Wow! This winter has been some kind of crazy! It's way too cold! Y'all bundle up out there!
We're fighting a serious case of winter boredom around here - with our chickens that is. They are plucking each other's feathers out, just because it's something to do. Not a good thing when temperatures are dropping so.
I thought I would try my hand at making a boredom buster 'Flock Block'. It is the perfect way to entertain your chickens while providing them with some wholesome winter nutrition. And it's super easy to do! No need to spend $15 or more. Make it yourself. Save money, and know exactly what your feeding to your flock.
- 2 cups Scratch Grains (This helps boost their metabolism and keep them warm.)
- 1 cup Layer Feed (I used pellets.)
- 1 cup Old Fashioned or Quick Oats (I used Quick Oats.)
- 3/4 cup Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (High in protein - to help grow back those missing feathers)
- 1/2 cup Cornmeal
- 1/4 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Raisins, Dried Cherries, etc. (This time, I used a mix of Raisins, Cherries, and Cranberries.)
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon (Multiple health benefits)
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (De-worming properties)
- 4 Eggs, beaten and shells finely crushed
- 1/2 cup Blackstrap Molasses (High in calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (Coconut oil is best, but you can use corn or vegetable oil if you don't have any.)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray two 8 inch cake pans with cooking oil.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl, then pour into the large bowl. Using a spoon, mix everything together until well coated.
- Press half of the mixture into each baking pan. Smooth it as flat as possible. Use the back of a wooden spoon to create a small hole near the edge of your 'cake', for hanging. (see picture) The hole is not necessary if using with a swinging treat holder.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then remove to cool. Once completely cooled, remove the block by inverting the pan. It may be helpful to run a knife around the edges first.
Placement is easy. Either run a piece of twine (or small rope) through the hole, and hang your 'better than Flock Block' in your run. Or, place it in a swinging treat holder for your chickens to enjoy!
The convenient size of these blocks also make them easy to store. Just pop the second one in a gallon zipper bag until ready to use. Place it into the freezer for extended storage.
The kitties seem to like it too... lol
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