cranberries resized

chicken treat wreath

We haven’t had much of a harsh winter yet, with pretty mild temperatures through December. But I’ve been wanting to make the chickens a treat for their coop for awhile, and finally did that this week.

I used a recipe from a book called Fresh Eggs Daily, which I picked up last year for Mark. It’s by chicken blogger Lisa Steele and published by our friends at St. Lynn’s Press, a great independent, sustainable and eco-friendly publisher in Pittsburgh.

chicken wreath collage

 

This is a great book to have if you have chickens – we have used it multiple times as a reference when we have questions about one of the ladies. So I thought it would be a good source for a treat recipe. When I saw this cranberry wreath, I figured that was the one I should make, considering we had extra cranberries to use up in the freezer.

You first dissolve some gelatin in cool water, and then mix it with some boiling. Straight gelatin is kind of gross. Just saying.

gelatin

The basic ingredients of the wreath can vary. I used oats, scratch, some general feed grains, sunflower seeds and raisins.

wreath ingredients resized

I then liquefied some bacon fat we had been saving up for this purpose and mixed it with the grains and gelatin mixture.

wreath grain resized

The cranberries get added to the bottom of the bundt pan. I didn’t do a good job of arranging them – the chickens aren’t art critics, as far as I know.

cranberries resized

In went the grains on top, and then the whole thing went into the fridge for the night.

And then, it popped out looking like this.

final wreath resized

Two things. I don’t like that the grease pooled at the bottom, so I think next time I will go easier on that. Also not sure if I was supposed to measure the cup of grease from solid state or liquid state, and that could have made a difference.

I would also use a different pan next time – one that is wider and less deep. This seems pretty thick, now that it’s out of the pan. I finished it after the chickens had “gone to bed” for the night and it was too dark to take it out to hang. But I think the two of them will be occupied with this for awhile. Maybe one of them will actually give us an egg in thanks!

 

*I was not paid or perked to talk about Fresh Eggs Daily. It’s just a good, useful book that’s published by a great, local company. So if you have chickens, you should pick it up because I said so.

  • http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/ Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily

    I think your wreath is beautiful and they will love it! I know some people have tried using coconut oil in theirs – maybe try that next time? I haven’t tried it with coconut oil but I think it’s a good option. Thanks for the shoutout!

    • Joanna Taylor Stone

      Thanks! The coconut oil is a great idea – I’ll try that next time.

  • Amy Conner Hewitt

    Is there a substitute for bacon or hamburger grease and or coconut oil??

    • Joanna Taylor Stone

      The recipe also lists suet as a possibility. I’m not sure what other options are out there, but it seems like any chicken-safe oil might work.