~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, an anti-inflammatory, has natural cooling properties and acts to lower the body temperature of humans and animals by drawing body heat to the skin surface and also inducing perspiration.
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!
Need an ice cube tray ? Here's the one I use:
Click HERE for more tips on keeping your chickens cool this summer.