Healthy Snacks for Chickens – Popcorn on a Winters Day

It’s cold out today on the homestead. A good arctic blast from the Canadian Fraser River Valley, sending it’s icy tentacles down to Washington State.

I woke up to 19* this morning, and last night it snowed all across the south end of Whidbey Island.

Snow and dreary days on the homestead mean the chickens need some snacks to pick them up.

As the sun had set last night.

Once dawn came up at just before 8 am, the chickens were not enthralled about going outside. I can’t blame them. They are mostly huddling together in the 2 coops in piles of wood shavings. We had to melt water for them, made sure they had lots of dry food. We left the chickens in their caged run today. Normally, they have free access to free range from sun up to sun down. However, I could see coyote tracks going right by the run, in the snow.

Later this morning, I brought them out a favorite treat.

Which is plain popcorn. They love it so much as a tasty treat that is healthy and high in fiber.

The secret is air popping in the microwave.

For each brown lunch bag, I add in a ¼ cup popcorn, fold the bag over, and microwave using the popcorn setting on our microwave. Ours runs for 3:30 minutes. I do listen for it to stop popping, pull early if it slows down.

I then shake it into a bowl, tap the bowl for kernels to settle, then hand scoop the popcorn out. I discard any kernels that didn’t pop. I do about 3 bags for our birds.

The bags are compostable, burnable and recyclable, as no oil is used.

Then I go shake the popcorn out on the dry ground. Since the ground is deeply frozen, no issues today.

Only give your birds plain popcorn. No butter, oil or salt. They don’t need that. But otherwise, popcorn is a healthy treat for chickens. Do remove the kernels that don’t pop. Chickens can choke potentially on them.