Fun, creative, healthy treats can help beat the winter blahs and alleviate boredom in your run. Besides being easy to make, edible garlands keep your chickens busy during the winter when they are confined to the coop or run without much to entertain them.
Last December, I spent an entire afternoon stringing popcorn, grapes, cranberries, raisins and walnuts into edible garlands for the chickens. Never again.
Now don't get me wrong. They absolutely LOVED the garlands and they looked so pretty - for all of four seconds before they demolished them. But it took me FOREVER to make them, the popcorn kept breaking and the walnuts were hard to string.
So this year I decided to go bigger and less labor-intensive. I upgraded to hard-boiled eggs, radishes, cranberries and Brussels sprouts. The radishes were only $1.29 a bunch (I bought two), the cranberries were from the freezer, left over from Thanksgiving, and I had a whole basket of eggs that I needed to cook up anyway, so this ended up being a very economical treat.
My only concern was that the chickens had never tried either radishes or Brussels sprouts before, but surprisingly they happily munched on everything all afternoon, and nothing but a few half-eaten Brussels sprouts were left by dark.
It only took a few minutes to string three long garlands after I had the eggs cooked. [Tip: steam your fresh eggs instead of boiling them and they will peel perfectly every time.]
I used a sturdy cotton string and embroidery needle to string the garlands. To make stringing the radishes and Brussels sprouts easier, I drilled a small hole through the center with a small drill bit and then used pliers to pull the needle all the way through.
The garlands were a big hit, as you can see!
(I made sure to remove the strings as soon as the chickens had finished eating the vegetables to be safe.)
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