These frozen yogurt treats are easy to make and they are a fun, healthy treat for your chickens on a hot summer day!
During the warm summer, we all enjoy a nice cold treat! Frozen yogurt (aka “froyo”) is one of my favorite healthy treats to have on a hot day! But it wasn’t until recently that I realized my chickens would also enjoy this fun treat!
Since we have milk goats, we have tons of milk all summer long! I use it to make all sorts of yummy creations including a variety of cheeses, kefir, and yogurt. Making your own yogurt, especially from goat milk, can be a bit tricky. It requires heating the milk to 180oF and holding it near that temp for at least 20 minutes. You then quickly cool it in an ice bath to 110oF. Once it’s cooled, you add a culture (taken from your previous batch of yogurt) and some powdered milk if desired to help thicken the yogurt. It’s then incubated around 110oF for about 8-12 hours while it ferments. It’s then chilled for another 8-10 hours before eating.
While this may sound complicated, it’s actually a fairly easy process. It is, however, time-consuming! This is why I use an electric yogurt maker which takes care of the fermentation and the cooling of the yogurt for me. I just have to heat the milk, cool it, add the culture and powdered milk then set it in the machine which takes care of the rest. It’s a big time saver!
While making your own yogurt can be time-consuming, it is a great way to affordably produce healthy, high-quality yogurt in large amounts – especially if you have access to lots of milk! We make several batches of yogurt each week! We eat it fresh, use it in smoothies or make our own frozen yogurt by mixing it with honey and berries or fruit and then freeze it.
Recently, I had a batch of yogurt that didn’t thicken very well. I decided to use it to make frozen yogurt treats for our dogs. They loved them so much that I decided to try some for the chickens too. And, no surprise, the chickens loved them! They are super easy to make and a great way to give your chickens a fun (and super healthy!) treat on a hot summer day!
Benefits of Yogurt:
We all know yogurt is a healthy food full of probiotics. In the same way that it helps humans maintain healthy gut flora, it can also help our chickens! Just remember that milk does contain natural sugars which can be hard for chickens to break down, so it’s best to feed it only as a treat. Also, many store-bought yogurts have sugar and artificial flavors. For your chickens, it’s best to stick with plain, unsweetened yogurt if you can’t make your own.
How to Make Frozen Yogurt Treats for Your Chickens:
Making frozen yogurt treats for your chickens is easy! You can use store-bought yogurt (plain, unsweetened and unflavored) or use homemade yogurt like I do.
To make plain yogurt treats, just spoon some yogurt into ice cube molds, silicone molds or muffin tin. Once the yogurt is in the molds, place it in the freezer overnight. The next day, you can remove the yogurt treats from the molds. Store them in the freezer in an air-tight container or zipping bag until you are ready to use them.
Ingredients to add to your chicken’s frozen yogurt treats:
If you want to dress up your plain yogurt treats, you can add some fun and delicious ingredients to them that are safe and healthy for chickens. You can do this by simply mixing in the additional ingredients before spooning the yogurt into the molds.
Here are some good, healthy ingredients that your chickens will love:
- Watermelon pieces
- Freeze-dried mealworms or crickets
- Apple pieces
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Pureed Pumpkin
- Chopped greens
- Chopped veggies like carrots, broccoli, zucchini and peas
- Banana pieces
- Unsalted nuts
- Herbs such as ginger, oregano, mint or garlic