Today’s post is by Colleen of Five Little Homesteaders. Her blog is a treasure-trove of homesteading info, so be sure to click over there when you are done reading this post! Colleen also generously allowed me to include this recipe in my Natural Homestead ebook as well.
Raising chickens is one of my favorite parts of homesteading.
I never could have imagined the different personalities that each of my “ladies” would have and how much I would enjoy them!
I try to take care of them as well as I can and that means keeping my chickens happy and healthy. Recently I’ve been trying to counteract a bit of a feather picking problem with two of my oldest hens. I’m upping their protein but I think part of the problem may be boredom.
I began researching this topic and learned that one great way to prevent boredom and cannibalism is to give them something fun and interesting to peck at – enter the flock block!
Basically a flock block is a big, hard brick of a chicken’s favorite treats. You can purchase different varieties (like this one), but I was having trouble locating them at my local feed stores and didn’t want to pay to have one shipped to me. So, what’s a chicken-loving girl to do? Well, a flock block substitute herself, of course!
DIY Flock Block® Substitute
- 2 cups scratch grains, or any mix of whole grains that you have hanging around
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup raisins or cranberries
- 1/2 cup crushed eggshells or oyster shell
- 4 eggs + shells, crushed
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, tallow, or lard
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl (including the crushed egg shells).
3. Mix the eggs, molasses and coconut oil in a separate bowl.
5. Pour your mixture into a greased pan. You can be creative here. I chose to split mine between an 8×8 metal pan and a round 8″ cake pan. You can also use a loaf pan or something larger and deeper. It depends on what you have on hand and how many chickens you are expecting to share the block.
7. Allow to cool completely and then serve to your chickens.
Interested in more recipes for DIY chicken treats, homemade chicken feed, non-toxic coop cleaners, herbal supplements, and lots of tips for raising a natural flock? Grab my brand new digital book, Natural Homestead: 40+ Recipes for Natural Critters & Crops
More Chicken Articles:
- Raising Meat Chickens
- Beginner’s Guide to Chicken Coops
- How to Build a Chicken Run
- How to Butcher a Chicken
- Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe