Subscription Boxes for Uncommon Pets

Monthly subscription boxes continue to rise in popularity as growing amounts of people enjoy receiving a box of products that fill a recurring need or introduce new brands. Pet owners are no different, and why should dog and cat owners have all the fun? Here are some great monthly boxes for owners of less common pets.

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1. Henny & Roo
Backyard chicken keeping is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the US, and while some raise chickens for meat, most raise them for eggs and consider them pets. Each month, Henny & Roo delivers products to help keep flocks happy and healthy, including chicken treats, first aid and coop maintenance items. Then, they include a couple of useful, chicken-themed products for the chicken keeper, like eggwhite body products, books and magazines, and chicken-print socks. Monthly boxes are $29.95 plus shipping, and subscribers can save more by purchasing multi-month subscriptions.

Special offer: Save 10% at checkout with coupon code: BUZZFEED

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2. My Aquarium Box
My Aquarium Box is the first-ever subscription box made for freshwater and saltwater aquarium hobbyists. Discover the latest and greatest foods, tools, gadgets, supplements and decor delivered straight to your door once a month. Subscriptions are $24.99 (freshwater box) or $29.99 (saltwater box) including shipping, and you can cancel at any time.

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3. Squawk Box
Squawk Box is a monthly care package for your parrots, containing 4-6 carefully selected toys, treats, and more to keep your feathered friend healthy and entertained throughout the month. With a unique variety in every box, it’s a fun surprise for birds (and their humans). Subscriptions can renew every 1, 3, or 6 months and start at $24.95 a month. Select a box based on the size of your bird. Squawk Box donates a percentage of every sale to bird rescues. Save 20% on subscriptions with coupon code: BIRDBUZZ

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4. Bearded Dragon Box
Bearded Dragon Box is a monthly subscription box for pet bearded dragons and their owners. Each month, subscribers receive 3 – 5 carefully curated items like live feeders, supplements, bee pollen, probiotics, terrarium décor, costumes, or hammocks. Pet parents may receive include T-shirts, mugs, key chains, caps, decals, art, or jewelry. Sign up now for a chance to win a free 3-month subscription.

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Image credit: A Horse Box

5. A Horse Box
Each month A Horse Box delivers horse and rider-approved products from popular and up-and-coming niche brands. When you sign up for A Horse Box, each month you can spoil your horse with handpicked items – from the best grooming products to gourmet horse treats & more. Subscriptions start at $25.99 a month including shipping.

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Redemption Egg Foo Young Recipe

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We love the new book Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs: Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden, with 100 Recipes, by Signe Langford, and think this recipe, exerpted from the book, is one that celebrates the outputs of your flock, while keeping you warm in the cooler weather to come. Enjoy!

Redemption Egg Foo Young
Serves 2

I failed Home Ec. I disappointed Teacher with my Chinese dinner; I still don’t know where I went wrong. Making a Chinese meal from scratch in small-town Quebec in the 1970s was a tall order. Mother only had a few cookbooks to work from, so I went with a menu of recipes found in the Five Roses Cook Book and the LIFE Picture Cook Book from 1958. I’m going for redemption with this brilliant egg foo young.

4 Tbsp (60 mL) vegetable oil, divided

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Half a green pepper, finely diced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

2 scallions, finely sliced, divided

1 cup (250 mL) fresh bean sprouts, washed and dried

10 wild-caught shrimp or BC spot prawns, peeled and deveined

4 free-run eggs

Sauce
3/4 cup (180 mL) organic chicken stock

1 Tbsp (15 mL) good-quality soy sauce

1 Tbsp (15 mL) oyster sauce

1 Tbsp (15 mL) seasoned rice vinegar

1 Tbsp (15 mL) mirin or Chinese rice wine

1 tsp (5 mL) coconut sugar (or substitute granulated sugar)

2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch

  1. Add about 2 tablespoons (30 mL) oil to a medium skillet over high heat.
  1. Add shallot, garlic, green pepper, celery and most of the scallions, reserving some scallions for garnish; fry, stirring constantly, for about 1 to 2 minutes or until just softened.
  1. Add the well-drained bean sprouts; fry, stirring constantly, for another minute.
  1. Add the shrimp; fry until just turning pink and opaque. Transfer shrimp and sprout mixture to a dish and set aside. Put the pan to one side and allow it to cool.
  1. While the pan is cooling, prepare the sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients until well blended, with no cornstarch lumps. Set aside.

“Redemption Egg Foo Young” from Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs: Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden, with 100 Recipes, by Signe Langford, with photographs by Donna Griffith (Douglas & McIntyre).

A Peek Inside our November Box

Can you believe we are talking about November already? Summer slipped right into fall without me noticing. And now we’re about to slip into the holiday season! img_2143

You’ll be all set for holiday parties with your hen wine charm! Your guests will not mistake your wine for theirs with this charm, handmade and assembled by A Piece of the Farm. It can also be removed from the ring and worn as a necklace pendant.

One of the products we’ve selected for your chickens is Fossil Flour by Seehafer Shores Mini Farm. This food-grade diatomaceous earth product can be applied directly under your chickens wings if they are fighting a parasite infection, or added to their dust bath for prevention. Colder weather means closer quarters for your birds, and preventing an infestation before it happens, or treating it quickly, makes for healthier birds.

The items in this box top $50, making it a great gift at a nice value. Use code INSTA10 at checkout to save 10%!

October box delights subscribers

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Feedback on our October box has been great! We shipped 8 items with a fall twist to our subscribers, including:

Through the month of October, you can save 10% at checkout on every subscription with code: FALL10. And every subscriber always saves 10% in our Shop, where you can find great gifts with no commitment. Happy fall!

Charcoal as a Supplement for Chickens

According to Casey Ritz, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension poultry scientist, if chickens eat a bit of charcoal it helps lower the amount of ammonia in their manure, which can lead to happier, healthier and more environmentally friendly chickens. Ritz already knew charcoal worked as an ammonia and odor reducer in chicken house bedding, and is now looking at the benefits of adding charcoal to feed at a rate of 1-2%.

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Our October 2016 box featured Bird Charcoal from Charcoal House and 7 other products for chickens and keepers. Subscribe at: hennyandroo.com

High levels of ammonia in litter can affect a chicken’s growth and performance, and Ritz’s team found that it was more effective to mitigate ammonia inside the chicken, before it ever hits the ground.

Charcoal, which is already approved by the FDA for human consumption, could hold more benefits for poultry than just ammonia reduction. Because animals’ water and feed can be exposed to contaminants – from rodents, flies or birds, for example – many poultry farmers are following an age-old practice of adding charcoal to drinking water or feed. In Europe, commercial activated charcoals have been specifically designed as an additive for cattle and poultry feed.

Charcoal has the ability to absorb toxins from poultry feed and water, improving poultry health. While charcoal has no nutritional value itself, it contributes to a healthy digestive system by moving the impurities it absorbs out of the body. If worms or worm eggs are present, it may help move them out of the body with other waste. Poultry feed containing 1-1.5% charcoal has been said to increase laying rate, laying period and egg weight.

Our Henny & Roo October 2016 box contains a 7oz. bag of activated charcoal from Charcoal House, LLC. For more information on this product, and to buy more, visit http://www.buyactivatedcharcoal.com. To subscribe to Henny & Roo, or to purchase a non-subscription product, visit hennyandroo.com.

September box focuses on back-to-school relaxation

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Along with some great items for your flock, our September box provided chicken keepers with some items to aid in relaxation now that the kids are off to school (or you’ve just had a busy summer!).

For you:

  • A hardcover copy of “Chickens in the Road,” a memoir by Suzanne McMinn
  • Egg Yolk Face Mask from Body Love Potions
  • Aromatherapy Herbal Bath Tea with lavender, chamomile, and Epsom salts

For your flock:

 

Not a September subscriber? Get our September 2016 box without a subscription in our Shop, but there are only a few left! This option is perfect for anyone who just can’t wait for their first box, wants to try out this whole subscription box thing without a commitment, or for a gift. We’ll send this one out the next business day following your order, and you won’t get another one (or be charged for another one) unless you subscribe.

Please note: Substitutions may be made on items in past boxes based on product availability.

Get yours now!

How to Spot Signs and Prevent Heat Stress in Chickens

Click here for the original article from Veterinary & Poultry Supply, Inc., one of the vendors featured in our August Henny & Roo box.

Heat stress and exhaustion in chickens can be deadly if it’s not caught in time. We’re in the heat of summer now. Backyard chicken owners need to be watching their flocks for signs of heat stress.

What is Heat Stress?
What is heat stress in poultry? Heat stress is a condition in chickens (and other poultry) caused by high temperatures, especially when combined with high relative humidity and low air speed. A few predisposing factors include genetics, feather cover, acclimation to heat, drinking water temperature and availability. Older birds, heavy breeds and broilers are typically more susceptible to heat stress.

Severe heat stress can cause drops in production efficiency and increased mortality rates in your flock. You may notice reduced growth rates, egg production and hatching rates. Heat stress can also cause a change in egg quality. You may notice smaller eggs, thinner shells and overall poor internal egg quality.
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Signs of Heat Stress in Chickens
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your chickens they could be exhibiting signs of dehydration, heat stress or exhaustion:

  1. Labored breathing and panting
  2. Pale combs/wattles
  3. Lifting wings away from body
  4. Lethargy
  5. Diarrhea
  6. Seizures/convulsions

Ways to Combat Heat Stress in Chickens

  1. First and foremost, make sure your flock has access to clean, cool water at all times! This is crucial!
  2. Supplement lost electrolytes. More on this below.
  3. Provide protection from the sun. Shade, misters, and even wading pools are a welcome relief from the heat.
  4. Don’t crowd your flock. Your poultry need space to move away from the body heat of other birds.
  5. Feed during the cooler times of the day. Digestion generates heat and birds will be less likely to eat during the hotter parts of the day.
  6. Keep your birds calm. Don’t let children, dogs or other pets chase or disturb your flock.

Electrolytes for Chickens with Heat Stress

It’s always a good idea to keep emergency medical supplies on hand for your flock. Keeping electrolytes in stock can help you get through the hot summer months.

Heat stress can deplete the chicken’s body of electrolytes. A water soluble electrolyte powder can be used during times of heat stress to help replenish electrolytes that have been lost. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the package when using electrolytes. Electrolytes also increase your bird’s water intake, which is definitely a good thing when trying to help them cool off.

Electrolyte Tip: When you mix up an electrolyte solution, try freezing it in ice cube trays. You can add the cubes to your flock’s drinking water as needed as an additional way to cool them down.

This month’s Henny & Roo subscription box includes a 4 oz pack of our AgriLabs Vitamins & Electrolytes PLUS. You can pick up an August box for backyard chicken keepers that’s packed with goodies backyard chicken owners will love!

Get more Vitamins & Electrolytes PLUS and other products to keep your flock healthy at Veterinary & Poultry Supply, Inc.

 

How to tell when a chicken is ready to lay

If you’re a new chicken keeper who is raising your flock from chicks hatched this spring, you’re likely anxiously awaiting your first egg! While pullets (female chickens under one-year) reach point-of-lay at different times based on breed, size, and even weather, there are a few signs you can look for to determine if your chickens are getting ready to lay their first eggs.

Age. Most pullets will begin laying between 16 and 24 weeks of age, depending on breed. Once a pullet has produced her first egg, expect that she will lay almost daily, with frequency again being determined by breed.

Squatting. Pullets reaching sexual maturity will squat when you reach to pet them or pick them up. This is a sure sign that the bird will lay her first egg in the next week or two.

Red Combs and Wattles. Your pullets will develop deeper red combs and wattles as they take on a more mature, full-grown appearance and point-of-lay

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The August Henny & Roo box featured faux eggs, along with 7 other useful items for backyard chicken keepers.

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Time Spent in Coop. As your pullets get closer to laying their first egg, you might find them scratching around in the nesting box and desiring more privacy. Be sure to keep their nesting box bedding fresh and dry by replacing often. You can encourage pullets to lay in the nesting box by placing the imitation eggs in this month’s Henny & Roo box in the nesting box. Remove the imitation eggs when your flock starts laying real ones. It’s very difficult to break a pullet’s habit of laying outside the nesting box, so start them off right by showing them where they should lay.

If your pullet is spending days in the nesting box and appears to be straining without laying an egg, she may be egg-bound and you should contact your veterinarian for advice.

Vocalizations. You’ll think your pullet is announcing to the world that her egg is coming when you hear her new (often loud) sounds in the nesting box! Or, your pullet may be standing near the nesting box squawking loudly – that’s often because there in another chicken sitting where she wants to lay her egg. Some hens do discover their voices when they are ready to lay. It’s yet another sign eggs are coming soon.

Keep an eye on your pullets for these signs that eggs and near, then get ready for the big surprise and sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you look into the nesting box and see that first egg. Ask any experienced chicken keeper and they’ll tell you, collecting those eggs never gets old. Now, the only question is, how will you cook that first egg?

The Henny & Roo monthly chicken surprise box contains useful, high-quality items for backyard chicken keepers. Subscribe today to get our monthly box, or check out our one-time purchases in our Shop.

 

August boxes arrived!

Our August boxes have arrived in the homes of our subscribers, and we were so happy to share these products. Our goal was to delight chicken keepers with some summery goodness, prepare for pullets reaching point-of-lay, and support the older chickens with some fun treats.

August 2016 box

In their August boxes, our subscribers found:

We’ve got more great items planned for September, so now is the time to join our flock. Subscribe today – our next box ships 9/1/16!