Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Flock Block Knock Off - Homemade Chicken Boredom Buster Winter Treat



Usually on the cutting edge of backyard chicken keeping (ha!), I feel like we're a bit late to the party this time.  It seems there's a growing trend of making your own Flock Blocks and all the other chicken bloggers are all over that. You know, the Flock Block, the ubiquitous boredom-busting solid block of seeds and grains to help keep your chickens busy? (Just search Pinterest for Flock Block Substitute to see what I mean.) 

So anyway, I decided to try my hand at making my own.  After reading through a whole bunch of recipes on Google and Pinterest and taking stock of what I had on hand, this is my version of the Flock Block Knock Off (try saying that three times fast!)



Bored chickens can be prone to pecking at each other and bullying.  Boredom can set in with the lack of bugs and weeds to search for. During the winter, chickens benefit from added energy and warmth.  This Flock Block Knock Off satisfies all these needs and should help keep peace in your run.

Here's what you need-

2 Cups scratch grains (a commercial or homemade mix of cracked corn, oats, barley & other mixed grains)
1 Cup layer feed
1 Cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 Cup sunflower seeds (I happened to have unshelled sunflower seed/safflower seed mix so I  used that)
1/4 Cup wheat germ
1/4 Cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 eggs
1/2 Cup Blackstrap molasses
1/2 Cup coconut oil, liquified

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix well. Pat into several small baking dishes or casseroles, so your blocks are approximately 2" thick. I used four 6" round cake pans, and would probably only use three the next time to make slightly thicker blocks. (Optional, use a chopstick make a hole in each block so you can hang them in the run.)

Bake for 30 minutes, then cool completely. Run a knife around the inside rim of each pan and invert to remove the block. Serve to a flock of very happy girls.

Leftovers can be refrigerated or wrapped in foil and frozen and then defrosted as needed.

-Mix dry ingredients-
-Add wet ingredients-
-Pat into baking pans-
-Poke a hole in each block-
-Bake, cool and hang in your run-


-Or serve up in a dish on the ground-

Annie in action enjoying the Flock Block Knockoff

Source for Coconut Oil (affiliate link)



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28 comments:

  1. How long did it last? I've been wanting to make some of these but I keep reading that they don't really bust boredom for more than 10 minutes :/ Also curious about why you added the cayenne pepper? Thanks :)

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    1. Well I haven't done any 'scientific' research, but I put one out for my 6 girls at about 4pm yesterday. It was dark by maybe 6ish? And when I went down to lock them up, about 1/2 was gone. I put it back out this morning for them. The sunflower seeds slow them down a bit! I would also make only 3 instead of 4 so they are a bit thicker I think next time.

      The cayenne helps warm them up in cold weather.

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    2. Thanks! I was wondering how long it would last too. It might last longer if it's hung up in the run. I tried filling a suet container once with scratch grain/peanut butter "cookies," and hung that from the top of the run. Every time they'd peck at it, it would spin around in circles, making it difficult to eat it as quickly. It was pretty funny to watch, actually!

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  2. This looks like a great idea....my girls are already bored and it has just started snowing this morning. I better fire up the oven!

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  3. Mine love the blocks from the store so I will FOR SURE be doing this. Especially, when a good old Minnesota winter is just around the corner!

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    1. I'm thinking I would double or triple the recipe and just keep a stash in the freezer and take them out and 'defrost' them as needed.

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  4. Thanks for the flock block recipe. I received my fresh eggs daily book on Friday in the mail and I love it!! Tons of awesome info and a great reference!! Thank you again!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh I'm so happy to hear that Kimberly. I would love if you had a moment and wanted to leave a review on amazon.

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    2. Sure thing just go to amazon and complete a review?

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    3. Yes if you wouldn't mind. Here's the link:
      http://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Eggs-Daily-Chickens-Naturally/product-reviews/0985562250/ref=dp_db_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

      Delete
    4. Wonderful thank you so much! It is very much appreciated.

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  5. Good recipe! I've seen some that use gelatin as a binder...

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  6. Where do you get Coconut oil? Could you substitute something else? Great idea, just yesterday I made "suet" bird blocks using "crisco" seeds and nuts.....must be the season.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I should have included a link. I buy mine here. I have started using it in our cooking as well because they're finding it has amazing health benefits:
      http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Way-Coconut-Oil-Ounce/dp/B003B3OOPA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383751406&sr=8-1&keywords=coconut+oil

      Delete
  7. Great recipe! Thanks for researching and posting it!

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  8. I made some the other day and split it into two 9" round cake pans and it stuck horribly in the pans! Do you take it out when it is slightly warm yet? I waited until completely cool. Maybe baked it too long? Will try greasing pan and reduce baking time. They did love it though. :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh so sorry. No I waited until it was cooled and then ran a butter knife around the edges and banged the pan on the counter and they fell right out. You for sure could grease the pan....good thing they don't mind broken pieces!

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  9. can bacon/sausage lard be used for this?

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    Replies
    1. Sure, but you do want to limit the salt in their diet, but a little but isn't going to kill them.

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  10. I got a bag of the fruit & N berry sunflower seed mix to use in it instead of just sunflower seeds

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  11. into mine for each block I added 1/4 cup of powdered egg shells ( I ground my shells with a coffee grinder) and I found a use for my small cheesecake pans thats what i'm using to bake them in also ran out of mollases on my last 3 blocks and needed 1/2 cup still so I used pure honey in them

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    Replies
    1. Sure that works! Sounds great - post a photo on Facebook when you finish them! Honey has some great health benefits too so its a good substitution!

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  12. I used Oilve oil. It's all I had. Is that bad?

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Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily
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