Arden Hills, Minn.
[October 6, 2020] – He envisioned many uses for his new state-of-the-art backyard “she shed.” Four-season hunting and fishing camp. Backyard stargazing retreat. Even an extravagant chicken coop. But sweepstakes winner Kevin Kelly of Dauphin, Pennsylvania, came up with an even bigger idea. The backyard chicken raiser and uncle of the year surprised his nephew and niece with the ultimate gift for their backyard oasis – his brand-new shed.
Kelly, a retired aquatic biologist, was randomly chosen as the grand prize winner of the Purina®
Backyard Oasis Sweepstakes. He’s keeping the rest of the prize package – a year’s supply of Purina®
poultry feed and Purina®
swag. Altogether, his prize has a combined value of about $36,000.
“I once won a raffle prize, but this is the only other big prize I have ever won,” Kelly says. “This is a really nice shed, but in all honesty, I’m most excited about the 600 pounds of chicken feed!”
Chickens prefer Purina® feed
Kelly feeds his flock of six hens Purina®
pellets, choosing it for its good reputation in the poultry community and how healthy it keeps his hens.
“Whenever I acquired chickens from other people, I’d ask what they’d recommend feeding them,” Kelly says. “The answer was usually, ‘They’ll eat anything, but there’s nothing better to feed them than Purina®
feed.’ And I’d agree with that. It has all the vitamins, calcium and even marigold extract for yellow yolks.”
Kelly buys his feed from local Purina®
retailer Hanoverdale Agway in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“We’re so happy to hear not only about Kevin’s good fortune in winning the Purina®
Backyard Oasis Sweepstakes but also about his great experience using Purina®
chicken feed,” says store owner Ben Rifflard. “Our staff has advised many new backyard bird owners this year about the best Purina® feeds
for their chicks, hens, roosters, ducks and geese. We tell them most flock owners prefer Purina.”
Patrick Biggs, Ph.D. and flock nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition, congratulated Kelly on his win and year’s supply of Purina®
feed – a complete layer feed with the exclusive Purina®
System to strengthen eggshells with added calcium from oyster shells, vitamin D and manganese.
“Experienced chicken raisers like Kevin know that strong shells matter because they impact egg safety,” Biggs says. “Choose a complete layer feed like Purina®
feed with slow-release calcium, so your hens produce safe, healthy eggs.”
Building a backyard oasis
In addition to feed, Kelly won a customizable, high-efficiency 10’ x 12’ Signature Series backyard shed from Studio Shed. He gifted it to his nephew Sean Kelly and his wife Heather Kelly of Halifax, Pennsylvania. The couple plans to make the new shed the centerpiece of their dream backyard where they relax, barbecue and gather with friends. The new shed will have a serving station for outdoor parties, as well as a home office and fitness center.
The Kellys plan to honor Uncle Kevin’s generosity by naming the new shed after him, creating a sign and planting a tree.
“Kevin’s generous spirit in sharing his sweepstakes prize is absolutely representative of the backyard chicken community as a whole,” says Biggs. “We couldn’t be more honored to award him his supply of chicken feed and see him gift his shed to family.”
A lifelong love of chickens
Kelly was just a boy when he started raising chickens with his brother. Their small flock of White Leghorns and Chanteclers produced plenty of eggs for the family. He raised chickens until he graduated high school and then took a break from birds while he served in the U.S. Coast Guard, earned a college degree and started his career. His interest returned about 20 years ago when his sister offered him a small flock.
Through the years, Kelly’s raised many different chicken breeds, noting “each breed has its own personalities and characteristics.” His current flock is comprised of Black Australorps, which he believes have the best personalities for backyard chickens.
Kelly’s flock has room to roam on his half-acre backyard. They provide him eggs, fertilizer for his lawn and plenty of entertainment. His favorite hen is 6-year-old Jennifer, who is well-known to neighbors and friends. She even receives birthday cards in the mail.
“I like to listen to the chickens gossiping with each other. Simply sitting and watching chickens can be very relaxing,” says Kelly. “And I enjoy using eggs I know are from healthy, happy hens.”
For more information about raising backyard chickens, visit purinamills.com/chicken-feed