Treats - Suet Blocks - Good Idea or Not?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WitksChicks, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. WitksChicks

    WitksChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Central CT
    Hi BYC'ers. I have a quick questions to ask: This is my first winter with chickens, and living in CT, there most likely will be a stormy day when my 6 hens will need to be kept in the coop. I have a hanging wire cage ball, with a bell on the bottom that you put veggies in for them to peck at. I'm wondering if any of the pre-made suet blocks that you can get in the stores are ok for chickens, if they are good for wild birds? If so, which should I get, as there are a variety of them? If not, does anyone have a recipe to make them?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Here is a rather long thread about making homemade flock blocks:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=111647

    My flock loves them. Good way to ease their boredom when they have to be cooped up on really nasty days.
    ETA: As long as they don't make up the majority of their diet and they have their regular feed available, these are fine as a treat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  3. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have been working on recipes for these for a while now.. I have just finished analyzing protein, crude fat & fiber content and am working on the vitamin/mineral analysis. The flock block is a great idea, but the Purina Flock Block is too much junk food to be useful regularly.

    My treats will have a good balance of everything and so shouldn't be considered a "treat" other than the fun shapes & mixtures they will come in.
    They'll be perfect for boredom, fun, long weekend feeding & supplements. I'll be starting out with 2-3 varieties... a Balanced Food Snack, an Omega Booster and a Protein Bar. My feed store lady is working on her own secret recipe she uses for her game birds, and then I'll be offering those too.

    I'll be selling them on BYC starting tomorrow or Tuesday I hope, as I am still working everything up and getting photos.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use suet blocks and find that they are wonderful for texture of skin and feathercoat. My birds prefer the ones with dried berries and seeds, and I leave a calcium dispenser nearby to balance out the mix. Not only do they have nutritional value, but the calories are excellent in cold weather zones. I would be leery of using them in sub-tropical or tropical regions, frankly.

    When I make my own I use suet pellets, some lard and or peanut butter as glue, wild bird seed, flax, ground oyster, grit, and other suitable ingredients, freezing the masses in cellophane wrap in the freezer. I never add string, but place the finished blocks in a suet holder, the kind for wild birds.

    If you live in the UK and sell eggs, remember that the feed regulations do not cover suet, being a beef product, after the mad cow scare with prions.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009

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