Cold Climate Mash

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Northern Flights, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Northern Flights

    Northern Flights Chirping

    58
    78
    63
    May 6, 2018
    Cariboo Country BC
    I figgered I'd post a recipe of what I come up with fer my hens when the temps drop. Mine often get it daily. Feeds 4 unruly hens, twice.

    1/4lb cooked and finely chopped turkey (skin is a treat)
    1/2 cup 18% layer crumble
    1/8 cup scratch (ours has 5 grains or more)
    1/8 cup large flake oats
    1/8 cup cornflour
    1 tbsp (or sometimes lots more) whole flax seed
    1/4 cup cooked cabbage chopped into tiny bits
    ~1/4 cup canned whole kernel corn, or canned peas, or mixed frozen veggies etc etc... We avoid onions, garlic and everything else not listed in the master list of recommended foods, posted elsewhere on this site, but just about everything is fair game.

    Raisins feature now and then, as do cranberries and other dried, preferably unsweetened fruit. BOSS can be added from time to time, but the eggs can get a bit fishy if added too often. Change up the veg/fruit every time to get a good variety of nutrients going in the pointy ends. I add 1/4 cup brown rice too from time to time. I go nuts experimenting.


    Mix all ingredients together in a pot and just cover it with hot water. Let stand for an hour and add more water if needed to just cover the mix, or if you wish cook it immediately just like oatmeal, stirring very frequently to keep the grit from sticking to the bottom. I tried a moister mix, but our birds prefer it in mounds on the plate, not a puddle.

    The big thing for my feathered herd is to soak an hour then cook it until the oats are really tender, ~15 minutes and add more crumble if its too runny. We plop about half the slightly cooled mix in a doughnut shaped circle on a deep tin plate and alternate filling the centre with either plain yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream. (Unsweetened, no flavours, ~1/2 a cup I guess) They go completely ape over the stuff and their eggs, droppings and general mental and physical health is marvellous on those really cold days. They are much more active too. I dropped a meaty turkey carcass in front of them after xmas and all but one of them totally freaked out and ran away. I suppose I'd also kinda lose it if I went over to a friends house for dinner and somebody plunked a human torso in the middle of the table...

    This is just a morning treat to fire up their boilers, not a regular feed. I keep 18% crumbs and pellets available all day long, of course with plenty of fresh liquid water, often lukewarm which they also love.

    (edited for format)
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  2. RumneyRoost

    RumneyRoost Chirping

    61
    91
    56
    Jul 24, 2018
    Ontario
    You put more effort in than I do!
    On the cold mornings I put a couple handfuls of their regular crumble, a bit of scratch, and a bit of oatmeal and add hot water. My girls don’t like it soupy either.
    They have to eat it quickly though or it just freezes.

    They always have their regular complete feed, oyster shell, grit, and water free choice.

    Treat wise they only get something every few days. I rotate between sprouts, canned tuna, and a handful of scratch.
     
    Better Than Rubies likes this.
  3. Northern Flights

    Northern Flights Chirping

    58
    78
    63
    May 6, 2018
    Cariboo Country BC
    I considered presenting tuna to our uncontrollable mob of feathers, beaks and claws, but was told by a fella what knows a fella who once knew a dog that belonged to a chicken rancher to stay away from fish! I shall give it a whirl and interrogate them at length about possible side effects over the next several days.

    BTW, I reckon Chickens would make excellent soldiers, as they rarely say much of anything about anything—even under torture. Besides food anyways... That they go on and on and on and on about.

    Tallyho!
     
  4. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

    4,793
    10,339
    617
    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    Don't they pick out their favorite bits?
     
  5. Criticalicious

    Criticalicious Songster

    266
    416
    151
    Feb 25, 2017
    New Market, VA
    Fish such as sardines or salmon in water without added salt is OK as an occasional treat. Be careful of small bones. The "no added salt" is important because too much salt is bad for them.
     
    Northern Flights likes this.
  6. Northern Flights

    Northern Flights Chirping

    58
    78
    63
    May 6, 2018
    Cariboo Country BC
    They sure do! But I found it all eventually becomes a favourite bit and little to nothing is left after an hour or so.

    Thanks for the tips Criticalicious. I should have mentioned all our ingredients are either low sodium or sodium free. Just a little bit of almost anything and constant, frequent change is our refrain. Its funny how much they prefer things that are bad for them, but that sounds kinda familiar, no?

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 11:36 AM
    Criticalicious and SueT like this.
  7. RumneyRoost

    RumneyRoost Chirping

    61
    91
    56
    Jul 24, 2018
    Ontario
    Yes I only feed the low sodium canned tuna in water, I rinse it then give half to the dog and the girls get the other half.

    Mine also pick through and get all the good stuff out before everything freezes. They eat a fair amount of the pellets too though. And I like getting extra water into them on the really cold days.
     
    Criticalicious likes this.
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    I'm in Canada and Alberta...Central Alberta.
    Regular feed is all they require. Changing it with not help the Birds...
     
    imnukensc and EggSighted4Life like this.
  9. RumneyRoost

    RumneyRoost Chirping

    61
    91
    56
    Jul 24, 2018
    Ontario
    Physically you’re right, but mentally? Winters are long, foraging is greatly reduced, birds can get bored. Introducing some variety in moderation is a great way to stimulate and improve their quality of life.

    I’m also in Canada. North central Ontario.
     
  10. Northern Flights

    Northern Flights Chirping

    58
    78
    63
    May 6, 2018
    Cariboo Country BC
    All they require yes, but not all they could use, especially when the temps swing down real fast as they have been. A little extra fire in their crops on a very cold morning goes a long way after days at +6 then suddenly -30 the next morning. Mine actually go outside in the cold all by themselves and scratch around after an am feast. Otherwise they just sit in their own poop all day in the shelters, barely moving. That speaks volumes by itself.

    edit: we are north of 52 and at 4000 feet. It's been derned close to spring temps at times lately but it rockets back to the deep freeze about every 5 days. Bad conditions for birds with big combs and wattles and a late moult. Everything I can do to help is of no consequence whatsoever for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 10:54 PM
    Criticalicious likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: