Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the coziness of thick sweaters and the warming effects of a good fire and a hot cup of coffee. I love to watch the birds head south and the trees light up with the brilliant colors of the season. Everything is so vibrant! It symbolizes harvest, family time and the slowing down of a busy year. Not that there is anything slow about harvesting or preparing for winter. It is more like a promise of some down time that people are able to indulge in once winter snows us indoors.
My boys had friends over last night and so this morning, I was up early flipping pancakes to feed the masses. When I break out the griddle, I also use the time to make up some pancake chicken treats that my ladies love. Right now, they are in the midst of an ugly molt and the weather is cold. The added calories and proteins will help them stay warm.
When making chicken treats, I try to stay as healthy as I can. This recipe does not call for sugar and very minimal salt. It is definitely not one my boys would enjoy, but the ladies in the coop love it.
What you will need:
1.5 Cup of Flour
A Pinch of Salt
1.5 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
2/3 Cup of Whole Milk
1 egg, beaten
1.5 cups of apple sauce – no sugar added
1 Cup of Black Oiled Sunflower Seeds
.5 Cup of Safflower Seeds
.5 Cup of Whole Oats
.5 Cup of Crushed Peanuts
*Sounds like a lot of ingredients, but this will make up a dozen or so treats. I only feed one or two at a time to my chickens. They freeze well and can be used throughout the winter.
Mix your Flour, Salt, Baking Powder into a bowl. Next, mix your Milk, Egg, Apple Sauce. Combine. Once those are mixed together to make your batter, you are ready to prepare your pancake treats.
To make the Mixed In toppings, combine into a bowl, the Black Oiled Sunflower Seeds, the Safflower, Whole Oats and crushed Peanuts. Stir well.
In order to keep the seeds and oats as close to their whole food form, I do not mix them into the batter. Instead, to limit the time they are exposed to heat, pour your pancake batter on to a hot griddle, let the pancake begin bubble just a bit before adding in a tablespoon of the Mix In ingredients. This gives your pancake a chance to form its crust, or base, before adding in the other ingredients. Flip your pancake to allow the other side to cook a bit and you are done.
On a cold morning, serve warm for a nice treat for your birds. You can freeze the extra pancake treats and use them throughout the cold months in addition to your layer feed. These are an added boost of calories and protein for your birds, but not meant as a replacement to traditional feed. Winter chicken feeding at our home is about supplementing the chickens and getting my laying hens through until Spring. We do not heat or use artificial lights in our coop. These treats are a winter time supplement that give a boost of energy to our birds.