Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Pinata for Chickens!

In case you were wondering what we do for fun around here....

Yesterday I made the girls their own fresh loaf of Eggshell Bread, see recipe below. Ever since they were little chicka-bay-bees, I make sure they always have something to do. This way they spend less time picking at each other. This is what we consider 'good flock management'.
So now I have a flock of spoiled brats on my hands and with the cold weather upon us, there is much less for them to do.
I like to read blogs about small farms and I finally found someone who shares my thoughts about keeping the girls busy. Over at Children in the Corn, they've made a chicken pinata for their girls out of a head of cabbage. Now, I know my girls...and if I give them cabbage or lettuce...they give me dirty looks. Like I said they're spoiled.
I explained to Little T. what I wanted to do and she suggested making them a round loaf of bread to use as our pinata. What a great idea! We went a step further with this idea and ground up their eggshells as an ingredient to keep their new eggshells tough as can be.

This loaf of bread kept them entertained all day! They'd jump and peck it and then it would swing around and spin and they'd try catch it and peck it again!

Here's our recipe for hours of entertainment:
2 1/4 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 c water
2 1/2 c flour
8 eggshells tossed into the food processor
1 egg
1 spoonful of honey (add to yeast mixture)
More flour as necessary if mixture is too wet

Dissolve the yeast in the water and wait until it's bubbly and then add the honey. In mixing bowl, add flour and yeast mixture and use your dough hook to knead. Add egg and eggshells and continue to knead. Shape into a round loaf and let rise for 2-3 hours. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let the bread cool and harden overnight. The next day make a hole with a skewer through the loaf and run twine through to hang up for your chickens.

It was fun making this bread. Superman had to work late the day we made it. Gramma Butternut came to sit with Little T. while I went to a meeting with our local raw milk farmers (read here for the info on the fight in CT).

I knew that Superman would be home before me and that the loaf of bread was cooling on the counter right next to our regular loaves of sourdough bread. All of sudden it hit me while I was meeting with the farmers....I started getting cold sweats....thinking...I hope he doesn't slice open the loaf of Eggshell Bread thinking it's something special for him! Luckily, Little T. had told Gramma about the bread and she told Superman not to eat it.!

Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman