November 3, 2015
What do Chickens Like to Eat? Corn Cob Treats of Course!
Leftover corn cobs from Halloween and Thanksgiving don’t need to be thrown away. You may wonder can chickens eat corn cobs? Yes they can. They can be used to make a nutrient rich activity treat. This treat is high in protein that will help to keep them active and warm through the colder months and fight boredom if they need to be confined.
- Dried corn cobs (Field corn or Indian corn with or without the husks.)
- Peanut butter or any nut butter
- Molasses or honey (optional)
- Chicken feed or a mixture of seeds and grains
- Dried herbs. (Suitable herbs: Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Marjoram.)
- Dried pumpkin or squash seeds
- Dried flower petals (Suitable Flower Petals: Marigold, Calendula, Rose, Violets, Clover.)
- Knife or rubber spatula
- Cooking tray
1. Pull back the husks and remove the silk from the corn.
2. Wrap the twine around the joint where the husk and cob connect.
3. Allow the cobs to dry.
4. Spread peanut butter, or other nut butter, onto the dried cob.
5. Roll in the chicken feed or a mixture of grains and seeds.
6. Now the cob is ready to hang. You can make up several cobs and freeze them to use later.
You may wonder can chickens eat pumpkin seeds and guts? Yes, they can. You can save the seeds when you’re carving pumpkins or making pies so you have them year round. You can also add some meat, fruit, vegetables and seeds that you’ve dehydrated, for a nourishing treat that will keep your backyard chickens active if you hang it in their run. This solves the two issues at once, what to feed chickens and how to stave boredom. To hang the cob, either drill a hole through at one end and fasten with twine, or wrap twine tightly around one end. (Drill the hole first and insert the twine or wrap the twine securely around and tie off before spreading with the nut butter.) Store them in the freezer to serve up at any time the chickens are bored and need some activity.
One note of caution; do not reuse the cobs if these have been placed on the ground or fallen to the ground in the chicken run. This will help prevent the spread of illness and disease. In addition, if there are any illnesses within your flock, do not reuse the cobs in the event they are infected with the pathogens.
There’s really no need to measure the ingredients. I just took a couple handfuls of feed, a pinch or two of herbs and flower petals, a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds and mixed it all together. Then I poured the mixture onto a cooking sheet and rolled the peanut butter coated cobs in the mixture. I made sure to press down to fully cover and seal the mixture into the nut butter.
If you’re using the molasses or honey, mix it thoroughly with the peanut butter, then spread on the cobs. A ratio of 2-1 works fine.
Cobs that you have already eaten from will also work just fine. Allow them to dry, then wrap the twine around one end and proceed as above.
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