Spicy chook warmer for Winter + a place to bathe in the dust

in HiveGarden4 months ago

Winter's around the corner, though you'd never believe it today. The Sun's out and there is a lovely warm breeze warming the house.

I thought I'd share with you another of my tricks for helping our girls make it through the cold - a spicy drink.

Well, it's not really a drink, it's more an additive to their diet that goes in their drink and another for their food. It's also a great way to use up old spices - that pack of Cayenne has been in the cupboard since 2013!


I make a tea of Turmeric, Cayenne and Ginger that gets added to the water container that leads to their water outlet. Our water container is one of those 11 litre spring water containers, inverted and with the base removed. It feeds into a cup waterer. The recipe is then for 10 litres of water. It should scale well.

Our chook waterer.

It's a simple brew that is as follows -

  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • a small pinch of Murray River Salt or Himalayan Sea Salt

Other optional spices are black pepper and mustard. I suppose that even curry powder could be used - anything warming.

Mix this in boiling water and allow to stand until cool, then filter the sludge out and add the brew to the water container. The sludge left can go into soup for you!

There's a lot of sludge, so filter well. A coffee filter is great for this purpose.

When you have added it to the water container, you should just be able to taste a bit of a bite in a sample. I've found that much more and they don't like to drink it. I've also tried adding Garlic powder but they didn't like that (though they will eat Garlic granules mixed in with their feed).

You can also add Cayenne or Chili flakes or powder to their grain. I've found 2 teaspoonfuls to 10kg of feed is fine. You can add Garlic granules there too and they'll happily munch on that.

Below is a pic of another addition to the chook run. I've made up a covered dust bath for them. The run is mostly open at the top and because we don't let the chooks out to ravage the garden at the moment because we've just planted, they need a little somewhere dry and fun. It also gives them the chance to perch atop it for a bit of variety.

The girls aren't sure at the moment...

It's made of an old builder's tray that I had that had a small hole in it, some offcuts of from polycarbonate roof sheets (I knew I'd find a use for them and here it is 5 years later since the original sheets were used). It's braced by some offcuts of 19mm polypipe that were hanging around too. A real DIY job!

The girls won't go into it at the moment - it's too new for them. I'll throw some food in, on and around it for a couple of days and they'll be fine. Like me and Athena, our stomachs always win! Then I'll add the sand.





I got excited because I have old spices on the rack as well, probably same vintage as yours lol. But then realized they are for chickens, not plants, haha!

So do your chickens lay less eggs in winter?

They do lay but only one of ours lays any more anyway. Hopefully this spicy brew will keep her going all winter.

Its good to have some healthy drinks for the winter.
Thank yoy for sharing your recipe with us

No worries! I hope your chooks enjoy it.