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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5 High Protein Treats For Backyard Chickens

5 High Protein Treats For Backyard Chickens

Winter is here….and although most backyard chickens weather winter well, you might find yourself worrying about whether they’re getting enough protein.

Your flock’s feathers are critical to their health during the winter. Feathers serve some important purposes, including protection from the wind AND keeping your backyard chickens warm. So, providing your hens a diet that’s high in protein is critical.

While most commercial feeds have 16% protein, you might want your flock to get even more protein so even the coldest days won’t effect them. In this article, I’m going to show you lots of different high protein options that both chickens and ducks love! There’s something for every backyard chicken on this list, and most of these treats also have important vitamins and minerals too!

Brewer’s Yeast

It’s not something you typically associate with protein, but brewer’s and nutritional yeast is FULL of protein – they’re both about 40% protein. You can mix brewer’s yeast with your flock’s regular feed, or with a special treat you’ve created for them (such as the eggs or black soldier fly larvae above).

It’s probably best to mix it with something else. It’s full of protein but also powdery – so adding it to food with texture will help your chickens enjoy their treat more. You can buy it in our store, and it’s mixed with garlic, oregano, and echinacea – all herbs traditionally used to support healthy immune systems in chickens.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black soldier fly larvae are about 40% protein, and hens LOOOOOOVE them! You can buy them dried right here or you can create your own farm – they’re remarkably easy to farm, and they’ll live in anything.

(Recently, we discovered a BSFL farm in my truck bed, where some grain had spilled. Totally disgusting and proof they’ll hatch anywhere. We had NO idea they established residence until some torrential downpours caused them to jump ship. Let’s just say the hens were VERY happy for a few days).

If farming black soldier fly larvae isn’t your deal, then you can always go with dried ones – hens love them either way!

Dried River Shrimp

Like black soldier fly larvae, dried river shrimp are full of protein. The nice thing about shrimp is they’re very easy for tiny beaks to consume, so if your chickens aren’t quite adults yet (or if you have baby chicks), you might find shrimp are easier for them to eat.

Ducks in particular love shrimp (I think more than other treats), and mine really love when we float dried river shrimp on water for them. In fact, we named one of our most recent ducklings “Hoover” because he eats the shrimp so fast! You can buy dried river shrimp right here.

Quinoa

You might not think of quinoa when you think about treats for chickens, but it’s full of protein, and when cool, makes a great high protein treat. I cook my chickens and ducks quinoa before feeding it to make it easier to digest, which in turn makes the protein and nutrients more bioavailable.

Cooked quinoa contains 8 g of protein per cup, and it’s also full of magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese. Just make sure it’s 100% cool before offering it to your flock.

Kale

Yep, kale uis very high in protein, and it might break up some long winter days when your flock refuses to leave the coop. It’s also full of vitamins and minerals! An easy way to provide kale for your backyard chickens is to hang the leaves in the coop. Your flock can pick at the leaves, and once they’re done, it’s easy to remove.

For ducks, it’ll be easier to float the kale on water for them. Because of their round bills, ducks sometimes struggle to pick up leaves. Kale has 2 g of protein per cup.

Fluffiest Feathers Ever!

We carry this dietary supplement in our store. It’s 28% protein, and chickens LOVE it. We feed it separately or sometimes mixed with their feed, and it doesn’t stay in their feed bowl very long! You can learn more about Fluffiest Feathers Ever right here.

Try This DIY Hanging Pumpkin Treat For Your Chickens

Try This DIY Hanging Pumpkin Treat For Your Chickens

Today I wanted to share a simple DIY hanging pumpkin treat that you can make for your chickens.

The idea for this project comes from reader Herdy Bell! Thanks for sharing it with us Herdy!

My chickens love pumpkins and since it’s right after Halloween there tend to be a lot of leftover pumpkins around! You can snag great deals on pumpkins at grocery stores or at farms after Halloween. I always stock up on pumpkin, so that I can feed them to my flock.

Remember, however, that pumpkins are treats – not a replacement for a good basic diet.

Now this project is pretty simple, basically you’re just going to hang a pumpkin in your coop.

You might ask, why would I hang my pumpkin and not just give it to them? Well you can definitely just slice your pumpkin in half and give it to them. Trust me they’ll love it.

But hanging the pumpkin provides some different environmental interest for your chickens. It’s something new and fun for them to do. Providing environmental activities is important, especially going into the winter months.

When winter comes and 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.

Providing stimulating activities in your coop or run for your chickens can distract them from developing negative behaviors.

Plus it’s just fun to watch your chickens play with and figure out new toys and treats!

Here’s how to make this DIY Hanging Pumpkin Treat

All you need is:

  • A pumpkin
  • Rope or twine
  • Serrated kitchen knife
  • Drill

Step One: Drill a hole 

Now the first thing you need to do is drill a hole in the stem of your pumpkin. You’re going to want to choose a pumpkin with a think, sturdy stem. Then you need to drill a hole through the pumpkin’s stem horizontally, as close to the base as possible.

After you drill the hole you can thread your twine through the hole. I recommend using thicker twine so that the weight of the pumpkin doesn’t break it.

You can also thread a second piece of twine through the hole to make sure that it’s secure. After your twine is threaded through, you just need to tie the two ends of the twine together so that you can easily hang the pumpkin from something in your coop.

Step Two: Scrape off parts of the outer pumpkin shell

Next you need to scrape off parts of the outer shell/skin. This will make it easier for your chickens to be able to get to the insides and seeds of the pumpkin.

You could do this a variety of different ways. I used a small serrated knife I had in my kitchen. All I did was start sawing at the side of the pumpkin with the serrated knife.

The point here is you want to take parts of the outer layer of the pumpkin off, so that your chickens have access to the soft insides of the pumpkin.

After sawing with the knife I was able to pull off parts of the skin and keep going. You don’t have to take off all the skin (that would take forever), just enough that your chickens will have access to the insides.

Step 3: Hang your pumpkin

Now you can hang your pumpkin in your coop! I would hang it fairly close to the floor of your coop/run, around 6-12 inches off the ground, just to be safe.

And that’s it! I love how simple and easy it is to make this DIY treat for your flock! Thanks again Herdy for sharing your idea with us!

More Chicken Treat Articles:

Rustic Winter Decor Ideas That Will Transform Your Home

Rustic Winter Decor Ideas That Will Transform Your Home

Now that it’s November it’s time to start thinking about winter decor for your home.

While I love Christmas decor, I prefer decor items that have a more subtle winter feel, so that I can leave them up in January as well! It’s so fun to transform your home for the winter season because there are so many stunning winter decor ideas out there!

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite rustic winter decor ideas with all of you! Some of these items are specifically for Christmas, but most of them you could leave up in your home through the entire winter season!

[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!]

Real Cotton Wreath

This cotton wreath is stunning and versatile. In the winter it would add a white accent to your home, but it could also be a great accent piece in the summer!

Find it here: Real Cotton Wreath

Farmhouse Throw Pillow 

I love old rustic red trucks (you’ll know this if you’ve read any of my other decor articles). They’re so cute and add such a fun vintage flair to any home. This throw pillow is perfect for bringing a vintage winter feel to your living room.

Find it here: Farmhouse Throw Pillow

Distressed Cream Area Rug

This distressed cream area rug would add a very subtle winter feel to your home. The light blue and white accents are perfect for the winter season.

Find it here: Distressed Cream Area Rug 

Christmas Tree Shiplap Wood Sign

Ah shiplap. Shiplap always adds a beautiful touch to any wall decor. This shiplap Christmas trees sign is perfect for the holiday season.

Find it here: Christmas Tree Shiplap Wood Sign

Cotton Buffalo Check Throw Blanket

I love decor items that are functional. So throw blankets are a go to decor item for me! This black and white checked blanket would add a cozy feel to your home.

Find it here: Cotton Buffalo Check Throw Blanket 

White Lantern

This distressed white lantern is perfect for adding light to a living room. The flicking candle light would bring a cozy feel to any reading nook or office!

Find it here: White Lantern

Birch Logs

Aren’t these birch logs stunning? These birch logs would look amazing next to any fireplace to add a rustic feel to your home.

Find them here: Birch Logs

Which of these winter decor ideas was your favorite?

Looking for more farmhouse home decor ideas? Check out these articles

5 Herbs Every Chicken Mama Needs This Winter

5 Herbs Every Chicken Mama Needs This Winter

While there are a lot of herbs that are great for your backyard chickens, there are a few that are very important during the fall and winter months.

 

Their tiny bodies have to work hard to stay warm and healthy during the winter, and while a good layer feed is ALWAYS the basis of any healthy diet, you don’t need to stop there.

 

There’s herbs you can provide your chickens that’ll support healthy immune system functions – which is especially important when the mercury dips!

 

Here’s the top 5 herbs you should keep handy!

 

Oregano

Oregano is one of my favorite herbs for backyard chickens. It supports healthy immune systems, and hens love to GOBBLE down the little green flecks.

 

You can offer fresh or dried oregano – both are great – and you’ll want to use the leaves of the oregano plant. Mix with their feed, offer separately, OR make a “tea” by immersing them in water.

 

Whenever we have a chicken or duck that needs some extra TLC, I turn first to oregano!

 

You can find oregano for your chickens here: Oregano for Backyard Chickens

Echinacea

Without a doubt, you’ve heard of echinacea!

 

Echinacea has been used traditionally to support healthy immune system functions for centuries, and it’s a great herb for your chickens, too!

 

You can use the leaves or the roots of the echinacea plant – while the roots are more powerful, they’re also more expensive. Chickens love picking at the leaves!

 

It’s easiest to mix echinacea with their feed or use it as a top dress. If your chickens aren’t sure what to do, add an extra treat such as mealworms or dried river shrimp to the mix – your flock will quickly figure it out!

 

To make it easier for chicken owners to get echinacea, we’ve included it in my herbal blend StrongHen (TM). Wherever you buy echinacea, be sure it’s 100% pure!

 

 

Calendula

Calendula is not only good for giving your eggs the perfect golden yolk, but it’s also great to offer your hens during the winter months. In fact, it’s a bit of a “superherb” that’s used in traditional herbalism for many things: to support skin, immune system functions, healthy digestion, and more!

 

As a bonus, it smells DIVINE.

 

The beta carotenes that gives these flowers their pretty yellow petals are also super healthy nutrients for your hens. Calendula has some antimicrobial properties, and is packed with many other vitamins that will help your flock be healthier during the cold winter months.

 

Plus your hens will love picking at these pretty yellow flowers, so it’s a great winter boredom buster.

 

You’ll want to use the dried flowers and/or petals. You can add to feed, create a tea (it makes a pretty sweet tea), or add to nesting boxes.

 

Find calendula here: Calendula for Backyard Chickens

 

herbs for backyard chickens

Elder

Elder is packed full of immune support power for your chickens.

 

Elderberry has been used as a traditional herbal remedy for centuries and researchers are discovering that it’s a powerful herb for keeping chickens healthy!

 

In a 2014 study, researchers found that elderberry helped prevent Infections Bronchitis Virus in chickens (source).

 

For humans, elderberries and elder flower are used to support healthy immune functions. With chickens, you can use the berries and the flowers – hens love both!

 

While humans can use elder in a tincture, you’ll want to stick with dried or fresh berries and/or dried flowers. Particularly if you offer dried berries, add it to their feed – your hens will love to pick at their tiny dark treats!

 

In our herbal blend StrongHen (TM), you’ll find elderberries (along with most of the other herbs I mention in this list). It’s an easy and economical way to get all these herbs in one product.

 

Garlic

Not only is garlic perfect for adding flavor to your meals, but it’s also great for supporting the immune system of your backyard chickens!

 

Garlic has been traditionally used for generations to support healthy immune functions, and it’s no different for chickens! The allicin in garlic gives the herb it’s characteristic smell AND it’s where the power of the herb originates.

 

It’s easiest to offer garlic steeped in your flock’s water. You can use fresh or dried garlic – both are great!

 

You can find garlic for your flock here: Garlic

PCM StrongHen (TM)

My StrongHen herbal mix combines the powers of oregano, echinacea, garlic, elder, calendula, and other great herbs to keep your chicken’s immune system strong. This mix is perfect for fall and winter because it gives your chickens the immune boost they need to stay healthy!

You can find PCM StrongHen here: StrongHen

Have more questions about keeping your flock healthy in the winter? Check out these articles: