Purina® Rabbit Nutrition E—Newsletter

FEATURED STORY | America’s Fanciest and Funniest Chicken Photo Contest


Lavender Brown, a little Blue Cochin Bantam chicken from Red Bluff, California, turned into a local celebrity after her photo was a winner in the 2009 America’s Fanciest and Funniest Chicken Photo Contest.

Lavender’s owner, Cindy Dover, was one of more than three hundred contestants from across the country that entered pictures of their fanciest bird struttin' his stuff or their funkiest chicken doin' his funniest thing. Ten grand prize winners in each category received a one-year's supply of a Purina® SunFresh® Recipe Poultry feed of their choice for one bird. The winners were selected for both the fanciest and funniest categories based on originality, overall artistic composition, use of color, and photo quality.

When Lavender’s award was announced, the local paper and television station instantly picked up on her newfound star status. The Dover family and Lavender had their picture and a story in the paper and Lavender got to show off on TV.

“My daughter’s teacher saw the photo in the paper with her and Lavender when we got the award,” Cindy said. “They cut it out and hung it up in her homeroom class. Everyone was talking about it at my daughter’s high school.”

In addition to Lavender, the Dover family has thirteen chickens, two cats, a rabbit, and a parakeet. All of the animals get along great. The mother of her cats helped raise the chicks along with her kittens, and their bunny loves to play tag with the chickens now that they’re older. But even with all the other animals, Cindy says she always knew Lavender was a star.

“We call her the chicken diva,” Cindy said. “Lavender may be small, but she has a lot of personality. She just constantly talks back and thinks she rules the roost and should have all of the attention.”

As a winner in last year’s America’s Fanciest and Funniest Chicken Photo Contest, Lavender certainly got the attention she deserved.

Even before she was famous, Lavender’s home life has never been that of a normal chicken. Her namesake is a character from the Harry Potter books, as are her fellow chickens like Molly Weasley, Luna Lovegood, and Lavender the chicken’s best friend, Hermione.

“We’re big fans of the book series,” Cindy said. “And instead of just having a plain old chicken pen, we decided to have fun with it.”

The chickens live in a replication of Harry Potter’s boarding school Hogwarts renamed Chickenwarts and can walk down the street on their very own Diagon Alley.

The Dovers feed Lavender and her entourage Purina® Layena® SunFresh® Recipe poultry feed throughout the year and add in some Purina® SunFresh® Recipe Scratch Grains in the colder months.

“The chickens prefer the Purina feed better,” Cindy said. “Because they like it better, there is less wasted. If the chickens don’t like it, they won’t eat it.”

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FLOCK TIPS | Getting Ready for Summer

Summer is finally here, which means outdoor barbeques, lounging around at the pool and, of course, air conditioning. Things like jumping in the water and spending time in the cooler indoors are ways that we help beat the heat during the warm summer months, but don’t forget to help your chickens do the same. The warm weather can be tough on animals, sometimes causing them to overheat, which can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or even death. Following these tips will help them enjoy the summer months as much as you do.

Food and H20: Have plenty of water available and keep it cool and clean! Have extra waterers ready, too. When the weather starts to warm up, acting quickly can reduce excessive stress.

Fresh, cool air: Keep your coop well ventilated and remember that litter can act as an insulator and trap heat. To prevent this, decrease the litter to no more than two inches above the floor. Also, make sure at least part of your coop is shaded so your flock can get out of the sun. If the humidity is too high for evaporative coolers and foggers to work, use fans and position them so that they blow directly onto the flock.

Health: Since larger birds are affected by heat more quickly, try to make sure your flock doesn’t get obese. Also remember to gather eggs more often since spoilage occurs faster in high temperatures.

Warning signs: If you find a chicken collapsed due to stress, dip it in a bucket of cold water or spray it directly with water.

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GET TO KNOW | Purina® Layena® SunFresh® Recipe

Purina® Layena® SunFresh® Recipe poultry food takes “natural” to a whole new level by using only the freshest, highest quality sun-grown grains and plant proteins to give birds the wholesome, healthy goodness and fresh taste they deserve. Made from natural* plant-based ingredients free of all animal proteins and fats, Purina® Layena® SunFresh® Recipe contains all the quality nutrients laying hens need to produce lots of strong-shelled, healthy, golden-yolked eggs.

• SunFresh® Recipe—formulated with sun-grown grains with a recipe free of animal proteins
• Superior Nutrition—gives great appearance and healthy eggs
• Essential Amino Acids—enhanced with lysine and methionine to give birds the healthy nutrients they need to produce plenty of tasty eggs
• Exclusive Level of Marigold Extract—for rich yellow yolks
• Key Levels of Calcium and Manganese—strong shells with fewer cracks
• Proprietary Level of Vitamin A—strong reproduction and overall health
• Key Level of Vitamin E—supports a healthy immune system
• Certified Natural*—our guarantee that this is the very best feed providing safe, natural nutrition for poultry Kid Milk Replacer is a premium quality milk replacer for kids, lambs and foals.

Purina® Layena® SunFresh® Recipe is a 16 percent-protein high-calcium ration formulated for top-producing laying birds once they reach 18 weeks of age

*with added vitamins, nutrients, and trace minerals

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