Latest Event Updates
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I am so thankful where my life has taken me this past year. I am thankful for my two amazing boys. I am thankful for my almost perfect husband. I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful to have a job that allows me to stay home with my family. I’m thankful that my small town allows chickens! I’m thankful that I own a home on a large lot of land that I am able to play on. And I am thankful for YOU!
We finally have a chance of snow this week. Since this will be my first winter having the girls, I’m afraid of them getting bored and pecking each other when it’s too cold to be out and about. I’ve been seeing these DIY Flock Block style chicken block recipes floating around the internet. Most of these recipes make a block that you hang. The theory is that it gives the chickens something to do so that they don’t get bored and hurt on each other.
Unfortunately, my coop is a little small to hang a large block and there is really no way to hang anything from the ceiling. My solution? Make my own DIY flock block type homemade chicken treats; only make them smaller sized balls rather than large blocks. This way the girls can chase them around their coop or outside when the snow melts.
I created my homemade chicken treats using own recipe using other recipes I’ve seen as inspiration. I used what I had on hand though. As a matter-of-fact, I didn’t put this ingredient in the recipe, but I did have about a tablespoon or so of homemade raspberry jam that I added in. The girls absolutely love raspberries! So if you don’t have exactly what is on the ingredient list when trying these DIY flock block styling treats, just adding what you have and what you know your chickens like.
Featherbee Farm’s Bore No More Balls
Homemade Chicken Treats
2 cups organic chicken crumble
2 cups organic chicken scratch
1 cup steel cut oats
1 cup steel cut oats-cooked in 1 cup water
2 TBS. chia seeds
2 TBS. wheat germ
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 egg shells (crushed)
1 apple (finely diced)
2 TBS. apple cider vinegar (with mother)
2 TBS. Molasses
1 TBS. oil (to grease pan with)
Heat oven to 425 degree.
Grease a large pan with oil.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Grab a large handful of the ingredients and pack tightly to create a ball. Place on pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until they look dry.
Watch your chickens go from bored…
To bored no more!
If you haven’t liked Featherbee Farm’s Facebook page yet, hope on over and click the ‘Like’ button. I’m just 19 Likes away from giving away this Tshirt to a lucky fan!
Happy Halloween Ya’ll! And if you don’t celebrate Halloween…Happy Thursday!
Since autumn has made an appearance I have noticed a lot more little starling birds around the chicken coop. I guess food is a lot less abundant elsewhere this time of year and they have figured out where to find the girls’ food.
The chicken’s yard was built with fencing that has larger openings than chicken wire, so the little birds can fly right through. I keep their food inside of the coop, but need to leave the coop door open because their nesting boxes are in there. So the birds fly right in and help themselves.
The other day I went out to check on the animals and I swear a hundred birds flew out of their yard. I had to do something. I know birds carry diseases and I don’t want to put my precious angels at risk, so I decided to build a scarecrow.
I had four feed bags lying around that I had been saving for a project. I figured they might work better than burlap since they would be pretty weather-proof. I used them for the head, hat, body and skirt. I had an old fake leather (that more resembled rubber than leather) jacket hanging in the back of the closet, so I ripped the lining out of it to make it weather-proof as well. I stuffed the head and body with hay.
I’m not one to do anything the ‘plain’ way, so I made a cute girl scarecrow to watch over the hens.
I don’t have proof that she is good at her job, but I have noticed fewer birds hanging around the coop while I’m out there!
As soon as I get a few more feed bags saved up, I think I’ll make her a boyfriend. I’ll do a tutorial for a DIY scarecrow as I create him!
Every year my youngest son raises pumpkins. At the end of the season, he harvests them and sets up a little stand on main street of our little town and sells the fruits of his labor. This year he me promise to make him a homemade pumpkin pie with one of his pumpkins. So, being the amazing mother that I am (wink, wink), I roasted a couple of pumpkins and pureed them to turn into a spectacular pumpkin pie or two (and maybe a loaf of pumpkin bread…yum). Now, I hear that you are supposed to use sugar pumpkins for pumpkin puree, but I think that he just grows regular ole field pumpkins. I just choose smaller pumpkins. They seem to have less stringy guts than the bigger ones and they turn out fine. Here is my recipe for roasted and spiced pumpkin puree.
Roasted Spiced Pumpkin Puree
1- 2 to 3 pound pumpkin
2- TBS. butter
2- TBS. brown sugar
2- TBS. white sugar
2- tsp. cinnamon
1- tsp. nutmeg
2- tsp. molasses
1/2- tsp. salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash pumpkin and dry thoroughly.
Slice off top of pumpkin and discard. Cut pumpkin in half.
Scrape the insides out of the pumpkin.
Turn pumpkin over and poke several holes in the skin with a fork.
Dot inside of each half with 1 TBS. butter.
Divide the rest of the ingredients in half and distribute evenly over each pumpkin half.
Bake for 1.5 hours or until a knife easily slides through flesh.
Take pumpkins out of oven and let rest until cool to touch.
Pour the juice into a large bowl. With a large spoon, scoop flesh into the bowl.
Puree pulp and liquid in batches until completely smooth.
I got about 6 cups of pulp puree at this stage.
Sit a sieve or strainer lined with cheesecloth or paper towels on top of a large bowl.
Spoon pulp mixture into sieve or strainer. Fold cheesecloth over pulp or add more paper towels.
Top with a plate to add weight to puree. This will help extract more liquid from the pulp.
Place in refrigerator and let drain for an hour or two.
This is what your pulp should look like after it has drained.
Discard liquid and divide pulp into two cup portions in either freezer bags or sealable bowls.
After the pulp has drained I ended up with 2-2 cup portions.
Use pulp within a couple of days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Look for my pumpkin pie filling recipe soon!
I had a friend come for a coffee date this morning and wanted to make something special to snack on while we enjoyed our espresso and good gossip.
I decided to whip up a jar of my grandma’s old fashioned raspberry refrigerator jam. Now, I’m all about canning, but sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to make an entire batch of jam. This recipe makes the perfect jar full of beautiful gem colored raspberry jam, so you can keep it in your fridge and don’t have to worry about the canning process.
This stuff is seriously addictive. It’s not only delicious, it is super easy to make, it gels perfectly and doesn’t require pectin.
Just a Jar of Old Fashioned Raspberry Jam
12 oz. (1 1/2 cups) Fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 TBS lemon juice
Dump raspberries in a med. sized pot
Turn heat on med. low and mash with a potato masher or fork.
Raise heat to med. high and bring to a rapid boil.
(make sure that it’s still bubbling when being stirred or it’s not boiling hard enough)
Once mixture has reached a rapid boil, stir constantly for two minutes.
Remove from heat.
Remove foam from top of mixture with a spoon and discard.
Return to heat and bring to rapid boil a second time.
Boil mixture and stir constantly for two more minutes.
Remove from heat.
Remove the rest of the foam from the top of the mixture and discard.
Pour mixture into a jar and let set. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
NOTE: I poured mine into a smaller jelly jar and had about a half-cup left over.
I let the rest cool until almost gelled and poured into a freezer safe container and put in the freezer.