Protein-rich snacks are essential for molting chickens, especially if you do not wish to switch their feed.
Rather than choosing a “treat” that should be using sparingly, provide a healthy snack to supplement your molting chickens’ diet. Black Soldier Fly grubs (Grubblies) are both high in protein, and have 50x more calcium than mealworms.
Give your flock a couple of handfuls of Grubblies daily to help provide them with a healthy boost they need. Grubs are a reliable source of the essential proteins that promote healthy feather production, and are especially important when molting. A daily boost of protein from Grubblies (32% guaranteed analysis) helps speed up the molting process, which will help your chickens grow new beautiful feathers and help them regain normal levels of energy and egg output.
While it’s more natural for your chickens to forage for protein-packed grubs (and other insects like they would get in nature), you can still try other healthy snacks like cooked meats, peas, and cooked beans. Do not give your chickens raw beans. Some beans in their uncooked form are toxic!
In addition to healthy snacks, you can also supplement with some treats, such as sunflower seeds, unsalted nuts, flax seeds, or sesame seeds. While your chickens may love the nuts and seeds, please give them sparingly because these treats contain large amounts of fat. For example, sunflower seeds (depending on the type) contain approximately 18% to 21% protein and 46% to 51% in total fats.
While all chickens need dietary fat in their diet to help the processing and absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, there’s a limit to how much fat they need. Laying hens should not have more than 4% fat in their total diet. Too much fat could lead to obesity and complications like fatty liver disease.
For this reason, it’s important to distinguish between healthy snacks versus treats:
- Snacks are things they can have more often and frequently, like Grubblies.
- Treats are things they can have in moderation, like nuts and seeds (high in fat).