My family and I have kept chickens for a number of years. It wasn’t long after my wife and I started gardening with gusto about a decade ago that we decided to purchase a quartet of Golden Buff pullets from Meyer Hatchery. We added these fine ladies to our corner-lot suburban growing space and enjoyed both their eggs and the entertainment they provided.
About a year later, we were living on a farm in central Kentucky with Berkshire pigs, Dexter cattle and a whole mess of chickensâ€”layers and meat birds. But that’s a story for another time.
The point is, we’re no spring chickens when it comes to keeping … er, chickens. We’ve moved off the farm in recent years, to another suburban plot we’ve filled with flowers, fruits and veggies. Also, we have six Australorps in a sizable backyard run.
Some things never change. But having chickens around is fun, filling andâ€”even raising thousands of birdsâ€”educational.
But I don’t tend to spoil my birds. My wife and kids might disagree with this claim (the hens have a heckin’ swanky handbuilt coop, a swing, deluxe feeders, plenty of toys, etc.), but compared to some keepers, I’m pretty bare bones. I take care of my chickens so they continue to take care of breakfast.
But they don’t come into the house and watch TV with us or anything.
To make up for their confined life in a well-maintained run (we have a lot of hawks, so free-ranging is a no-go), I do offer my hens the occasional handful of black soldier fly larvae. And when we work in the garden on the weekends, they know to expect armloads of greens and the occasional wriggly bug.
Our Australorps might consider me stingy with the chicken treats, though. So when I was contacted by the people at CoopCrate, offering a review box of their product, I was intrigued. With a few of our ladies undergoing a grueling hard molt, now could be the exact right time to spoil the flock with a few extra somethings.
My First CoopCrate
What is CoopCrate, exactly? Well, as a product, it’s a box filled with chicken stuff: treats for your hens, treats for chicken-keepers and products that make chicken-keeping easier and more fun.
Here’s what was in my review CoopCrate box. (Note: Per the company, all products are exclusive to CoopCrate.)
- Black Soldier Fly Larvae from Stella’s Famous Flock Spoilers (As noted, I had some BSF larvae, but during molting season, extra protein is welcome.)
- Heavenly Hens Almond Crumble Feed Mixer (Containing raw almonds for extra nutrients)
- Chia Seed Super Food Supplement from Healthful Hen Organics (I added this when I refilled their pellet feed, and they seemed to love it. And we love the boost of omega-3 and other nutrients they’re getting.)
- An egg scrubby, for cleaning eggs (I’m actually going to use this later today.)
- A feather brush, with soft bristles for pampering birds (I … haven’t used this. My birds aren’t lap hens, and I’m especially not handling then during molting season, when growing feathers can be painful. But my kids like to pet the chickens, so I suspect they’ll enjoy the occasional brush.)
- A sticker that says “Keep Calm & Love Chickens.”
- “Chicken Feet” Gummies and Cinnamon Hen’s Eggs from Crazy Chicken Lady Candy Company. (Candy treats for the chicken-keeper. Warning: The “chicken feet” actually kind of look like hen toes, which is fun but kind of unsettling at first.)
- A plush, stuffed chick (My youngest likes it.)
- A “CoopTips” informational card with helpful chicken nutrition facts
Keep the Fun Going
As a box of chicken stuff, CoopCrate strikes a nice balance between chicken treats, human treats and handy sundries. For the chicken-keeper in your life (or a nice treat for yourself), it’s a nice one-time gift.
But if you’re inclined to keep the fun going, CoopCrate is offered on a subscription basis with an auto-renewing charge of $32.99. (You can cancel this at any time.)
More Than Just Stuff
A CoopCrate purchase is a great way to show your chickens you care. But you can also care about chickens beyond your own coop when ordering.
That’s because CoopCrate sales support poultry rescue facilities, too. And each box includes a fun sticker with a picture of the chicken helped by that month’s purchases. My sponsored chicken was named Daisy, and her picture was included in the box.
So if, after purchasing your feed, bedding and essential coop supplies, you have some money left in the chicken-keeping budget, you may consider a CoopCrate purchase. Each box contains a range of extras to support your hens’ health.
And the extras are fun little gifts to remind you that you’re part of a special chicken-keeping community.