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April 21, 2011

Live and Active Cultures

Oyster Cracker, Sunshine and Dolly enjoy their yogurt.

The girls love yogurt!  It had been a little while since they had some and they were so happy when I arrived with two bowls filled with plain organic yogurt.  As I called out to them to announce my arrival, they knew.  They saw this time that I was carrying two bowls and that could only mean that yogurt was on its way.  The energy at the door was frantic.  Oyster Cracker pushed her way through and got the first taste even before I could place the bowls on the ground.  Usually, I bring two bowls.  Each filled halfway, to ensure that even those on the lowest of the pecking order get to enjoy this delicious treat.

I love watching the chickens as they eat the yogurt.  I think this is as much of a treat for me as it is for the flock.  Yogurt eating is a messy endeavor.  Be prepared for lots of yogurt flinging and feathers dotted with white yummy goodness.  When they do come up for air between bites, their beaks are dipped in gooey yogurt.  If only they had longer tongues.


Coming up for air
I have always felt that yogurt is beneficial to my flock for a number of reasons.  Although some folks say that it causes their chickens to have loose stools, I myself, have never witnessed it.  In fact, I have seen the opposite.  I find that my chickens are happier when they have the yogurt.  It brings calcium and probiotics to their gastrointestinal system.  It helps to maintain and promote the balance of normal bacteria that live in the gut. Did you also know that the University of Florida, believes that feeding milk based products to your flock can help prevent egg eating by the chickens?

This morning the three broody girls were in the boxes, as usual, before the yogurt arrived.  Feathers saw it first and darted out of her box.  The other two soon followed.  They came running when they saw the yogurt.   You know they love it if it can break the broody spells over three of my chickens.  If you do decide to try yogurt with your flock, I recommend only serving plain unflavored yogurt with live and active cultures.  It might just be their next favorite treat.

Closely guarding one of the bowls


9 comments:

  1. I had a good laugh reading this! The hens sound so cute and comical. I'm expecting my first layers next week, and will definitely give them yogurt. The rule seems to be, if it's good for us, it's good for the chickens :-)

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  2. Oh, I am so excited for you! You are going to just love chickens. They are so therapeutic and will keep you entertained for hours!

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  3. Okay, I'm going to have to give yogurt a try again. I stopped because of the yogurt flinging. And the fact that my girls would literally walk right up to me and wipe their beaks off on my pants. I'm sure that's just their way of saying thank you.

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  4. Too funny Flock Mistress! I imagine they are giving you a big thank you to say the least!

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  5. I've been known to make homemade yogurt for my chickens. They really love it! I've never experienced loose stools in mine either, but I only feed it as a treat and not regularly. But really, anything other that feed should be considered a treat, right? Not that my chickens would agree!

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  6. Wow! How terrific! I would love to learn how...someday :0

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  7. Hello, I just found your site and have learned so much. I have 2 week old chicks, are they old enough for yogurt?
    THANK YOU...off to browse your site some more.

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    1. Hi Christina! Yogurt is high in calcium and growing chickens should not have too much as it can interfere with their development. I would suggest waiting until they are at least laying eggs. They do make a probiotic powder that could be added once a week to their food/water supply according to the package's directions.

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  8. Tilly,
    I have 2 two year old and 3 11 week old and I gave them some and they loved it. I was wondering how often you give it to them is it a daily thing or monthly. Please help.

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Thank you so much for your comments. I love hearing from you!