One of daily chores at our house is egg gathering. My chickens are free ranged. We did, however provide them with very comfortable accommodations in the barn. One stall is completely devoted to their needs. We built some really nice nesting boxes along one side. Created a multilevel roosting area on the other, and of course included and area for food and water. They are only mildly grateful. They prefer to roost in the rafters and eat in the kennels. They LOVE dog and cat food. My poor cats have to eat quick before the chickens come in and chase them away.
And as far as the hens are concerned, those nesting boxes are non-existent. So every day we go hunting for eggs. Sometimes they are in buckets, often we find them behind the grain bins, but lately they just pile up some hay on the barn floor and call it a nest. That’s where I found this mornings’ cluster.
I had a visitor while collecting them. Dakota stopped by to see what I was up to. He poked his head in as if to say “Hey got anything for me?”. That got me to thinking that it was time to make some more of my Horse Cookies. I have not met an equine yet that did not go crazy for these. Our older guy Roo literally drools. It’s disgusting.
So I thought I would take a minute and share the recipe with you.
First mix together:
2 cups Wheat Bran (I find this in the health food section of my grocer or you may have some in the barn already)
2 cups Flour
1 cup Oatmeal (regular or instant)
1 cup Apple Sauce
3/4 cup Water
1 small Egg
Add this to the dry ingredients and stir in well. Coat The bottom a non stick cookie sheet with a fair amount of vegetable oil. If you don’t have a non stick sheet, you may want to cover it with foil first. Next you’ll need to spread the mixture evenly on the cookie sheet – I just use my hands. Take a knife and cut the whole thing into squares approximately 1″. It works better if you push the knife into it rather than drag it along. The squares come out more evenly.
Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours until golden and crisp. I know that’s a long time. By cooking them long and slow the moisture is removed and the shelf life is quite long. They should be more like a cracker than a cookie. I’ve kept them for months with no problems. Allow them to cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet and breaking them apart.
My dogs also go nuts for these, so give them a try even if you don’t have horses. They make wonderful gifts too. Place a handful in a plastic bag and package them in cute little fabric bags. Tie a string or bit of raffia and you have a nice present for your neighbors or riding instructor.