Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Barnyard Boredom - Buster Blocks

Have bored chickens?

...... Then make them some Barnyard Boredom-Buster Blocks!!
I like to make these feed blocks for my chickens in late fall and winter when bugs and green grass is in short supply. The typical morning feeding goes kinda like this, kids feed chickens and guineas, chickens and guineas gobble up all the food and are left wandering around about an hour later. And since our chickens are completely free range chickens, they tend to migrate toward my porch and sidewalk ! I love our fresh eggs we get and the benefits of having free range chickens ( we only found 3 ticks on us this year compared to last years count of 20 plus ticks  and 4 cases of Lyme's disease!) But I don't like the droppings that get left on my sidewalk and porch!! Yuck! So I came up with my own recipe for these feed blocks that use basic, low cost ingredients!

I started with a mixture of grains:
(This is a large batch, feel free to cut it in half)
10 cups scratch grains and cracked corn mixture
1 cup cornmeal
2 cups rice
2 cups barley
4 cups oats
5 cups flour

Place bowl in sink (things are gonna get messy!), and start to add water. I didn't not measure the water, I just kept filling it in and stirring grain mixture at the same time. Occasionally shut off water and stir thoroughly to see if all of mixture is moistened. You will want the mixture to have a thick consistency like that of mashed potatoes. If you added too much water, just bake the blocks a little longer.

Grease pans or line with foil. I wish I would have used foil, I had a hard time getting a few of the blocks out. 

Bake at 375° for about 2 hours. 
The longer the better. You want the blocks to get dried out. 
Shut the oven off and allow blocks to cool in oven. These could be made in the evening time and just left in oven to cool overnight.

Now here's the fun part!

They were a little hesitant at first....

" what's this?!"

The guineas quickly took charge!

"This looks yummy!"

The cat even came to see what all the commotion was about!

Everyone was involved now!!

I had to break up the block into pieces because kitty wasn't giving up her share!

So if you have chickens or guineas, then give these a try! Its a lot of fun watching them dig in and it keeps them of your porch and sidewalk. We put the feed blocks quite a distance from the house to encourage them to free range else where! 

You can use any assortment of grains also. 
Let me know if you have tried these and what your chickens thought of em!!

Have a wonderful day!


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