Can Chickens Eat Honey?

Can Chickens Eat Honey?



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I’ll never forget the time my Aunt Betsy’s prize-winning chickens got into her honey stores and made a sticky mess bigger than a kindergarten finger painting project.

After cleaning up the chicken coop, I got to thinking – can chickens actually eat honey, or will it make them sick?

Well, I did some research and found that honey can be a sweet treat for chickens in moderation.

The Benefits of Honey for Chickens

Can Chickens Eat Honey?

Turns out, honey has some great health properties that can really benefit your flock.

Here’s why you might want to share a bit of honey with your chickens:

The sugars in honey give chickens an extra burst of energy, like a healthy version of chicken caffeine!

Honey contains anti-microbial compounds that can help fight bacteria and germs that cause illness.

It can coat and soothe an irritated throat and respiratory tract when chickens have a cold.

The nutrients and antioxidants in honey promote overall chicken health from comb to claws.

It also aids digestion and helps food move smoothly through a chicken’s gastrointestinal tract.

One time my hen Henny had a bad case of sour crop, but the vet suggested a bit of honey to balance out her gut flora.

It worked like a charm and now she’s back to laying her delicious eggs!

How Much Honey for Chickens?

Can Chickens Eat Honey?

Moderation is key when feeding honey to chickens.

About 1 teaspoon per chicken, 2-3 times per week is plenty.

Too much honey can lead to obesity, diarrhea, parasites, and other health issues since it is high in sugar.

Honey should be an occasional treat, not a main diet item.

I learned this the hard way when I gave my chickens a whole jar of honey!

Let’s just say the chicken poop situation was not pretty afterwards – you could say it was a chicken keeper’s nightmare.

So I keep the honey jar locked up and stick to just a taste here and there.

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Tips for Feeding Honey to Chickens

Can Chickens Eat Honey?

When sharing honey with your flock, keep these tips in mind:

Mix honey with plain yogurt or oats so it’s not just thick, sticky sugar.

Offer it in the morning for an energizing breakfast treat.

Always provide plenty of clean, fresh water as well to stay hydrated.

Store honey jars out of reach of clever chickens who may sneak more than their share.

Watch closely for signs of diarrhea or ill effects if offering too much.

Start with just a half teaspoon per chicken to gauge their reaction.

Try rubbing some on their wattles and combs as an easy way to serve it.

I like to drizzle honey on my girls’ scratch grains or yogurt treats.

They go nuts clucking and pecking up every last drop!

Well, that’s the sweet scoop on honey for chickens from this chicken keeper.

Give your flock a taste of this golden nectar in moderation as a healthy, yummy treat.

Yes, chickens can eat honey in small amounts as an occasional treat. The benefits are great, but moderation is key to prevent issues.

Using Honey for Chicken Health Issues

Honey has natural antibacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties that can boost chicken immunity and help treat certain health conditions.

It can be used to help chickens recover from respiratory infections due to its ability to coat and soothe irritated throats.

Try mixing a teaspoon of honey into your chicken’s water a few times a week if they have a cough or runny nose.

For chickens with eye issues like conjunctivitis, honey eye drops can provide soothing relief and healing components.

To make them, dilute 1 teaspoon honey in 1 cup boiled, cooled water and use an eyedropper to apply 2-3 drops to the affected eye 2-3 times per day.

Honey also contains enzymes that aid digestion, so it can help chickens with gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, constipation and sour crop.

Stir 1/4 teaspoon into yogurt or wet mash to provide digestive-boosting benefits.

The antioxidants in honey support liver health and may help chickens recover from illnesses more quickly.

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Try a half teaspoon in water once a day for chickens recuperating from sickness.

Honey’s anti-fungal properties may also help treat common chicken issues like thrush, scaly leg mites and fungal infections.

For topical treatment, make a honey poultice by mixing 2 parts honey with 1 part cornstarch and apply to affected areas twice a day.

Using Honey to Treat Chicken Wounds

Honey has natural wound-healing and pain-relieving abilities, making it great for minor chicken injuries.

Its anti-microbial properties prevent infection while providing a protective barrier over wounds.

Honey helps tissues regenerate and contains enzymes that aid in cleaning wounds.

For cuts or scrapes, gently wash the area and apply a thin layer of pure honey, repeating 1-2 times per day.

To make a honey wound spray, mix 1 cup water with 1/4 cup honey and put in a spray bottle.

Spritz over wounds twice daily to provide antiseptic benefits.

For pecking wounds, dilute honey with a bit of water and gently dab it on injured areas after cleaning.

Check that wounds are healing well and not becoming infected.

I once used honey when my rooster Rusty got a bad scrape on his comb after a scuffle.

The honey helped it heal up nicely without any complications.

Using Honey to Control Pest Infestations

Honey can be used to help control certain external chicken parasites and pests.

For mite infestations, make a honey spray by mixing 1 cup water, 1/4 cup honey, and 10 drops tea tree oil.

Spray chickens affected by mites weekly, focusing on their legs, vents and under wings.

The honey smothers mites while the tea tree oil kills them.

Honey traps are an easy way to control ants and reduce ants in the coop or run.

Simply mix 1 part honey with 1 part borax and place in shallow lids around pest areas.

Ants eat the mix, bring it back to the colony, and the borax kills them off.

Refresh traps every few days until ant activity subsides.

You can also spread a line of petroleum jelly mixed with honey at coop entry points to deter ants.

Feeding Honey to Baby Chicks

Newly hatched chicks can benefit from small amounts of honey for an energy boost.

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Honey’s nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants support growth and development.

For the first week, mix a pinch of honey into chick starter feed or sprinkle on top to encourage pecking.

After the first week, try stirring 1/4 teaspoon honey into each quart of water once or twice per week.

The honey helps stimulate appetite and digestive health in delicate chicks.

Always mix honey with water so chicks don’t get sticky.

Watch for signs of diarrhea, as too much can cause tummy troubles.

I found my chicks loved nibbling honey-dipped chick treats!

Just dip the corner of treats in honey and let them peck away.

It satisfies their curious nibbling instinct and gives them a healthy honey dose.

How to Make DIY Honey Grit Treats

You can easily make homemade honey chicken treats with just a few simple ingredients.

Here’s an easy recipe for honey grit clusters your chickens will love:

Melt 1/4 cup coconut oil and mix with 1/4 cup honey, 2 cups mixed grains like oats and corn, and 1/3 cup dried mealworms.

Stir until evenly coated then form into small clusters on a baking sheet.

Refrigerate until set, then store in a sealed container.

This makes a nutritious energy-boosting treat you can hand feed or scatter in their run.

You can substitute in other grains, seeds, chopped herbs or dried treats to customize the recipe.

Try a honey peanut butter no-bake treat by mixing 1/2 cup peanut butter with 1/4 cup honey and 1 cup crushed scratch grains or oats.

Scoop tablespoon sizes and refrigerate until firm.

Honey molasses bars are easy too – just combine 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup honey and pour over 2 1/2 cups oats mixed with 1/2 cup seeds in a baking pan.

Bake at 300F for 20 minutes, cool, cut into bars and store in a sealed container. Your chickens will thank you!

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Dream of a waddling flock of feathered friends in your own backyard?

Then stop dreaming and start hatching a plan, people!

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