10+ Gift Ideas That Make Winter Actually Bearable

10+ Gift Ideas That Make Winter Actually Bearable

Sometimes I wish I could hibernate through winter. I hate being cold.

There are some products that I’ve found just make winter a little bit easier. So today I thought I would create a compilation of gift ideas that make winter actually bearable.

These gifts are perfect for giving to family members for Christmas, or you might end up just keeping them for yourself.

[This page might contain affiliate links, which means for any item you purchase using our links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting our website and being a part of the Pampered Chicken Mama family!]

Winter Boots

A good pair of winter boots is a must have, especially if you live on a farm. There is no way I could make the long trek out to my chicken coop to check on my hens in freezing cold weather without a good pair of waterproof boots. There are some great boots on Amazon here

Homemade Body Butter

I love homemade body butter. Trust me. Once you make the switch to making your own homemade body butter, you will never look back. Homemade body butter is also the perfect quick and easy gift! Check out my recipe for homemade body butter here: Coconut Oil Lavender Whipped Body Butter

Here's how to use raw organic coconut oil and lavender to create salon-worthy body butters! Only 2 ingredients - make it today with ingredients already in your pantry! From FrugalChicken

Blankets

Blankets are definitely a go to gift for me. You can never have too many blankets (in my opinion). I would not survive winter without large plush blankets like this one.

Echinacea Tea

Echinacea tea is perfect for a “get well soon” gift for someone who is feeling a little bit under the weather. Nothing makes me feel better when I’m sick than a warm cup of herbal tea.

Find it here: Echinacea tea

Mugs

Mugs are another one of my favorite gifts to give and to receive. They’re just fun and they’re perfect for drinking hot chocolate, herbal tea, and coffee. Here are some of my favorite mugs:

I Like Chickens Mug

Crazy Chicken Lady Mug

Love Chickens Mug

Beanies 

If you haven’t noticed already, I love beanies. Especially during the winter! They’re the perfect inexpensive gift that makes winter just a little bit easier. I love these beanies here.

Ice Scraper Mitt

Scraping the ice off of your car is the worst. I love this ice scraper mitt because it makes scraping the ice off of my car a little bit easier (especially since my hand isn’t frozen by the end!) You can also check out my recipe for homemade car de-icer spray here.

Lip Balm

With winter comes dry skin and chapped lips. That’s why lip balm is the perfect gift for the holiday season. You can make your own lip balm to give to your family and friends with my pumpkin spice lip balm recipe or my lemon balm lip goo recipe!

Mittens

There are very few things I hate more than having cold hands. I’m that person who has two pairs of gloves in my purse and in my car AT ALL TIMES. I love mittens because they keep my hands warmer than gloves. You could make your own mittens for a DIY gift or you can buy mittens here.

Slippers

Slippers are the best. Nobody likes having cold feet and slippers are the perfect solution. I love these slippers here. You can stuff slippers full of goodies for a fun and simple gift this year.

Bath Robe

Getting out of the hot shower in the winter is not fun. But having a soft bath robe makes it a little bit easier. I love this bathrobe here

Socks

I have a large collection of crazy socks. I figure if I can’t wear flip flops, I might as well wear fun socks. Here are some of my favorite crazy socks that I want to give as gifts this year:

Chicken socks

Chicken Feet Socks 

Chicken or The Egg Socks

 

What do you do to make winter more bearable?

 

 


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8+ DIY Holiday Decorations For Your Chicken Coop

8+ DIY Holiday Decorations For Your Chicken Coop

So I tend to go a little bit overboard with Christmas decorations every year.

I love Christmas, so I have to try and reign myself in every year when I want to decorate my house all out for the holidays. I’ve been looking at Christmas decorations on Pinterest all week (obviously) and I realized that I need to start decorating my chicken coop for the holidays! I think having holiday decor on the chicken coop might motivate me to leave my warm house to go check on my chickens. Or at least it would make a trip out to the coop more enjoyable right?

So today I thought I would share some of my absolute favorite DIY Christmas decorations for the chicken coop with all of you. Most of these DIY decorations you can make for cheap, or maybe even for free! So let’s get going, here are my favorite DIY Holiday decorations for your chicken coop.

Pine Cone Wreath

Wouldn’t one of these pine cone wreaths look fantastic on your chicken coop? If you have a pine tree in your backyard you could make this simple DIY wreath practically for free. You can find the tutorial here: Making Pine Cone Wreaths

Chicken Coop Garland

I love this adorable chicken coop garland for your hens made from fruit and chicken treats! Not only is this garland adorable, but it’s also a great boredom buster for your hens during the winter months. You can find the tutorial here: Festive Garland for a Chicken Coop

Holiday Herb & Berry Wreath

I’ve made this adorable wreath for my chicken coop, and my chickens love it. It looks adorable, and yes your chickens are supposed to eat it! It’s a great way to feed your chickens herbs in a fun and festive way! Tutorial here: Holiday Herb & Berry Wreath

Hot Chocolate Bar

Ok, so this isn’t exactly for your chicken coop, but after running out to the coop to check on my chickens in freezing weather, I definitely need some hot chocolate. So this DIY decoration is for the chicken owner:) I love the idea of creating an everyday hot chocolate bar because who doesn’t want hot chocolate everyday? This DIY project is super simple and I love how fun and festive it would make a small corner of your kitchen feel. Tutorial: Everyday Hot Chocolate Bar

Feed Bag Stocking

Isn’t this a great idea to use your leftover feed bags? You can make feed bag stockings to hang on your chicken coop for free using your empty chicken feed bags. Tutorial here: Feed Bag Stockings

Edible Christmas Garlands

Here’s another fun Christmas garland idea for your chicken coop. This one is made from radishes, cranberries, Brussels sprouts, and boiled eggs! This probably wouldn’t last long in my chicken coop, but it’s a fun and simple Christmas decoration! You can find the tutorial here: Edible Christmas Garland

Cookie Tin Water Heater

This cookie tin water heater is festive and practical! It keeps your chickens’ water from freezing! I love that this project is festive and useful at the same time! Here’s the tutorial: Cookie Tin Water Heater

Festive Chicken Coop

Don’t you love this coop? It looks STUNNING and it would be fairly simple to replicate! You can see more pictures of this adorable coop here: Holiday Chicken Coop

Do you decorate your chicken coop for the holidays? What chicken coop decorations do you love?

Easy & Adorable DIY Holiday Herb & Berry Coop Wreath!

Easy & Adorable DIY Holiday Herb & Berry Coop Wreath!

We all know herbs are healthy to feed your hens, so making a holiday herb wreath with berries is the perfect way to give your flock herbal goodness while making a cute & stylish coop decoration!

 

Making an herb wreath is really easy – in fact, the hardest thing you’ll do is decide WHICH herbs to use!

 

And yes, it’s meant to be beautiful AND your hens should eat it. Once it’s spent and doesn’t look great anymore, you can compost it.

 

For this wreath, we used rosemary (because it’s healthy AND looks visually similar to pine) and cranberries.

 

And I’ll tell you, hens LOVE the red berries. Cranberries are perfectly fine to feed your hens (especially fresh cranberries), but you can also use any other red berry – strawberries are another good option.

 

(In fact, if you doubt whether chickens will actually go for this wreath, here’s an image from our photo shoot where I turned my back for a moment and Mario, our Blue Copper Marans rooster, decided to try to steal the wreath):

 

Make an easy DIY holiday wreath with herbs and berries for your backyard chicken coop!

 

What herbs should you use?

For herbs, you can stick to the rosemary I used in this article, or you can add other herbs. Oregano, sage, and thyme are good options – each is great for overall health.

 

If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can also use flowers such as calendula or lavender, or add pinecones (your hens might try to sample the pinecones but quickly desert them in favor of the herbs and berries).

 

So why a wreath? Well, it’s fun, seasonal, and looks great in your coop. As far as the health benefits go, its an easy way to give your hens a healthy in a way that they can easy access the herbs without mashing them into the ground (it’s all about the benefits, right?)

 

Want to know how to make your own? Well, here’s directions you can repeat at home.

 

Make an easy DIY holiday wreath with herbs and berries for your backyard chicken coop!

 

Making Your Own Herbal Holiday Wreath for Your Chicken Coop

 

What you’ll need:

A wood or plastic ring

Beading wire or string (more on this in a minute)

About several bunches of long stemmed rosemary

4 – 7 cranberries or other berries

 

How to put your wreath together:

Make or buy a wreath ring

The ring is necessary to give your wreath some structure. It’ll look better and last longer in the coop, and make the rest of this project easier.

 

You can buy these here on Amazon or make one yourself with an old container top. We used an old container top we had laying around because, well, recycling is a good idea.

 

If you do use a plastic top, use an Exacto type knife (like this one here) to transform it into a ring. This is probably the easiest and most budget-friendly way to make this wreath.

 

You can also use it again and again, instead of replacing it every time you want to make a coop wreath.

 

Add the Herbs

Once you’ve made or purchased the ring, it’s time to add your herbs. Again, you can use any herbs you like, and for this project  I used rosemary.

 

Try your best to use only long stems of the herb – it’ll look better and be easier to tie to the ring. I was able to find fresh rosemary in the vegetable section of the supermarket.

 

If you can’t find any, don’t worry – you can still do this project. If you can find long stemmed herbs that AREN’T rosemary, then those herbs might be a better choice.

 

Tie bunches of the herbs (for the pictured wreath, the bunches were 2 – 3 stems of the rosemary) to the wreath. I tied them every inch or so, leaving the last 2-3 inches of the rosemary free.

 

The ends of the herbs will hide the wire or string, and complete the overall look.

 

Continue to do this, layering the bunches as you work your way around the wreath. This will also hide the tie points and add bulk to the wreath, making it look fuller.

 

Now, before we continue….

 

A note about the wire or string

Make an easy DIY holiday wreath with herbs and berries for your backyard chicken coop!

For this project, I used beading wire (not chicken wire). It’s sturdy and also flexible, and easy to twist.

 

You CAN use string, but there’s a couple caveats. Your hens are more likely to pick and eat at the string and it’s also harder to thread the berries with string.

 

You’ll hear a song and dance about how your hens will eat the wire and it could puncture or injure their digestive system.

 

Well, there’s also a chance aliens will puncture your hen’s digestive systems, but the chance of either happening is fairly small.

 

Obviously, you should proceed at your own risk and only do what you feel is best for your flock.

 

But understand if you do use either wire or string, your hens will likely be fine, and the health benefits of the herbs and fun you’ll have watching your hens go wild over the berries FAR outweighs any potential risks.

 

Chickens aren’t dumb, and will go for the herbs and berries long before they taste test wire.

 

If you use string, try to use a thicker string like baling twine. Your hens might be able to slurp up thread, but they’ll have to be pretty determined to swallow baling twine.

 

Adding the Berries

Finally, add your berries. Its easiest and most visually attractive to place them where you’ve wired the herbs to the ring. The berries will completely cover the wire.

 

Make an easy DIY holiday wreath with herbs and berries for your backyard chicken coop!

 

I found it was easiest to pierce the cranberries with a toothpick and then push the beading wire through. If you plan to use string, then use a needle to thread the string through.

 

Wire them on tight so your hens can pick at the berries. This also makes it more difficult for your hens to accidentally swallow the wire or string.

 

And that’s it!

You’ve now created a cute holiday herbal wreath for your coop! You can either place it high and enjoy it as a decoration or you can place it low and allow your hens to eat it. When it’s past it’s prime, and they’re no longer interested, take it down and compost the remaining herbs and berries. Because it’s easy to make, you can spend a couple minutes a week creating a new wreath and letting your flock enjoy it again and again!

 

herbs for backyard chickens




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7 Kitchen Decorations Perfect For Holiday Gatherings

7 Kitchen Decorations Perfect For Holiday Gatherings

The holidays are just around the corner and I’m starting to think about redecorating my kitchen.

With guests coming over more than usual for holiday parties I really want my kitchen to look just right for the holiday season. I’ve found some really great farmhouse kitchen decor ideas that I wanted to share with you this week!

So let’s get started! Here are some of my favorite kitchen decorations that are perfect for holiday gatherings!

[This page might contain affiliate links, which means for any item you purchase using our links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting our website and being a part of the Pampered Chicken Mama family!]

Gather Sign

This rustic gather sign would look absolutely stunning in any farmhouse kitchen or dining room. You could dress it up for the holidays by adding some garland around the top! Find it here: Gather Sign

Rustic “Eat” Sign

I love this rustic metal “eat” sign. We all secretly love the holidays because of all of the yummy food, so remind your guests about what they’re really in the kitchen for…the food! Find it here: Rustic “Eat” Sign

Vases With Metal Holder

These rustic vases with their simple metal holder would look absolutely stunning on a dining room table. You could fill the vases with festive holiday stems to bring a subtle Christmas touch to your kitchen! Find them here: Vases With Metal Holder

Rustic Metal Pitcher

I love this metal pitcher! This rustic pitcher would look stunning on your kitchen counter! Fill it with some holiday flowers and foliage and it will bring the perfect holiday feel to your kitchen! Find it here: Rustic Metal Pitcher

Rustic Metal Cookie Jar

This cookie jar is perfect for holding your favorite holiday cookies and treats! It will look stunning in any kitchen! Find it here: Rustic Metal Cookie Jar

Stove Top Custom Wooden Cover

You always need extra counter space during the holidays for serving food. This wooden stove top cover is perfect for protecting your stove top and providing you with a little bit of extra counter space. Find it here: Stove Top Custom Wooden Cover

Floating Shelves

These floating shelves are stunning! These shelves are perfect for displaying your favorite holiday knick knacks! Find them here: Floating Shelves

Which of these kitchen decorations is your favorite?
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6 Brilliant Gift Ideas For Your Chickens

6 Brilliant Gift Ideas For Your Chickens

Today we are going to talk about the top five gifts for your chickens!

It may seem like giving gifts for your chickens is somewhat frivolous, but if you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I support chicken toys!!! I think that they’re a good idea. Even though on the surface they seem frivolous and maybe a little bit ridiculous, at the same time, they do serve a very important purpose when it comes to your flock.

Why should you get gifts for your chickens?

As we know, chickens are very bright. They are smart creatures and given the right circumstances, things can turn into a Lord of the Flies situation very, very quickly. One concern that regularly comes up on the blog is what to do about chickens that pick on each other or develop bad habits. It is something that does happen!

Chicken toys can be way to avert those bad behaviors. It’s a way to distract your chickens from developing those bad behaviors. When winter comes and the chickens tend to be in the coop more, bad behaviors (such as picking feathers, or picking on others) can set in very easily. And that can make your life difficult.

So let’s talk about different toys you can get for your chickens that they will definitely appreciate this winter. Also just remember that even though we’re talking about things you can buy in this post, we’re also going to go over how to make them at home so you don’t have to spend money on them!

[This page might contain affiliate links, which means for any item you purchase using our links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting our website and being a part of the Pampered Chicken Mama family!]

Chicken Swings

The very first chicken toy product I wanted to talk about are chicken swings. Now chicken swings probably get the worst rap for being a frivolous item to purchase for your chickens. But chickens really do seem to enjoy them! What your chickens can do on the chicken swings is they can perch on it and they realize very quickly that they can use their weight to make the swing go back and forth. Chickens are smart right?

And to them is something entertaining to do, much like swinging on the swings is entertaining for kids (and adults too!)

It gives them something to distract them from the boredom of being in the coop all day. Now there are a lot of different options for chicken swings out there and there’s no one particular project that I support. To me a chicken swing is a chicken swing. So I advise you to go ahead and pick the one that works best for you. You can find a chicken swing online right here: Fowl Play Products Chicken Swing

DIY Chicken Swing

Now let’s talk a little bit about how to make a chicken swing at home. Because as I’m sure you can imagine, these are actually not that difficult to make. And there is a little bit of an advantage to making it at home, which is that you can use naturally found items.

On our farm I’ve found that using natural perches such as branches or logs does a really good job as a natural perch and the chickens seem to like it. I like how it lends a more natural look for our coops and runs.

So when it comes to a chicken swing, go ahead and use a naturally found twig, branch, or wood! You will want to make sure that the branch you choose is fairly wide. Chickens don’t wrap their toes around perches, like other birds do. They tend to sit more flat footed so using a thicker circumference branch or log is a really good place to start.

Now to make your chicken swing all you need to do is drill a hole in each end vertically on the log so that you’re able to put string or rope through it. I recommend using a thicker rope or twine, so that you can easily knot it after you put the string through your holes. You can tie it similar to how this old fashioned swing was tied in the photo below.

 

I suggest using rope as opposed to something like chain. If you use something like a chain your chickens might get caught in it. Because let’s face it chickens are masters at getting into trouble.

So I do suggest using something like rope because it’s more solid and they’re not going to get hurt as easily in it. Just have enough length of that rope so that it can get off the ground. I would definitely suggest keeping it close enough to the ground so that they still have access to it easily and it’s in their daily line of vision.

Xylophone

Now the next item on our list is a xylophone. I’m talking about those children’s xylophones that have a lot of different colors on them. And obviously it’s a musical instrument so it makes noise. You’ve probably seen that video going viral on Facebook that shows chicken playing with a xylophone.

I really this idea because chickens are very motivated by color. They do see color and they can distinguish colors and they seem to enjoy the idea of making music or at least entertaining themselves with the different tones of the notes.

This is something that we are definitely going to try this winter. I can see it be it being a mental exercise for them, an opportunity for them to exercise their intelligence and also just a way to distract them from the boredom. And it maybe if you spent some time training them you might end up having some musical chickens on your hands;)

I do suggest going with a xylophone that has different colors on it because chickens are attracted to the different colors and I could see it just being a lot more entertaining to them than the noise itself. 

Here are some options for xylophones on the web:

Now unfortunately, this is the one item on our list that I can’t really tell you how to make because I really don’t know how to make a xylophone. If you don’t want to buy one and if you have one hanging around, you can easily repurpose it as a chicken toy for your coop. Or you could check out local thrift stores to see if you could find one there!

Nesting Herbs

Now the third present for your chickens on our list are actually my Frugal Chicken nesting herbs. Basically what this product is, is its the herbs that I give my own chickens. It’s a custom blend that I’ve put together specifically because I believe that these are the herbs that you know help your chickens be healthy.

Now one of the reasons I chose herbs is because they are specifically geared towards helping you raise healthy chickens. The way you use the product is you sprinkle the herbs in their nesting boxes. As your hens are laying their eggs, they’re going to pick at the herbs. So they’ll get the healthy benefits of it.

You can mix herbs into their feed (depending on the herb). Either way will work very very well.

Now if you do want to make this at home, all that you need to do is go ahead and buy the herbs separately and then just go ahead and mix them all together. Or if you happen to have them growing on your farm, that would be perfect to! My chicken nesting box herbs are all organic so if you have an organic farm, you can easily recreate these at home. 

I also sell lots of yummy treats for your hens too! One of my favorites is my Bee A Happy Hen Treat Mix. It’s a mix of bee pollen granules, hard red wheat berries, peppermint, parsley, mealworms, and rose petals. No joke, your hens will LOVE it! You can find it in our store right here.

Hanging Treat Basket

Now the next product on our list is MannaPro’s Mealworm Medley and a hanging basket to put the block into. Now the mealworm medley is,  basically just a block of chicken treat. So it’s a single block about three inches by three inches and the nice thing about it is you can just put it in a hanging basket. It doesn’t last very long in my coop because my chickens love it so much!

It gives your chickens an extra treat that’s full of nutrients, protein, and vitamins that are good for them! But it also helps them mentally because they’re able to peck at and hunt at it. So that’s why I really like the MannaPro Mealworm Medley. So if you did want to go ahead and get the mealworm medley, go to the thefrugalchicken.com/medley

You definitely also want to get a hanging basket. It’s a heavy duty wire basket, that lets you suspend the treat, so that your chickens can peck at it and so that it doesn’t get dirty. 

You can also make the treat for the hanging basket from home! On the blog I have an article for making your own homemade suet treats that you can easily put into a hanging basket.

I love this recipe because the coconut oil has a lot healthy fats in it for them and you can pick the ingredients you want to put in there. So you can put in sunflower seeds, mealworms, their regular feed, corn, or whatever works for you and your flock. 

During the winter you don’t have to worry about the coconut oil melting.  Coconut oil has a 77 degree melting point and in most places it is much colder than that in the winter!

Treats

Now obviously, we just talked about some treats for your chickens, but I wanted to talk about some other options you can give your chickens!

One option is mealworms. I rely heavily on mealworms for my chickens. They love them and it gives like them that extra little bit of spark because they are hunting something. I’m not sure what it is about mealworms, but there’s something about them that my chickens get all excited about. They hear the mealworms, they smell them, they are just all over it. It’s kind of insane! You can pick up some mealworms from the store right here: Mealworms-LoveBugs For Hens

On the blog we have tons of free treat recipes that you can make at home for your chickens. Some of my favorite are: Wheat Berry & Lemon Balm Happy Tummy Treats, Frozen Beef Tallow Treats (for summer), 5 High Protein Treats For Fall, Lavender Treat Mix, and Pumpkin Seed, Cayenne & Wormwood Deworming treat

You can also check out my book “Cluck Cakes” that has tons of treat recipes for your chickens!

We also have tons of treat options in the store such as:

Treat Dispenser

Since we’re talking about treats, the final gift for your chickens on our list is a treat dispenser.  If you haven’t seen them, they work a little bit like Kongs for dogs in the sense that you can put the treat in it and your chickens have to figure out how to get the treat out. Once they figure out what it does, they’re going to play with it a lot!

The one that I like is this one from Manna Pro: Manna Pro Treat Dispenser

But you can also easily make this at home with something like an old soda bottle or an old water bottle. All you need to do is poke some holes in the old water bottle, put the treats in the top, and then screw the lid back on. Then your chickens will try and peck the treats out of the holes! So that’s a very, very simple way to make it at home with products you probably already have on hand!

You can put whatever you want in your treat dispenser! I would stick with dry foods though, so that it doesn’t get messy and gross. You can put corn in there, you can put mealworms in there, oats, calendula, or anything else you feel would work for your flock.

That’s all for today folks! Are you going to buy your chickens gifts this year? If so, what are you going to give them?