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Silly chickens


 Every chicken we have had loves mixed corn and also the over ripe sweetcorn from the plot. We have two chickens now who jump up into the corn bin with excitement when I move towards it.

The present two haven't had sweetcorn of the cob until a couple of days ago, so I parted the outer green bit so they could see that it is corn.
Next day, still not touched the corn so Mr PKL removed all the green part exposing what looks very much like the corn they are used to.
Next day, still not touched the corn, so I break some corn pieces off and go and do some work on the garden. A few hours later the bits of corn are still there.  I resort to putting the corn in front of the chickens and hand feeding them. Hopefully they have now picked the rest and  when I go today they will have worked out that the little yellow pieces of corn that they like are the same as the corn on the cob!
Update later!

Interesting.  A month ago we rescued 6 chooks in a very bald and nervous state despite supposedly having been free range.  Entertaining bunch and finally starting to relax with us and grow new feathers.

From day 1 they have had mixed grains for layers but also daily treats such as grapes from our vines, cherry toms, Savoy cabbages hung up for them to peck, cooked peelings from potatoes, dahlia flower etc.  One day on walkies with the dogs OH found a whole corn cob dropped in harvesting and offered that to the chooks.  Still there yet they like tinned sweetcorn.   Not keen on beetroot, even when cut up but maybe I should strip the corn off this cob and see if that helps. 

Eventually our chickens have eaten the sweetcorn! It takes a bit of education it seems to get them to understand that the corn on the cob is the same as the corn pieces they like. I'd not thought of dahlia flowers, I didn't know they were edible. These chickens were ex- free range too and are a lot less interested in anything new to try.

Following your lead I stripped the kernels off that cob and it's all been eaten despite being really dry.

There's a woman in the gardening club here who has a small-holding growing fancy edible flowers and leaves for Michelin * chefs and she has take on a collection of dahlias the club bought from the Potager Extraordinaire which was closing down following bankruptcy.  For some reason they only welcomed paying visitors in July and August, presumably thinking they'd get the tourist trade but an organic potager growing a mix of unusual plants with more common ones is surely of year round interest to permanent residents.

Anyway, dahlia flowers are not only decorative in salads and so on but the paler flowers are said to have a citrussy flavour whilst the brighter and darker colours are sweeter.   I just snip off a few heads and toss them in the hen pen and they have a good peck. 

It seems some of the chefs like hemerocallis flowers to stuff with mousses and such for "amuse-bouche" or as part of a tasting menu.  Then there's cosmos which is used for decoration but no flavour, ornamental sage flowers, dianthus, marigolds, fuchsia flowers and berries and many more.   Jekka McVicar wrote a book on edible flowers and someone has given me a copy.  In French.  I think it' sout of print now but worth borrowing from a library or finding a copy online if you can.


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