Get Your Winter Blah's Granola for Chicken's Recipe
HomeAcre Blog Hop #88
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Yeah, yeah, I know: Live for now. Don't stress about the future. Yet, how can I ignore the cold when I'm (privately on my property. Shh, don't tell anyone) wearing mittens and long johns in early September? The upcoming cold also made me realize that this year I have another responsibility (6 to be exact) : The Girls.
No library book or online site was left unread when it came to keeping chickens warm & alive during winter. My homesteading partner (being the intuitive country boy he is, dammit) said the following sentence so many times this month that it has become a mantra: NO CHICKENS IN THE BASEMENT.
Pfft, I'd never do that said I innocently. But dang it, he wont forget the summer day we had a tornado warning and I had a dog crate all set up to transport the girls into the basement if it was ready to hit. But look at this face. Could I let a twister take her, or any of the girls, away? >
(Okay, Sunny was just a chick in this pic, but that's what I see every time I look at them) Besides, not only are they adorable, they put out eggs faithfully, some so big I don't know how they push em out.
Alright, so to deal with the early onset of winter blues, I decided to dive in and devise ways to ensure the girls and I are as comfortable as possible when the white stuff hits. The most important factors: Food & Warmth of course. I went into what my homesteading partner calls squirrel mode. I gather all necessary items, bake em, can em. or freeze em, so in case we get snowed in, we would be all set for 3 months.
Accompanied by LOUD music such as Albannach, or classic 80's rock, five ton of stove pellets were stacked, a home made chicken coop water heater was made, a full cupboard of canned goods was stored, an almost full chest freezer of veggies were shoved into,(Thanks gardens!) meats, dairy,coffee (never run out gasp!) eggs (Thanks girls!) ,baked goods (Thanks prolific zucchini plants!) etc......Oh, and jugs of water. (You need water to make coffee and wash down all that zucchini bread)
I think we're almost all set. Once I get a batch of new wool socks, and the turkeys are 'processed' (uh huh, nice way of saying butchered) the freezer will be full. We'll really be set.
In addition to prepping food and heat, I adapted online chicken treat recipes and came up one that will help perk up the girls on those bitter cold days. I pretty much observed what they loved most, and threw it in the mix. It can be adapted to your chickens taste buds (do they have taste buds?) I baked them, cut them into small cakes and froze them, making sure to label PROPERLY so someone doesn't mistake them for people food. (Sorry homesteading partner...thought the meal worms poking out of those muffins would have alerted you to what they were...)
Here's to a longggg happy fall, short and mild winter (trying to be positive see!)
May's Winter Blah's Granola for Chicken's Recipe
2 cups cracked corn
1 cup ground flax seed
2 cups oats
2 cups feed pellets
1 cup sunflower seeds (I used my own from the garden. Pain to harvest but free)
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup crushed egg shells (oyster shell if you have. I'm too cheap to buy that)
6 eggs (bake the shells & use em for another batch)
1 cup molasses
1 cup suet (after a run through a food processor. Some recipes use shortening)
1 cup chickens favorite greens (broccoli leaves, kale, spinach...)
Mix dry & wet separately, then blend together.
Press down in cake pans or loaf pans.
325 degrees, 30 minutes.
Let cool totally (like all day) before cutting.
Put in suet feeders or just crumble and toss to hens.
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