Oh, um, "chicken treats" as in treats for the chickens, not treats made from the chickens.
Yesterday I finally dove in to rendering the big box full of beef fat we got along with our forequarter. I was actually kinda disappointed in the quality of it- the last time I got beef fat from this particular butcher, they gave me the leaf fat. This year I got odd scraps and bits of back fat, and it not only complicated the prepping process, it rendered only two and a half quarts of tallow from the whole shebang.
There was a lot of waste from having to trim every piece. There was a much stronger smell (despite all my crock pots being outside). And after it was all said and done, there were even more leftover bits that needed to be dealt with.
Since the beginning of the packing and processing of our beef, our dog has gotten about as many bones and scraps as I think she can handle. Seriously, we didn't even need to decorate for Halloween this year because after running out of places to bury all the spent soup bones, she just started leaving them lying around. It's looking a little creepy.
So what to do with the blubbery back fat leftovers from this tallow project? Eureka. Make "suet" treats to fuel the girls' little furnaces when the real cold temps are upon us!
In a giant bowl, we mixed about 5 cups of wild bird seed with the tallow leftovers, then added about 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses, about 3 cups coarsely-ground corn meal, and about a cup of wheat germ. We mixed it all together, let it cool, then filled up two gallon-size freezer bags, pressed 'em flat, and stuck 'em in the freezer for chilly days and colder nights.
We saved out about two cups of the mixture to let the chickies have a "taste test," and they gobbled it up so fast I didn't even get a pic of them eating it. I guess that means this recipe gets five stars, right?
I'm feeling good about using up all the scraps and- at least this far- not wasting any part of the beef we have. I'll feel even better about the trouble, mess, and smell that this little project added to the process when I pull a chunk of this stuff out of the freezer and offer it to my girls to warm them and thank them for the eggs they give us in return.