A Belgrade girl’s hen went from winning the title of Miss Congeniality to winning the title of Miss Flock-Tober through a nationwide contest hosted by Purina.
Candace Maxwell said her 11-year-old daughter Ryleigh started raising 14 chicks in February.
Candace explained that one of her friends and her sister-in-law both raised chicks and that Ryleigh has always seemed to enjoy being around the animals and helping with them.
“She had some experience around my friend’s and sister-in-law’s chicks, and I think Ryleigh just kind of took it from there,” she said. “Later on she came to her dad and me and kept saying to us that she just really wanted some chicks.”
“We have 14 hens in our flock, and she’s bonded with an ISA Brown hen named Dixie Chick,” said Candace. “They are the best of friends, and it made Ryleigh’s day, week, month and year when Dixie Chick won Miss Congeniality – and now, Miss Flock-Tober!”
Candace originally found out about the contest online on the Purina Company’s website, and she thought it would be fun to enter in a photo of Ryleigh with one of her hens.
“We had a really good time with it,” she said. “We went outside and set up an area to snap a few cute photos, and Ryleigh had a good time too.
“The photo I submitted originally won the Miss Congeniality title, and then the photo was submitted to win the grand prize for the nationwide contest for Miss. Flock-Tober.”
Candace went on to explain how much work and love that Ryleigh puts into taking care of her flock.
“Ryleigh really is an animal lover and always has been that way,” she said. “She really wants to expand her little farm one day and get goats and a dog, so she is pretty dedicated.”
She added that Ryleigh also sells the eggs that she gets from her animals which averages around a dozen every day.
“We are just from an itty-bitty town, so it can be hard to get votes,” she said. “So I kept telling Ryleigh that you win some and you lose some.
“But because of the support that Ryleigh received and all the people who shared her story online and Facebook, she pulled through the night before the contest was over and had the most likes on her photo.
“She was really excited, but she also just really loves her chicks.”
Ryleigh was awarded a year’s supply of poultry feed for winning the contest and will be making a donation to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital (Children’s Discovery Institute) with the money from saving on poultry feed and the money earned from selling eggs. The donation will be made in memory of a friend who suffered from cancer.
Macey Adams is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or firstname.lastname@example.org