I grew up with lots of pets, we made them a part of our family – even celebrating the dogs’ birthdays with cakes made in my Easy Bake Oven! So it shouldn’t be any surprise that after our latest chicken drama, I came up with some treat ideas for our flock to cut down on boredom.
The flock block I got the girls was a big hit – after they got over being afraid of it of course. They had it pecked to crumbles in a matter of days, then in a few more days the crumbles were gone. They were so obsessed with the block – they weren’t eating it as they pecked. They were determined to reduce it to nothing once they realized their pecking wore away at the big block. I loved the block because it meant I didn’t need to remember to give them enough scratch each day.
We’re reaching the bottom of our first 50lb sack of scratch, so I decided to start weighing our options. Buy another bag, or keep getting flock blocks? Cost wise, we should buy another bag – it’s cheaper and lasted us about eight months. The flock block lasted only a week, but it definitely gave the girls entertainment. Thriftiness won out, and I decided just to get another bag of scratch… but then a light turned on while browsing Pinterest. I came across bird seed ornaments! I could make those with scratch – even better, I could make my own scratch block!
After some research and posting over at BYC… I came up with a game plan and made my purchases. I used this silicone mini loaf pan to make my mini flock blocks, and unflavored gelatin — mix with the scratch, and you’re good to go! Easy peasy!
If you have a larger flock – you could use larger pans. I would stay away from being tempted to hang the scratch cakes like bird seed ornaments – chickens are notorious for getting themselves into trouble, and I’ve heard many a story about chickens eating twine or getting caught up in it. You could use a large metal chain instead of twine or rope, like with parrot toys, that would be mostly chicken proof!
My plan is to give the girls two mini-loaf blocks every few days, however often it takes for them to eat up all the scratch while still not being too much for their diet. When I gave the girls the first two blocks this morning, they went nuts! The blocks were pecked to bits by the afternoon! I guess I do need to invest in some larger pans, maybe even this silicone bunt pan, or give them a block in the morning and a block in the afternoon.
These blocks will be a great project to do with the kids — make a large batch with multiple pans and stock up! Just be careful to only give the chickens their regular allotment, and to not let the blocks get wet — they’ll come apart.