Once Upon A Little Farm

A Glimpse Into Our Country Life

Homemade Flock Block

The other day the kids and I were perusing through Country Max and the Flock Blocks caught my eye.  Basically it’s a big square block of grains, seeds, feed, etc, all “glued” together with something sticky and desirable to chickens (and perhaps turkeys, guinea hens and other poultry).

I loved the concept as even my free range gals tend to succumb to a little boredom and get on each others nerves (and feathers).  So the story usually goes, money is tight and allows for the monthly feed order, but not chicken treats!  Needless to say,  at around $12.00, I didn’t bring one home with us.

However, I got to thinking (it usually scares my hubby when I get to thinking) and then I got to Googling (that’s a word, right?).  I found a number of folks who have made their own flock blocks.
So I took a little info from one, some advice from another,  ingredients lists from here and there and yielded to some tips suggested by a few and set out to make my own (with help from my kids, of course). I had all of the ingredients on hand.

Note: Homemade flock blocks will typically be smaller than those big honking ones in your local farm supply store – taking on the shape of whatever pan you choose to use.

Here’s how we went about it….

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Ingredients:
4 cups scratch grains
2 cups layer crumbs
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup flax seeds
1/2  cup wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
6 eggs plus their shells
1 cup molasses
1 cup coconut oil,  melted
1 banana
1/2 to 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a BIG bowl.

Peel and slice the banana,  add to the bowl. Toss in the cranberries.

Crack the eggs on top of the mixture, saving the shells.

I divided the shells up into two smaller bowls and gave each of my kids a plastic cup, which they used the bottom of to crush up the eggshells.  When they are fairly pulverized, add into the mix.

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Pour the molasses and coconut oil over the top.  Mix well with a spoon or your hands.

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Next, press the mixture evenly into the pans you have selected.

I used 3 greased loaf pans, each filled about 2/3 full. You can use any pan you wish. Remember the thicker you make them,  the longer they need to bake.

At this time,  you may use a chopstick, bamboo skewer, etc to put a hole in the block if you want to hang the finished product up for your chickens.  I skipped this part and just laid the blocks in old shallow baking pans for easy removal (saving some of the treat for another day). The other advantage to placing the flock blocks in pans or on cookie sheets is that there isn’t any waste if the block crumbles.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Remember, thicker blocks are fine, but should be baked longer.

Turn off the oven, but leave the pans in there to cool.  Hours later, after blocks are completely cool, run a knife along edge and remove.  Trying this before they have cooled completely will most likely result in broken flock blocks.

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Either thread a string through and hang up for your flock, or place in shallow pans/trays and watch just how much they enjoy this treat!

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I placed all of mine out around 10:00 am (we have about 60 hens, so all three blocks at once is necessary) and at 4:00 pm there was half if one and maybe a third of another. So I collected them up and will put out again in a few days. My gals are free range, so they have other things to do (like lay their eggs in nooks and crannies all over the farm).  If yours are cooped up, they may devour the block(s) pronto.

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