For the first 12 days of December, we’re kicking off the holidays in style by celebrating 12 Days of Christmas Farm-Style. Each of those days will be filled with free downloads (like farm-style gift tags and recipe cards—all new for this year), free giveaways (like farm-style greeting cards, ornaments and key chains), great (and easy) DIY-gifts for you to make, and ideas for the chicken-loving people in your life.
We’re gonna have fun. It’s guaranteed to bring you some good cheer (or at least some great gift giving ideas with the trimmings included or maybe even a free gift for you). So tell everyone you know to stop on by December 1-12th!
And since there are so many more of you around this year than last, I’m gonna start this pre-kick off with last year’s Gift Giving Ideas for Chickens…with a couple of updates from this year.
Gift Giving Ideas for Chickens…
Have you been in the pet store lately? There are rows filled with all sorts of designer, specially made holiday gifts for your pets. Stockings for your cats and dogs. Green and red stuffed plush things and pull toys. Raw hide ‘bones’ in the shape of Santa and the Gingerbread Man! The variety is astounding! Manufacturers have pet lovers pegged and the market continues to grow.
Of course it hasn’t always been that way. When I was a kid, my pets never had gifts under the tree. Nor a stocking with their name on it. Now, it’s the norm. Or at least it certainly seems to be.
So, with Black Friday almost upon us, I need to ask: Have you thought about your chickens? Are they on your NICE list? I mean, they actually GIVE us fresh eggs in exchange for their room and board. Which is more than I can say for my cat, who by the way, has his own stocking. (But we do have an agreement that he will never wear a cute little outfit!)
If you haven’t thought of your girls, here’s a list to get your started…a gift giving guide for the oft overlooked part of the family:
First, you can get chicken diapers. Yes, it’s true. They’re actually tailor-made (to the specific size measurements of your chicken) and you can choose the colors! Don’t believe me? (I wouldn’t have either before the lady in the feed store told me about it.) Check out the chicken diaper website for ordering information.
Next, if you’re the creative sort, you can sew your chicken a polar fleece jumper or knit them one out of yarn. The Little Hen Rescue gives instructions. (The organization rescues battery chickens that have often lost their feathers and need to be kept warm.)
Maybe you don’t have enough time and energy to make your chickens each a sweater…I mean, even in the city, that’s 3 or 4 of 5…and this time of year is a busy one!
Here’s your faster solution: A chicken shawl! Redshirt Knitting has the free pattern to get you started.
Can’t Knit? Don’t worry! Plum Creek Creations has a free pattern for you to crochet your chicken a sweater.
Okay, so maybe you don’t have time to sew, knit or crochet your backyard flock a new wardrobe…but don’t despair! You can buy your girls a Chicken Treat Ball. The makers of the chicken Treat Ball claim it’s the first ever chicken toy. Simply stuff some tasty treat inside and let the girls go at it. And for less than $5.00 how can you go wrong?
The truth is, I love my chickens, but I’m not shopping for them this season. However, I might get a head of cabbage, drill a hole through it, and string it up in the chicken coop just above head level. This will give them something to entertain themselves in the cold weather. They’ll get exercise jumping for it. And, they’ll get some fresh veggies at the same time. They’ll also be preoccupied with the new novelty and forget to be grumpy with each other for awhile. [Update: I did this and the girls loved it. Here’s how you can do it too.]
To me, that seems like a perfect gift for the girls this Christmas.
And, because chickens are so wonderful to have around, another great idea is to give the gift of CHICKENS to someone else. For 20 bucks you can give self-sufficiency to an impoverished family through the gift of a flock of chickens (which can provide food and money through eggs and/or meat). Check out Heifer International for more information.
Now that’s an idea I can get behind. And I think the girls would approve, too!
[Update: This year I decided to take 50 cents from every dozen eggs I sold–and I don’t sell very many–and put it in a jar to save for Heifer chicks. For 2011, I was able to buy 3 batches of chicks with that money! I love that my chickens helped 3 families get chickens of their own without much effort on our part.]