Saturday, October 30, 2010

Making your own flock block

I think my chickens are spoiled. I give them lots of treats, mostly left overs from the kitchen. Things like cantaloupe rinds, watermelon, pretty much any fruit and veggies and yogurt....oh how the ladies love yogurt. But lately I've been thinking about winter and how to keep them happy and full of energy (and warmth) when the temps get low. I thought about suet cakes, you know those gross lard bird seed cakes that are made for song birds? I got a few and the girls love them and devoured them in minutes flat but I"m not sure about all the pure animal fat. I might only offer them on the coldest of the cold days. For the other days I decided to make them a "flock block". This is a solid block of food, things like seed, scratch and honey baked into a rock hard block. It makes the chickens work for their food, thus keeping them entertained when they are cooped up (which my girls are 24/7...too many dogs around these parts).

So yesterday I grabbed everything I could find and dumped it into a homemade flock block. I used 2 cups bird seed, 1 cup scratch, 1 cup black oil sunflower seeds, 1 cup oats, half a cup maltomeal, half a cup flax seeds (a good way to get Omega 3's into your eggs BTW), a piece of water soaked bread, quarter cup molasses, quarter cup honey, half a cup olive oil, two eggs (crushed shell and all), a spoonful of peanut butter and a diced up apple. I mixed this all up in a bowl and them smushed it into a well greased round 9 inch pan. I put a shot glass in the middle so I'd have a hole to hang it in the coop. Then I baked it in a 275 degree oven for 2 hours. It made the house smell lovely, kind of like baking bread. It turned out ok, not solid was crumbly. The next one will have a little flour to help bind it together and maybe some applesauce to make it more moist.

I figure as long as the laydies are giving me eggs every day the least I can do is cook for them.

I got these three yesterday. The Araucana's are laying their signature aqua green eggs.

The Wyandotte gals enjoyed the block. It was gone in 15 minutes.

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