Local chicken enthusiasts win nationwide contests

Wisconsin State Farmer

Shoreview, MN  Chicken enthusiasts across the country recently clucked their way to the top during three nationwide contests. A series of challenges hosted by Purina Animal Nutrition celebrated uplifting stories, hen personalities and creative displays as part of Purina® Flock-Tober® 2016.

The three contests reached nearly 500,000 chicken enthusiasts and garnered more than 1,200 entries. Fourteen top contestants ruled the roost and hatched fun chicken prize packs, including two grand prizes of a year’s supply of chicken feed. Chicken raisers also had the opportunity to celebrate egg laying season at their local feed stores through nationwide Flock-Tober® festivities.

“We hosted Purina® Flock-Tober® as another way to celebrate the wonderful backyard chicken keeping community,” said Kristin Horvath, backyard flock associate marketing manager for Purina Animal Nutrition. “Through three new contests this year, we loved seeing fun first egg happy dances and meeting so many special hens. The community support that each entry received during voting was especially exciting.”

Contest details and winners follow.

First Egg Happy Dance: Facebook fans celebrated their first egg by submitting celebratory entries. Fans shared smiling selfies, happy dance videos and clever egg keepsake ideas to vie for a grand prize of a year’s supply of chicken feed.

The winning entry was submitted by Mindie Dittemore of Bellevue, Michigan. She described her family’s path to backyard happiness and how chickens have made a difference in her son’s life, saying: “My oldest son is on the autism spectrum and is the reason we got chickens. He cares for the chicks, loves watching them grow and was so excited when we got our first egg. I was so proud of him at our county fair that he was able to get up in front of a crowd and share his love for poultry! The love of poultry can be powerful in any child's life!”

  • Grand Prize Winner: Mindie Dittemore, Bellevue, Michigan
  • Finalist: Katrina Skalko, Knoxville, Georgia
  • Finalist: Brandon McGuffee, Elm Grove, Louisiana 
  • Finalist: Amanda Peschel, Industry, Texas

Miss Flock-Tober® Pageant: This contest celebrated the unique personalities of backyard hens through four rounds of Facebook voting: Miss Congeniality, Miss Performance, Miss Fancy Feathers and Miss Broody. The four winners then went head-to-head to win the ultimate title of Miss Flock-Tober®.

The winner of Miss Congeniality, a Silver Laced Polish hen named Dolly Parton, swept the grand prize competition. Her owner, Katy Krumm of Lufkin, Texas, said after winning: “This contest has been so much fun! In a world full of craziness right now, chickens bring so much joy into our family’s world. Everyone should have at least one chicken. Chickens are good for your soul."

  • Grand Prize Winner, Miss Flock-Tober®: Katy Krumm, Lufkin, Texas
  • Finalist, Miss Broody: Ashley Hembree, Athens, Georgia
  • Finalist, Miss Fancy Feathers: Latham Farm, Livingston, Louisiana
  • Finalist, Miss Performance: Mark Lee, Cookeville, Tennessee

Retail Display Building Contest: Local Purina® retailers also competed by submitting photos of their Flock-Tober® festivities. Each store was provided a display building kit, complete with a 5-foot tall chicken and collectible tin coop signs.

Stores put their own spin on the Flock-Tober® theme, from in-store scavenger hunts and live chickens to lederhosen and polka music. Brandon Henderson from Old Mill Feed & Garden in Dallas, Oregon, said: “Our team loves creating events for our customers. Purina® Flock-Tober®was a perfect way to utilize our employees’ quirkiness. It has been quite the success!”

Six stores were recognized for their creativity and backyard chicken knowledge:

  • The Stock Market, Conyers, Georgia
  • H&S Feed and Country Store, Oskaloosa, Iowa
  • Benson Farm Service, Lewiston, Minnesota
  • Old Mill Feed & Garden, Dallas, Oregon
  • The Farm Store, Veneta, Oregon
  • Cypress Ace Hardware & Feed, Houston, Texas

“Congratulations to each of the winners,” Horvath said. “We enjoyed each of the 1,200 entries and the happiness that came with each story. We are excitedly planning for Purina® Flock-Tober® 2017 and can’t wait to see you at Purina® Chick Days events this spring.”

To learn more about raising backyard chickens, visit or connect with other flock raisers on Facebook or Pinterest.