Winter can mean that your chickens are shut up inside for long periods of time depending on where you live. At the very least, greens and bugs are at a minimum. Boredom can lead to picking and other bad behavior, so I like to make edible garlands for my flock to keep them busy and occupied.
In the past I have used popcorn, grapes, walnuts and raisins, but this year I went BIG with radishes, Brussels sprouts and hard-boiled eggs. [Hint: steam your eggs and they will peel perfectly every time!] I had a bowl of eggs that needed to be used, so this was the perfect time to string some garlands.
To make assembly a bit easier, I drilled a hole through the vegetables first using a small drill bit. Then using sturdy twine and an embroidery needle, I strung three garlands in no time.
This was my chickens first time trying either Brussels sprouts or radishes. I wasn't sure how they would like them, but after they polished off the cranberries and hard-boiled eggs, they dove right into the vegetables. Both types of vegetables, being relatively hard, took the chickens quite a bit of time to slowly peck at, so this turned into an afternoon project for them!
Our rooster was so funny. He always makes a sort of throaty noise when I bring the chickens what he considers 'good' treats, but this was so new and exciting, he sort of hopped back and forth, clucking away! He was beside himself with excitement!
Healthy and inexpensive, this is one treat that I will be making for our chickens often. I hope you will try your hand at making some edible garlands for your flock also. Other ideas are cucumber slices, beets or apple slices. Just be sure to tie the strings securely and then remove them when the garlands have been eaten for safety sake.
Get into the holiday spirit with some edible garlands! More than just fun to make, they make a healthy, inexpensive treat that can help cure the winter blahs.
Join me on Facebook at Fresh Eggs Daily for tips, tricks and advice to raising happy, healthy hens as naturally as possible.