You've probably guessed I really love my chickens. And yes, they might be just a little bit spoiled. All my pets are just a little bit spoiled to some extent, I suppose. 😄
I like my hens to have plenty of variety in their diet. It not only nourishes them, but keeps boredom at bay so they are happier. I give them a lot of vegetables from our kitchen because I typically buy more produce than we consume and that allows me to make up big "salads" for my girlies.
For special occasions like holidays, and just because, I like to make them special treats like homemade suet cakes. I save rendered beef and pork fat from cooking into containers and keep it in the freezer for just this purpose. Ground beef gives off a lot of fat when you cook it so it is perfect for saving for this purpose. Once it is poured off I allow it to cool and lift off the fat, put it into a container and freeze it until I have enough.
In the microwave I melt enough fat to equal 1/2 a cup. I use a flexible plastic container, like an empty Cool Whip container and stir it into 2 cups of scratch grains. Once all the grains have been well coated in fat I pat it out flat into the container and place it in the freezer overnight.
You can make a variety of different ones by adding in different things like dried meal worms, dried raisins, blueberries or cranberries, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc. Pretty much anything that is safe for chickens. The chicken blocks they sell at the feed stores have molasses in them so you can add that in as well. The last one I made I added in 2 Tbs of molasses to the melted fat and some raisins to the scratch grains. We thought it smelled good enough to eat ourselves.
Once it is solid I can pop the suet cake out of the container and place it into a freezer bag. I like to keep them in the freezer until I am ready to give it to them. In the colder months this rich fat source is a great thing to give your hens. It is also a great way to use up something you might otherwise just drain off and toss in the trash.