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Source: Purina Animal Nutrition LLC news release

Arden Hills, Minnesota -- .A backyard chicken in Taylor, Texas was just crowned queen in the national Purina Miss Flock-Tober contest. Flock raiser Stefanie Smith, along with her 4-year-old daughter Brooklynne, competed against thousands of backyard chickens across the country to claim the top title.

"I was truly in shock and crying happy tears when our hen, Peaches, was named Miss Flock-Tober 2018. Our family is grateful beyond words," says Smith. "What started out as just a few birds for my daughter's birthday present turned into a chicken sanctuary in my backyard. Winning this contest has made one little girl's dreams come true!"

Miss Flock-Tober is an annual contest hosted by Purina Animal Nutrition on the Purina Poultry Facebook page, to celebrates strong hens and the joy they provide. Smith submitted her photo of Brooklynne with Peaches, her favorite Silkie hen, in the Miss Congeniality round.

"My daughter, Brooklynne, is the most kind-hearted young lady. She loves all her animals, but she and Peaches share a special bond," explains Smith. "We almost lost Peaches once when she wandered outside the coop at night.

Brooklynne and I stayed up with her all night, bathing her and keeping her warm. Since then, Brooklynne and Peaches have been inseparable."

As the reigning queen of Flock-Tober 2018, Peaches, Stefanie and Brooklynne will receive the grand prize of a year's supply of Purina poultry feed.

"Not only will this prize help our family for a whole year, all 50 of my sweet flock members will eat the best of the best," exclaims Smith. "It means more than I can say in words!"

The three other finalists that competed with Peaches in the Miss Flock-Tober pageant were:

Miss Performance: Lori McCoy with an Easter Egger hen named Hei Hei - Morley, Mo.

Miss Fancy Feathers: Brent Rueff with a Frizzled Satin Showgirl hen named Evelyn - Astoria, Ore.

Miss Helpful: Courtney Munson with a Sizzle hen named Meep - Medford, Ore.

Smith explains her flock provides their family farm fresh eggs, as well as many fond memories and life lessons.

"The chickens aren't just for our enjoyment and the eggs, but to help teach Brooklynne responsibility," Smith says. "She carries the waterers for me to refill and a coffee tub full of feed to each coop. Her favorite thing to do is collect the eggs. Seeing how happy they make her makes it all worth it!"

To learn tips for starting a backyard flock, visit www.purinamills.com/chicken-feed or connect with other flock raisers on Facebook or Pinterest. Find a local Purina retailer participating in Flock-Tober at www.purinamills.com/flocktober-finder.

Purina Animal Nutrition LLC (www.purinamills.com) is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Arden Hills, Minn. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, Inc.