NEW GLARUS — As states around the country rushed to count votes following the Nov. 3 election, the passionate poultry parents behind Purina Poultry’s Facebook page voted Muffin Aasve of New Glarus, a chicken, as Miss Flock-Tober without hesitation on Nov. 5.
“She reigns supreme this Flock-Tober,” Purina Poultry said in a Nov. 6 Facebook post. Muffin beat out approximately 1,400 other entries for her crown, Purina spokesperson Ilene Rauscher said.
Muffin’s adoptive mother, Jessica Aavse of New Glarus, decided to join the contest on a whim, and was just looking for something to bring some joy and excitement to the day.
“With everything going on right now, it was exciting for all of us,” Aavse said. “We were just doing it for fun and it was fun to see other people [participating].”
Throughout October, Purina Poultry posted new categories as part of the pageant weekly: Little Miss, Miss Performance, Miss Congeniality and Miss Fancy Feathers. At the end of the month, the four winning chickens battled it out for Miss Flock-Tober.
Muffin was awarded the title of Miss Congeniality for her outgoing personality.
“She is hilarious! Right down to her fluffy butt to the obnoxious egg song she sings to let the entire neighborhood know when she’s about to pop out an egg,” Aasve said. Muffin racked up 178 votes to put her into the running for Miss Flock-Tober.
Aasve has three other chickens at home, but decided that Muffin fit the role of Miss Congeniality the best because of her humorous traits. Since the family got Muffin, she has proven not only to be a fun backyard chicken, but a good learning experience for the whole family.
“The first time she laid an egg, she popped one out right in front of us on the ground,” Aavse said in her contest entry. “It was quite the learning experience for the kids.”
To enter, chicken owners commented with a photo of their contestant on Purina’s Facebook announcement for each category. Each winner was picked based on the number of likes received.
The winner of each category took home Purina Poultry goodies including treats, decorative signs and a tote bag. The real prize, however, was one year’s worth of food to the winner of Miss Flock-Tober.
The first chick to be crowned victor was Dolly from Louisiana with 254 likes in the “Little Miss” category. The only chick to hatch out of six eggs, Dolly’s competitive spirit carried her into the Miss Flock-Tober finals.
Miss Performance was awarded to Chickaletta of Texas for her dedication to laying eggs every single day. With 315 votes, Chickaletta sailed into the final four.
Unsurprising to all, Miss Fancy Feathers was awarded to ZsaZsa of Alabama. Clothed in a tutu and flapper headband, ZsaZsa blew the competition away with 205 votes.
After the four weeks of individual pageants came to an end, the winners were all put into the running for Miss Flock-Tober.
Muffin’s fluffy fanny and obnoxious egg song pulled her through the finals as well, collecting 430 votes. ZsaZsa, in second place, finished with 349 votes.
Chickaletta and Dolly took home 99 and 21 votes, respectively.
Though she took home gold at the end of the day, Muffin and her fluff weren’t always in first place.
“When the votes started coming in, the kids and I started getting competitive,” Aavse said.
In the end, Muffin won Miss Congeniality by only 14 votes, but the blue cochin bantam finished the contest at the top of the pecking order.
The annual contest takes place during egg-laying season as a way to encourage families to learn more and share their own chicken experiences.
“2020 has been such an unprecedented year,” Rauscher said. “With COVID driving folks to spend more free time at home with families we saw droves of people get their very first flocks. Having a flock is a great opportunity to teach children where their food comes from and help them build responsibility. Plus, fresh eggs are just incredible.”