every day. They are SUPER friendly and will even eat out of my 1-year old’s hands. It’s fun to watch them pick through what they want and know that we’re nourishing their bodies so that their eggs can nourish OUR bodies — it’s like the saying goes, “you are what your food eats…” except I guess it would be something more like, “you are what your hens eat.” 😉
Anyway, here are the ingredients! I typically find organic versions of these at Costco, but I’ve linked similar ones from amazon here in this post for easy shopping…
Oats – source of protein, vitamins and antioxidants
Dried Mealworms – source of protein, boosts immunity
Black Oil Sunflower Seeds – contain methionine (an important amino acid), vitamin E, and magnesium, good for metabolism
Cayenne or Red Pepper Flakes – natural dewormer, speeds up metabolism, keeps body warm to promote winter laying
Garlic Powder – dewormer, antioxidant, boosts immune system
Cinnamon – antioxidant, respiratory & immune system booster
Basil – respiratory & immune system booster, can also be placed in nesting boxes or dust bath to deter bugs
Oregano – antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, boosts immune system, can also be used in nesting boxes or dust bath
Lavender – antibacterial, improves blood circulation, calming, repels flies when used in nesting boxes or dust bath
Crushed Egg Shells – an easy source of calcium instead of oyster shells *for layers only; it can hurt the kidneys of hens that are not yet laying. *also do NOT feed egg shells from hens other than your own.
Apple Cider Vinegar (1 tbsp per gallon of water) – acts as a natural dewormer, immune booster, and balances pH levels which aids in digestion. It also helps prevent algae in your water container.
The directions are pretty simple, as I don’t use measurements. Fill a bucket, container, or bag with equal parts oats, mealworms and sunflower seeds, then spread a thick layer of each herb/spice on top. Shake it all together, and there you go! I typically find most of these ingredients at costco, but I’ve linked them all here through amazon for easy shopping. I hope your hens enjoy their yummy treats.
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