Friday, July 18, 2014

Feathered Friday: Keeping Cool with Frozen Treats

You can't tell now, what with the temperatures felling more like May, but last week it was hot here in the mid-atlantic.  Oh, and the humidity.  But I guess that's what I get for living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed area.

With the heat and humidity, I was reluctant to put the chickens outside.  But they needed to go out.  They enjoy their time outside.  It's where they belong.  For my part I enjoy watching them interact through in a more natural environment, and my two groups are being introduced to each other so integration in the coop will (hopefully) go smoothly.

Their area is shaded, and we get nice breezes in our open area, but I was still worried.  Then I read a post on The Chicken Chick about making a frozen fruit smoothie for the chickens, and I decided to give it a try.

I already had frozen fruit that I had picked myself, so I pulled it from the freezer, along with a bag of frozen raspberries.  (The raspberries were store-bought, but the only ingredient was "red raspberries," so I was okay with giving them to the chickens.)

I used two 9" round cake pans to make my frozen treat.  I have two pens I needed to supply, but having more than one option when all the chickens are together will prevents fighting and allow those at the bottom of the pecking order to get some, too.

I started with frozen peaches.

Then I added some blackberries.

Next, I took the bag of raspberries and tossed them in the food processor to puree them, but I left it a little chunky.  It turned out that there wasn't quite enough of the sweet red liquid to cover the fruit in both pans, so next time I'll add water.

I poured the raspberry puree over the fruit in the pans and put it in the freezer.

I wanted to add a few more layers, but I didn't have time this day.  When I do it again, I will add a peppermint layer and probably apples and/or zucchini/cucumber, too.  The possibilities are endless!

The chickens loved their keeping-cool treats.  However, I noticed that none of the blackberries were eaten in either pen.  And I know from experience with the girls next-door that pineapple is also undesirable.

The next day, having exhausted my frozen fruit supply, I tossed frozen cantaloupe and watermelon rinds into the pens.  Once again, they loved their frozen treats.  

Keep Kool!

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