Wintertime is finally here. It’s drab outside, it’s windy, it’s cold. To prevent the winter blues from getting to my chickens, I decided to make them a flock block substitute. They’re really easy to make, more nutritious and are more cost effective than the flock blocks you can buy in the store. You can make them out of virtually anything you have in your pantry. I figured, if I can make it then why should I buy it?
Flock blocks give the chickens something to do when there’s not as much to forage for in the run. It contains high energy foods which keeps their body temperature up when the weather outside gets pretty chilly. It promotes healthy pecking and keeps them from getting bored during the colder months. And it’s just another way to spoil them.
Here’s the recipe that I used:
2 cups of oatmeal
1 handful of dried cranberries
1 cup of mild molasses
3 eggs (shells included)
1 handful of chicken scratch
1 handful of layer feed
Mix well. Place in a greased pan (I used a loaf pan, although you could use a cake pan or even muffin tins to make individual flock blocks). Press the mixture down so that it all sticks together firmly. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or until it’s lightly brown and rubbery to the touch. Let it cool a bit before taking it out of the pan and feeding to your flock! I fed the flock block to them when it was still semi-warm because it’s so God-awful cold outside. But you can also let it sit out a day or two before giving it to them. This way, the block will harden up and will make them peck at it for a longer period of time.
What’s great about flock block is that you can make it out of just about anything. You can add in birdseed, grits, millet, applesauce, old bread, sunflowers, peanut butter, corn meal, or any kind of leftovers you may have. Chickens are like little organic garbage disposals. Very, very cute garbage disposals.