Hedgerow Henporium’s brilliant warm mash recipe!

Last year we shared this amazing warming winter mash recipe from our friends at Hedgerow Henporium. Our followers loved it and now that winter is coming around again we thought it was the perfect time to share it so you can keep your hens happy and healthy this winter!

Chicken feed bucket

Warm mash keeps chickens healthy!

This recipe is not only delicious for hens but healthy and nutritious too. They’ll love pecking at the veg and they’ll get all the added vitamins they need from the “hidden” ingredients including calcium and cod liver oil.

You’ll need a large shallow dish to mix and serve the mash in.

Ingredients and method:

Use layers pellets (or your normal chicken feed) as the base which should make up about half the quantity of the other ingredients below.

Add any combination of the following veg – a few handfuls or enough for the veg to be visible will be enough:

  • Frozen sweetcorn
  • Frozen cabbage
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen spinach

To the vegetable and chicken feed mix add:

  • A tablespoon of cod liver oil
  • A tablespoon of poultry spice
  • A splash of poultry multivitamins
  • A teaspoon of cider vinegar
  • A tablespoon of garlic flakes
  • A tablespoon of ground up egg shells (for calcium) or a teaspoon of liquid calcium (optional)
  • A handful of raw flax seed/pumpkin seed
  • A handful of porridge oats (optional)
  • A single drop of oregano or thyme essential oil (very overpowering if used to excess) optional

Mix with enough water (preferably warm water) so that the mixture has a porridge like consistency. It shouldn’t be too runny and the mixture will probably get slightly thicker if you leave it to stand.

You can add more poultry spice to improve the smell – although chickens don’t seem to mind!

Once the mash is ready, just stand back and watch them eat with gusto!

Alternative combinations:

  1. Soak haricot, or other dried beans, overnight and cook for an hour. Stir this into the basic mix. You could also add cooked lentils.
  2. Boil vegetable peelings, including potato, and add the peelings with the cooking water to the basic mix. (Be sure not to use onion or garlic peelings.)

If you liked this recipe you can find more, plus great advice and poultry related discussions, at the brilliant blog – Hedgerow Henporium Chicken Chat.

Image source: South West Pine


Warming winter treats for your chickens

With winter on its way we thought we’d share last year’s post on warming winter treats for chickens. Remember, when the weather gets cold the extra calories in treats will help keep your hens warm and happy.

Chicken treats - mealworms

Chickens love mealworms!

Anyone who has seen chickens knows how much they love scratching around for tasty morsels but when winter comes your chooks might have trouble finding enough food to keep them occupied.

But have no fear, there are plenty of tempting treats you can give your chickens in addition to their usual food that will keep them entertained, not to mention warm, right through until spring.

Here are some of our favourite titbits for chickens in the winter:

A brilliant breakfast!

Breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day just for humans – chickens also feel the benefit of a healthy, filling breakfast. Try mixing a small handful of porridge oats, a large portion of their usual pellets, and some warm water to make a nutritious warm mash.

Winter weight gain!

Just like people chickens tend eat more fatty foods in the winter so keep foods like bacon rind and fatty meat trimmings for your chooks to peck at.

In moderation fatty scraps are a good source of protein and will help your flock keep at a healthy weight when it gets cold. Another good source of protein is mealworms which you can find at the majority of pet shops.

chickens eating corn

Corn keeps your warm!

Corn keeps you warm!

As well as feeding a warm mash at breakfast time you can also feed your chickens a small amount of corn before shutting them up for the night. A handful of corn will fill them up and keep them warm overnight which can be especially useful when the temperature really drops.

Try it “on the cob”, canned, raw, and cooked until you find your flocks’ favourite!

One of your five a day!

With the grass and plants gone for the winter it’s important to make sure your hens still get enough fruit and veg to keep them healthy.

You can also turn feeding time into a form of entertainment by hanging veg such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower in their chicken run. Not only will they get important nutrients they’ll also have fun pecking at the veg all day.

A word about water…

Although this post is about winter food for chickens poultry keepers often find that they have a harder job keeping their chickens hydrated, rather than full, during the winter.

Try wrapping the water drinker in bubble wrap, insulating foam, or felt to stop it freezing overnight. You can also add slightly warm water to the drinker in the morning to keep it from freezing during the day.

Some poultry keepers also remove the water at night and replace it when they let their flock out in the morning. Many chicken keepers report that their chickens don’t drink at night so this might be the answer if you can’t find a way of preventing the water from freezing.

Stay tuned this afternoon to see a brilliant warm mash recipe from our friends at Hedgerow Henporium!

Image source: Backyardchickens.com

Free Range Friday

This week we’ve got an amazing three recipes for the price of one! If you make all of these delicious picnic treats you’ll use a total of eight free range eggs.

There are recipes for a Scotch Egg Pie, Rosemary and Gruyere Straws, and Spiced Lamb Pasties. Delicious!

For those of you that shop at Waitrose you’ll be pleased to hear that all of the eggs they sell are free range so you won’t even need to check the box to make sure you’re buying eggs from chickens that have had a better quality of life.

Here are all three picnic recipes from Waitrose.

Scotch Egg Pie

Scotch Egg Pie

Free Range Friday

Last week it was a deliciously smooth Creme Caramel. This week we’ve got a savoury recipe to get your taste buds tingling!

This fantastic Bacon and Egg pie from Delicious Magazine serves six to eight people and uses a whopping seven free range eggs!

You can get the full recipe here.

Photo credit: Delicious Magazine

Photo credit: Delicious Magazine

Practical uses for egg shells

Last week we looked at beautiful baskets to collect your eggs in. This week it’s all about recycling and the things you can do with the empty egg shells.

EggshellsIn this day and age people are a lot more knowledge about how they can help the environment. Reduce, reuse, recycle is a term often heard and can certainly be applied to chicken keeping.

In fact, keeping chickens is a step in the right direction if you want to do your bit for the environment. Chicken manure is great for the garden and they’ll keep the bugs down without you needing to use harsh chemical pesticides.

They’ll provide you with eggs so you won’t need to buy plastic packaged eggs at the supermarket and, if you’re that way inclined, you could also keep birds for meat instead of buying it.

But what about all of those egg shells? Well, there are plenty of things you can do with them so they don’t just end up tossed in the bin…

Give them back to the chickens

Egg shells are a great source of calcium for your chickens and will help future eggs have strong shells.

Simply rinse the shells, leave them to dry, and then crush them with a rolling pin or pestle and mortar.

Store the crushed shells in an airtight container and leave a bowl out for your chickens so they can help themselves.

Put them in the compost bin

This might sound like throwing them away but actually adding a few shells to your compost bin will add some much needed calcium carbonate to your potting soil.

Seed starter cups

If you’re an avid gardener then repurpose your used egg shells and turn them into seed starter cups.

Once the seedlings are big enough to go outside you can just plant the whole thing in the pot or ground.

Keep pests at bay

As well as feeding crushed egg shells to your hens you can also place a ring of crushed shells around the bottom of your plants to keep slugs and snails away.

Crushed egg shell can also help prevent blossom end rot in plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers.

“Eggcellent” decorations

Decorative eggs don’t have to be kept especially for Easter – a decorated egg can look pretty at any time of year.

Simply “blow out” your eggs and then decorate them in the colours/pattern of your choice.

Crackin’ jelly surprise

Another use for blown out eggs is to use them as a jelly mould. It can be fiddly to fill eggs with jelly mixture but the look on your friends and families faces when they peel back the shell to reveal jelly is worth it!

Next week it’s back to chicken keeping tips and we’ll be looking at how to keep the peace in the chicken house when you have multiple cockerels.

Interesting egg baskets

We know we promised you a brand new product, but it isn’t quite ready to be revealed. So this week we’re looking at interesting egg baskets and cool things to collect your eggs in.

This week we’d thought we’d take a break from dishing out chicken keeping advice and just share some pictures of egg collecting baskets that we like.

Of course, you could just use a bucket, but where would be the fun in that!

farmhouse-basketswire basketsFirst up, here are some traditional wire egg baskets. We like them because they’re simple, classic, and easy to clean! Modern designs also come in a range of colours so you can make it more personal.













Eggs-in-Vintage-Offering-BasketIf you like the traditional look but you’re not sure about wire how about a wicker basket? We love how pretty this one looks.








felteggbasketFor those of you with occasional visiting grandchildren or other small people who enjoy collecting eggs why not treat them to this fancy felt basket?







wooden_garden_trugFinally, our friends at Loldean Timber have got making attractive egg baskets down to a T.



Free Range Friday!

Last week it was delicious baked eggs that were so easy to cook even a child could do it. This week we’ve got a gorgeous savoury recipe that’s sure to make you happy!

This week our Free Range Friday recipe is a delicious Chorizo Scotch Egg with Paprika Potatoes – how’s that for a lunchtime treat?!

You can find the full recipe here.

Photo credit: The Irish Independant

Photo credit: The Irish Independent