January box is about giving back

We were proud to work with wonderful vendors this month, as we are every month, really. Two of our vendors include provisions in their business model to give to a portion of product revenue to nonprofits. We admire that and were inspired to give too!

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The January box featured a lip balm from FreeRange SkinCare. Most of their products are made with egg yolks, and the item that you’ll get supports their efforts to rescue, care for and rehabilitate ex-battery hens in the Cleveland area. We’ll soon feature more of their products in our Shop.

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We also sent a bag of Chicken Chew Layer Feed, a new product from My Urban Coop. Make a purchase of a full size bag from their website, and not only will your flock eat well, but you’ll support The Garden Hen, a Houston-area nonprofit that brings poultry education to elementary students. Get 10% off when you sign up for a subscription to have Chicken Chew delivered to your home monthly, and get free shipping with orders over $49 from myurbancoop.com.

The giving spirit of these two companies inspired us to give too, so And finally, we are sending the January box to each of the past recipients of the Coops for Troops program – all veterans facing PTSD. We thank Coop Dreams for coordinating this program and accepting this gift.

We’re sure your flock got excited about the Grubblies in your January box! Grubblies are dried black soldier fly larvae that are really high in protein. They must taste pretty good too, because our flock comes running when they see the bag! Grubbly Farms also offers a monthly subscription in which your first 1 pound bag is free, and then you continue to save 10% each month.

canvasbagOur new Peace, Love, Chickens bag included in the January Henny & Roo box is a generous 7 x 11 inches and reminds us of the important things in life! More available in our Shop.

We also included a 2-pack of spring-loaded latches so that if needed, you can add some extra security to your coop, and a 2018 calendar featuring beautiful chicken photos from Exotic Nutrition.

Also included was Ball of Bugs treats from Pacific Bird and Supply to help keep your flock occupied in the coop. It’s fun to see them roll them around as they peck.

To keep the coop clean, we added EcoPet Natural Cleaner from DooKashi, makers of the coop bedding deodorizer. It’s a concentrated formula meant to be diluted with water, and all of the ingredients are natural and organic. It’s non-corrosive, non-toxic, and uses an organic probiotic to clean away grime and odors. Nothing but the best for our flock, right?

And finally, each subscriber received a packet of Gro2Max Probiotic Supplement. Gro2Max helps chickens better absorb nutrients from feed, resulting in healthier birds and increased size and quality of eggs with no withdrawal.

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We hope you loved your January box, and we are working hard to prepare for February! We’re excited to share our “Laid with Love” egg stamp with each February subscriber.

Didn’t get a box? Grab a January box as a one-time item without a subscription, or subscribe and start with our February box. 

Saturdays are Time to Lime!

**Scroll to get a special offer for Henny & Roo fans!**

Our poor ladies. With the cold and snow here in northern Illinois, they’ve been in their coop more than ever. Not only because we haven’t been outside to hang with them while they free range and keep them safe from predators, but because they refuse to step foot in the white stuff.

So the coop and run…let’s just say there’s more poop in there than usual. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been using First Saturday Lime, and it’s made a big difference in drying up the poop and reducing odor.

In the coop, lime reduces odors, repels pests, protects against most bug larvae (stick fleas, lice, mites), improves calcium levels, and reduces moisture which discourages the growth of potentially harmful bacteria. First Saturday Lime recommends you apply it monthly, and you can remind yourself to do it on the first Saturday. Get it? First Saturday? So smart!

There are different types of lime, and you do have to choose a product that is safe around animals.

We know that some lime (hydrated lime, calcium oxide, calcium hydroxide) can burn skin, and some lime (dolomitic, straight out of the quarry) isn’t very strong.

First Saturday Lime came up with a formulated version of hydrated lime, which is just as strong but safer. It lacks the caustic nature of hydrated lime, while also containing virtually no silica as in dolomitic lime. First Saturday Lime can be handled by bare hands (and chicken feet), free from worry. They’ll likely take a few nibbles, and that’s OK.

First Saturday Lime is also useful outside the chicken coop!

  • Organic pest barrier. Just pour around the base of your home once a month for insect control
  • Safe for children, pets, animals and organic farming
  • Stabilizes pH levels and removes algae from ponds and aquariums
  • Sanitize chicken coops, stables, barns and kennels
  • Increase soil pH levels for “sweeter,” more fertile soil
  • Use as a limewash for walls and crafts
  • Change hydrangeas’ color to pink

Want to give it a try? We have a special offer for Henny & Roo fans – use code HENNYANDROO to save 20% and get free shipping when you order at First Saturday Lime.

February Sneak Peek

It’s the 5th, and that means we’re taking orders for next month’s box! Did you hear? EVERYONE’S GETTING THE “LAID WITH LOVE” EGG STAMP! If we have extras, we will sell them in our Shop for $18, so getting them in your February box for $29.95 with 7 other items is quite a deal. You’ll also get the new Treat and Herb Sampler Pack from Exotic Nutrition Pet Supply Company. We’ve got just 75 spaces left and they are going fast. Order now!

Bagged by Texans!

Our chickens braved the white stuff just to try Chicken Chew, the new feed from My Urban Coop – so you know it’s gotta be good. I like it because it’s a natural, soy-free layer feed bagged by real Texans 😂

Check out all the good stuff in their Homestyle Hemp variety: northern hemp seed, oyster shell, organic wheat, oats, corn and milo.

And the best part is – all of our subscribers get to try a 5 ounce bag of one of the three varieties (Homestyle Hemp, Frisky Fax or Plump Pumpkin)!

Not yet a subscriber? Sign up now at: hennyandroo.com

Preventing Frostbite in Your Flock

It’s cold out there, and you may be wondering what types of products you can use on your flock to prevent frostbite.

Lisa Steele, whose book Fresh Eggs Daily is featured in our March, 2018 box, offers a very thorough list of things you can do in the coop to keep your chickens toasty and prevent frostbite. One of those strategies is to apply a protective coating to combs and wattles.

Our subscribers received our Henny & Roo Peppermint Lavender Comb and Wattle Salve in their November boxes, but we do have a few left in our Shop.

It’s made from coconut oil and beeswax, with peppermint (antimicrobial, pain reliever, relaxant) and lavender (blood circulation enhancer, relaxant) essential oils. There is no Vaseline in this product, which can actually cause frostbite.

Henny & Roo Comb and Wattle Salve is wonderful on human skin too! Order now at: hennyandroo.com

Looking ahead to 2018

Now is a GREAT time to get a 3 month subscription to Henny & Roo, the supply box for backyard chicken keepers. Not only are we offering 15% this already discounted subscription offer (code HOLIDAY15 at checkout), but here are a few items you’ll receive over the next three months:

🐓Fresh Eggs Daily, the essential reference for natural chicken keeping from Lisa Steele of the Fresh Eggs Daily blog.

🐓Our super cute Henny & Roo exclusive Peace, Love, Chickens canvas pouch.

🐓 And for your flock, a new product from Exotic Nutrition Pet Supply Company – a four treat pack with dried high-protein goodies and herbs.

View all of our subscription options and order now with code HOLIDAY15 to save 15%!

Inside our December box

Our December box was all about keeping your flock happy and healthy in the colder months, when they’re more likely to be cooped up. Here in northern Illinois, our flock of 8 aren’t getting out as much as they used to. They don’t like snow, hawks are hanging around a lot more and can see them better now that the leaves have fallen, and we just aren’t outside as much to keep an eye on them.

We were so excited to partner with Melissa Caughey, best selling author and backyard poultry expert, to bring you her latest book, How to Speak Chicken. It’s a great read that will leave you with more insight into why your chickens do what they do.

The book inspired us to select products to keep them occupied and healthy during the long winter.

Our December box featured:

We’ve got just a few December boxes left in our Shop. Grab yours before it’s gone!

We wish you a very happy holiday season!

A Peek into the January 2018 box, and a shipping price change

Untitled design (3)The Henny & Roo December boxes are hitting the front porches of chicken keepers across the USA, and we hope you are loving the items we picked out – all intended to keep your flock happy and healthy while cooped up this winter.

For us, it’s always about the next box, and while we are currently planning for March, we wanted to share a couple items that will appear in your January boxes. And while both of these companies and products are wonderful in their own right, they both also give back to the poultry community with every purchase.

ChickenChew

Chicken Chew Layer Feed from My Urban Coop is a 100% all-natural, soy-free feed that comes in three varieties: Plump Pumpkin, Homestyle Hemp, and Frisky Flax.  And while your chickens are eating good, you’ll be doing good. Proceeds from sales of Chicken Chew support The Garden Hen, a Houston-area nonprofit that brings poultry lifecycle education to elementary school classrooms. You can even subscribe to keep the Chicken Chew coming.

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And for you, the chicken keeper who might need extra cold and wind protection, we’re packing in a Free Range Skincare Lip Balm in Java Bean or Cherry Balm. While most of Free Range Skincare’s products contain egg yolk, the lip balm does not. But each sale of the balm supports the rescue, care, and rehabilitation of ex-battery hens in the Cleveland area.

Our January box contains 7 items in addition to the 2 above, and can be ordered as a monthly subscription or a one-time shipment at: hennyandroo.com

Pricing Change

The United States Postal Services recently announced the second rate hike since Henny & Roo started in 2016 and set our shipping price at $5.95. At that time, we knew we would be subsidizing a portion of our true shipping costs, which average about $7.40 per box. With the new USPS shipping rates going into effect on January 21, 2018, we will likely incur shipping costs right around $8 per box. Due to this increase, we find necessary to increase our shipping rate to $6.95 for every subscription and one-time box starting with the February box. The price change will not affect your December 15 renewal.

Raising our shipping charge will allow us to continue to include only the highest quality chicken keeping supplies and gifts in our boxes. We appreciate your loyalty and understanding!

Why Sprouted Grains are Good for Your Chickens

Sprouted grains provide easy-to-digest energy, allow your flock access to fresh greens even in winter, and provide essential minerals, vitamins, and increased protein. But what are sprouted grains, and how can you make them yourself?

The Henny & Roo flock enjoys sprouted grains when the weather in the Chicago area gets cold and bugs and fresh greens are in short supply. We’re thrilled to partner with Scratch and Peck Feeds to include a 1 pound bag of organic whole barley in our January subscription boxes for backyard chicken keepers (order your subscription or one time box for yourself or your favorite chicken keeper)!

Sprouting grains allows for easier digestion and absorption of nutrients, about 5-6 times the nutrients they’d receive if eating the whole grain.

In addition to being super healthy, it’s a fun boredom buster for to your flock that may be cooped up more often due to weather.

High-nutrient feed means high-nutrient eggs, so spouting grains has benefits for you too. You’ll likely see your hens pick up production a bit, and you might notice a more deeper yellow yolk.

Ready to give it a try? Sprouting grains is super easy, and we thank Scratch and Peck Feeds for sharing their method:

Step 1: Sourcing – Not All Whole Grains Are Created Equal!

Like with most things, you get what you pay for when it comes to whole grain quality. There are grains specific to sprouting for human consumption, others may have a viability guarantee, there are even grains treated with chemicals like antimicrobials or fungicides that should not be used for anything except direct plantings. The best choice for sprouting or growing will always be Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Organic seeds and whole grains (and that’s exactly what you’ll get in your January Henny & Roo box).

Step 2: Disinfecting – Clean Hands, Grains and Containers

To help prevent mold and fungus issues later on, the most important step is making sure your hands, the containers used and the whole grains themselves are as clean as possible. Before working with them, make sure you are prepped and ready with clean hands and sterilized sprouting containers.

Whether growing sprouts or fodder, it is recommended to sort through the whole grains for any foreign items, even before rinsing or soaking.

Barley Whole Grains from Scratch and Peck Feeds

Step 3: Hydration – Initial Rinse and Soak

Dry whole grains are considered dormant until exposed to enough water to fully absorb and soften the shell for sprouting. After rinsing and draining them, add them to a container able to fit all the whole grains plus 2-3 times the amount of water, along with providing room for the grains to expand as they absorb water. When rinsing or soaking, too much water will never be a problem – however, issues can occur if not enough water is used or if they are soaked too long. Each grain soaking time will vary with most ranging between 8-12 hours. For example, legumes like beans and peas are recommended to be soaked 8-12 hours, while the suggestion for grains like wheat and barley is about 6-12 hours.

Step 4: Maintenance – Rinse, Drain and Repeat

Once the grains have finished soaking, rinse and thoroughly drain before adding to the chosen container. For smaller sprouting projects, a quart mason jar may work just fine, while a larger fodder production will need trays of some sort. Whatever container is chosen, drainage is crucial! Some people may even choose to drill holes in a flat seed tray or tub with a tray underneath to prevent standing water in their containers. If a mason jar is used, it is best to cover the mouth with cheesecloth and turn it upside down to continue draining in between rinses. When using trays, it is best to keep the grains at a depth no more than ½” to help with air circulation and drainage.

Henny & Roo fodder

Place your sprouting or fodder container in an area with some light, but no direct sunlight at about 60-75 degrees. Do not put the container in a cupboard due to stale air issues – air flow is important to prevent mold and fungus from developing.

Every 8-12 hours, rinse the sprouts with clean, cold water several times and then drain as much water as possible. During this process, it is important to look for any discoloration among the sprouts that may be mold or fungus. Repeat the rinse and drain process until the sprouts or fodder reach the desired length – usually 3-5 days depending on seed or whole grain used.

On day two, we already see tiny sprouts!

Step 5: Feeding Frenzy – Who’s Hungry?!

Grab a handful of sprouts or break off a chunk of fodder to take out to your flock. Some people like to use a feeder to keep the sprouts contained – or even just toss them on the ground for your chickens to enjoy!

We’ve just started a new batch, and in a few days we’ll share how things are going. Until then, Henny & Roo subscribers – we hope you’re enjoying your December box! If you’re not a subscriber, learn more about our monthly supply deliveries for backyard chicken keepers.

Happy sprouting! 🌱