As the holiday season approaches, many of us are struggling to decide what to get for our friends, to show thoughtfulness and care, without breaking the bank. This can be an especially hard decision to make if your friend is a down-to-earth, outdoorsy type who doesn’t care much about possessions. What gifts can you get for the friend who knows being outside and growing their own food is the best gift of all?
Luckily, there are some great gifts that can make life easier, or just more fun, for chicken owners and lovers. These gifts aren’t just more material clutter for your friend’s home, they are helpful, creative tools to make every day with chickens go more smoothly.
In cold weather, many chicken owners heat up water every morning to take to their hens. Left outside in the winter, water troughs freeze, and the chickens no longer have a fresh source of water, putting them at risk of dehydration.
Even if temperatures are not below freezing, cold water on a chilly day isn’t healthy for chickens. It means they have to burn more energy to keep warm, which causes stress to their immune system.
Bringing steaming water out to your chickens every morning is a lot of work, and there’s always the risk of you having to rush off late to the office one morning without bringing the chickens water. That’s why water warmers are such a great option! There are several different designs of electric water warmers to be used in many different kinds of water dispensers and configurations.
Egg Collecting Apron
We all know how challenging it can be to carry lots of fresh eggs without dropping any or cracking them together in your pockets. For any of your chicken friends who like cute clothes and knitwear, you can browse a range of creative options for carrying eggs safely.
These are an extra helpful gift for children or parents. Made in small sizes, they can be a lifesaver (or egg saver) for young egg-collectors with small hands. Available from many different craftspeople in lots of bright, fun colors, kids love these cute and useful clothes.
Here are just a few of our favorites:
Reusable Egg Cartons
To go with the egg collecting aprons, a simple and useful gift are these plastic, reusable egg cartons. While it is easy to put eggs into cardboard cartons from the store, eventually those cartons become dirty and have to be thrown away. And if you are not buying eggs from the store anymore, because of your fantastic flock of laying hens, then you end up begging used egg cartons from all your friends.
A much simpler option is to get one or two plastic cartons, which are easy to wash and dishwasher safe. This ensures you always have a clean place to put your eggs. If you are tired of stacking up your used egg cartons to give to your friend with chickens, this is the gift for you!
Heated Chicken Perch
Since their feet aren’t covered in feathers, chickens lose a lot of body heat through their feet. Chickens like to sleep perched on a narrow ledge or beam, and in winter, this electric, plug-in heated perch is a great option for keeping chickens warm and comfortable.
For adult hens, it may even substitute for a heat lamp, depending on the climate, which could save your friend money on electricity and prevent the danger of a coop fire from a heat lamp bulb. Wouldn’t you like a nice warm place to put your feet when you get in bed at night? Your friend will sleep better in their bed knowing their chickens are happier.
This is a fantastic stocking stuffer. A nice treat for chickens is a packet of grubs – yes, grubs! Dried grubs are a great source of extra protein, healthy fatty acids, and calcium, and chickens go wild for them.
Insect protein is a sustainable substitute for other kinds of animal and fish-based protein and will help chickens grow strong. But the best part of this gift is the look on your friend’s face when they pull out a packet of dried grubs! Call it the gift that gives back to you, too.
Automatic Coop Door Closer
Closing the chicken coop door at night is an important step for predator prevention and chicken warmth in the winter. But especially as days get shorter, it can hard to motivate yourself to go outside in the pitch dark, rain, and cold every evening to close those chickens in.
A great invention, the self-closing chicken coop door device, comes to the rescue! This electronic solution to the dark nights and early mornings is a simple attachment to the coop door that raises and lowers the door on an adjustable timer.
A little pricier than the other options on this list, it might be just the thing that your chicken friend would never splurge on themselves that could make their lives much easier and their chickens safer! You can always go in on a gift with several friends, of course.
Hopefully, this list gives you some ideas for gifts for your friends – or maybe even yourself! Of course, every adult knows that the gifts we hated as kids, we now appreciate, so when in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a fun pair of chicken socks.
Happy holidays from the team at Insteading!