I sometimes think the animals we have eat better than we do – certainly before we do. Here’s a couple of chicken and puppy treats I’ve made lately. Although it does sound like they’re spoilt – all these were made with things destined to be thrown away or composted and it was probably quicker to make them than write about them!
BREAD FOR THE CHICKENS
Recently I discovered my container of wholemeal flour was crawling with what was probably weevils. I hate to throw out food and it made me remember a conversation I’d had with the nephew about the fact that our chickens love bread but I don’t like to feed them too much with all the additives they don’t need. “You could make them bread in your breadmaker with just good stuff in it”. Well, yes I could. So I used a basic bread recipe with flour, water and yeast (no salt, sugar, butter or oil) and put in garlic, oregano, kale, zucchini and chard. The loaf itself was not great but they loved it.
TO MAKE CHICKEN BREAD:
refer to your breadmaker instructions for quantities. In order of adding mine was –
- 320ml water
- 3 1/4 cups weevily wholemeal flour
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast
extras would be
- 4 cloves diced garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped hardy veg destined for the compost (broccoli stalks, carrot or zucchini trimmings, kale, pumpkin – the seeds are beneficial for worming)
- 2 TB chopped beneficial herbs (oregano, rosemary, wormwood, tansy, comfrey)
I wouldn’t feed it to them all the time but as a treat to their regular food to use up some old flour I think it was worth it. Plus it was a good way to sneak in some garlic and beneficial herbs they don’t eat normally (although fresh is always better). Apple cider vinegar is also good for the chickens but I thought the heating process might negate the benefits so left it out. Instead I poured a couple of tablespoons over the bread and give it to them that way (sometimes you can see they get a bit of a tart zing but they can’t help but eat it).
As it’s moist with no preservatives keep this in the fridge and feed a lump of it each day.
DOG ICE CUBES
It’s been so hot lately and our puppy loves ice cubes. He gets bits of fruit and veggies in his diet so I’ve made a tray with a piece of plum in each cube and filled the tray with water.
I also read a tip from someone who made broth ice cubes from boiling up bones. We had the ham bone left from Christmas so I used this to make some tasty (I assume) cubes.
I just covered the bone in water and boiled it up for a couple of hours. I strained it before pouring into cubes to make sure there weren’t random bits of cooked bone in there. (And of course the cooked bits of meat that came off the bone he got to eat as well). This one boil up made four trays of cubes which I took out the next day and transferred into a container in the freezer so the trays were free again.
He loves these – every time he hears the freezer door he’s sure it must be time for a treat!
TO TRY FOR NEXT TIME
- Freeze pieces of fruit or vegetables instead of ice cubes.
- Add vegetables to the bone broth to add extra goodness.