During the colder months, it's essential that we learn how to adjust our chicken's diets to make sure they get the nutrients they need to stay warm and healthy. Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily loves making fun and easy recipes to give her gals the eggstra boost of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals for winter. Here, you can learn to make Lisa's Energy bites in minutes, filled with her flock's favorite foods.
Prepping the Natural Ingredients for Your Flock
One of the many beauties of this recipe is that you can easily make it your own using the healthy ingredients that you have on hand in your kitchen. For Lisa and her flock, her go-to ingredients include oats, dried black soldier fly grubs, sea kelp and black oil sunflower seeds. Simply mix them together, put a pinch of your favorite herbs, add in some melted coconut oil, let them harden in ice cube trays, and you've got a delicious, healthy winter snack for your flock. Not only will you supplement their diet with essential nutrients for winter, they will also generate heat as they move around, scratching and pecking for their snack.
Step 1: Mix together the below ingredients in a large bowl.
1 Cup Whole Grain Oats
1 Cup Dried Black Soldier Fly Grubs
1 Cup Unsalted nuts
1 Cup Organic Coop Kelp
1 Cup Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Step 2: Add a pinch of dried marigold or rose petals*
*You can use your choice of dried herbs. See below for the full list of winter supplements
Step 3: Add 1 cup of melted coconut oil and stir to combine, making sure all of the nuts and seeds are covered.
Step 4: Spoon or pour your ingredients into silicone ice cube trays and chill until firm. Grab a few cubes for your flock to enjoy and save the rest for another day!
Watch and Learn from Lisa
To learn helpful tips when making your flock's Energy Bites, follow along with Lisa as she makes her recipe. Plus, you'll learn why she loves to include these healthy ingredients to benefit her flock.
For Extra Cold Days, Add These Winter Supplements for Your Flock
Winter supplements can be used to help prevent or treat specific issues that may be present during the winter. Supplements should be used with a specific reason in mind and a full understanding of what benefit the supplement will provide for your flock.
The best winter natural supplements are the ones that stimulate circulation, boost the immune system, and enhance the digestive functions.
Cold weather will suppress circulation in a chicken’s body. Supplements that stimulate circulation will help prevent frostbite and ensure proper blood flow throughout the chicken’s body.The immune system is also usually suppressed during the winter as well. Energy sources will be put towards staying warm instead of being used to build up antibodies against disease and illness. Supplements that boost the immune system will help your flock ward off disease, parasites, and illness.
Lastly, the digestive system is often taxed and sometimes compromised during the winter. Supplements that aid with digestion will help your flock get the maximum nutrition from what they eat which will also provide more energy to help them stay warm.
Here are some healthy winter supplements to add to your flock’s diet, which you can add to your flock's Grubblies Energy Bites:
Ground ginger- circulation stimulator
Ground turmeric- immune booster
Cooked elderberries- immune booster, respiratory aid
Crushed garlic- immune booster, promotes overall good health
Ground cinnamon- immune booster, digestive aid
Apple cider vinegar- digestive aid
Probiotics- digestive aid
Supplements that address specific issues should be offered during the time of need. For example, if it is extremely cold out, circulation will be reduced so you should provide circulation stimulating supplements during that time. Other supplements that promote overall good health or help prevent winter time issues should only be offered on occasion, such as once a week. Crushed garlic is a great supplement to offer on a weekly basis. Probiotics are best offered when your flock may be experiencing some cold stress. Ground ginger is great to sprinkle on warm feed or treats to stimulate circulation on cold days. Apple cider vinegar helps the digestive system metabolize grains better, so it is helpful when your flock is consuming a mostly grain-based diet. You can learn how to adjust your flock's diet for winter here.