Monday, June 4, 2012

Frozen Ice Cube Treats for Chickens - Mint Helps Beat the Heat


~a refreshing batch of frozen mint ice cube treats~

Fresh clean water is the most important thing you can provide your flock - especially in the summer.  Eggs contain mostly water and keeping your chickens hydrated not only is crucial to their health but assures good egg production.  But why not get creative and make some ice cube treats for your flock?



Even better than cool water in the summer is water with a block of ice in it.


And even better than that is frozen mint ice pops!


Mint has natural cooling properties and acts to lower the body temperature of humans and animals. 


 There's a very good reason that the mint julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby (click HERE for the official recipe!) and a popular summer drink all over the South.
~photo courtesy kentuckyderby.com~

Keeping that in mind, I created these fun frozen ice pops for the chickens to enjoy in the heat of the summer.  

Here's how I make them:

I use covered individual freezer cube containers called Pesto Cubes (they are great for freezing individual servings of pesto too!) but any regular ice cube tray will work just fine.  Start by cutting some fresh mint leaves into each cube.  The ducks' favorite is mint and peas so then I add some frozen peas to each compartment.


Then fill with water and freeze.

Another variation that the chickens especially like uses fresh mint and chopped strawberry tops.


You can even freeze a string into each cube and then hang them in the run once they are frozen. That's what I did with this batch of Maine blueberry/mint ice pops.



Once the cubes are frozen, pop them out and serve immediately!  At first your chickens will view them skeptically, as they tend to do with any new treat, but they will soon dig right in and enjoy pecking away at the ice to get to the treats frozen inside, all the while staying cool on a hot summer day. 


Try experimenting with other fruits and vegetables to see what your chickens like best. Just be sure to always include the naturally cooling fresh mint leaves.  Lemon balm is also part of the mint family and can be used in place of the mint if you wish.


Even the ducks get in on the fun!

video

Need an ice cube tray ? Here's the one I use:



Click HERE for more tips on keeping your chickens cool this summer.



28 comments:

  1. I love how you make everything so pretty for your animals! Another great idea to pin and try out!

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    1. I love pretty things - what can I say ! Thanks for reading, pinning and spoiling your chickens !

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  2. I love it! I'm going to make some tonight with corn and peas from my freezer (veggie ones) and watermelon and mint ones!
    Great Idea! Love it!!! http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sunny-Side-Up-Coops/234738163293821

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    1. You know, I've never tried watermelon but I am SURE it would be a big hit.

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    2. We just take a blemished or over-ripe melon, chill it and then break it into the chicken yard. They love it!

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    3. Ours love cold watermelon and cantaloupe for sure ! These ice cubes are a nice accompaniment also.

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  3. Love this idea. I have thought ice cubes before but not ice cubes with goodies inside.

    @ 3Beeze Homestead

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    1. Oh you're chickens are in for a treat ! You could try spinach, raspberries, even mealworms !

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  4. I have these silicone ice cube trays and just planted a large pot of herbs and mint. I also raise my own meal worms: )Can't wait to try this, Thanks!

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  5. Fun and Functional! Gonna try it out!

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  6. I've bookmarked this for future reference. Thank you, Lisa!

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  7. They have been a huge sucuess. Even the Rabbits and bunnies love them,

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  8. I also use all my various sized muffin tins to make ice cubes for the girls and even for parties. Great way to make ice cubes with lemon, orange and lime too.

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  9. Wow - those mint ice cubes look good enough for people consumption! I have been looking for something cool and refreshing for my shade deprived pen during those times I cannot let my chickies free range. Your treats inspire me to come up with ideas I can use. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Amazing Idea!!! I cannot wait to try this for my girls.

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  11. I just wanted to let you know that I featured this article in my "Weekend Pics - 6/8/12" post. I loved this idea and actually tried it! My hens absolutely LOVED these cool treats! Thanks for sharing!

    rebeccashearthandhome-proverbs31heart.blogspot.com/2012/06/weekend-picks-6812.html

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    1. Thanks so much ! My hens love them too and I love how versatile they are - you can toss in any combination of fruits or veggies.

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  12. Can I use chocolate mint in place of regular mint?

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    1. Hi yes ! Chocolate mint, orange mint, spearmint, wintergreen, even lemon balm which is in the mint family will help lower body temperatures.

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  13. Nice ideas for keeping poultry cool in summer
    :P

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  14. I have peacocks and tried the fruit-in-a-cube - they LOVE it! Dawn in AZ

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  15. I absolutely love your blog and this is a fantastic idea. Now I know what to do with all of my mint in my garden and keep my chickens cool!

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  16. This is a fantastic idea and I had no idea that mint lowered ones body temperature... we will have to try this with our chickens for sure! Thanks

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  17. Great tip! I bet my "girls" would love these special treats!

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  18. Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas and info. on our chickens! I can't wait to try this out. Have mint growing in ABUNDANCE and now I know what to do with it!

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Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily
www.facebook.com/FreshEggsDaily