The Chicken Keeper

As you should know by now, I love making new friends. Since I began my Chickenlandia journey, I’ve met so many amazing people through a mutual love of chickens. This is why I always say, “Peace Through Chickens”, because I believe that if we focus on the things we have in common, we can see the humanity in each other and live peacefully. I think my new friend, The Chicken Keeper, would agree.

Maryanne Mills, my new chicken friend!

Meet the delightful Maryanne Mills. Recently, the kiddos and I got to take a tour of her farm. We met cows, goats, pigs, and of course, chickens! She showed us all the food her farm produces and I even got to take home some goodies for myself! It was such an amazing an enlightening experience, especially for my kiddos, who have grown up in a mostly urban environment. Maryanne spoke to them about how a farm works, what the role of each animal is, and how it all ties to together to create a sustainable system.

Billy and his new little friend, Titan the Calf.

What struck me the most about Maryanne was her warmth and kindness. It’s clear she loves each and every animal on the farm, and treats them with the upmost respect. This was evident when she introduced us to her chickens, a menagerie of retirees and rescues, each of which has a story. The most interesting part was that some chickens who live with Maryanne actually belong to someone else. She has made it possible for some who cannot own chickens to pick one out and keep them at her farm. That’s why I call her “The Chicken Keeper”. She makes chicken entertainment possible for others!

You know how sometimes when you meet someone, you just like them right away? That’s how I felt when I met Maryanne, and I know my kids felt the same. Taking a tour of her farm and being invited into her home was an experience that I’m so glad I had, and I’m sure we will be back soon. You can watch the whole tour on my new episode of Chickenlandia Stories by pressing the play button below! Don’t forget to visit my YouTube Channel and hit the subscribe and notification buttons so that you don’t miss any fun Chickenlandia videos.

How about you? Have you met any interesting people through a mutual love of chickens? Let me know in the comments!

The Queen Mother of Chickenlandia

I’m so blessed to have a great relationship with my mom. She’s a very active seventy-six-year-old who travels way more than I have the energy for and still makes time to visit us about twice a year. When she comes, it’s all about making homemade tortillas, cooking amazing soups, and in general being an awesome grandma to my kiddos. That’s why she’s earned title of The Queen Mother of Chickenlandia.

Making homemade tortillas!

When I first came up with the idea to get chickens, my mom was skeptical. The Little King of Chickenlandia was a baby, and I already had my hands full with lots of responsibility. But I was determined to have a hobby that would be only for me, so my mom eventually took on the role of chicken grandma. It’s actually come pretty natural for her, because although chicken tending skipped a generation, my grandmother raised poultry in her native country of Guatemala.

The Little King of Chickenlandia with my Mamita Elsa (my late grandmother)

Turns out the pet-chicken-bug is contagious. A few years ago, my sister, The Pippa of Chickenlandia, adopted a flock of her own. She rivals me in her chicken enthusiasm and has become quite the chicken mama. Now if I can only get my oldest sister and my brother to join the fun (they’ve ensured me this dream will never come true lol).

The Pippa of Chickenlandia’s flock enjoying some Black Friday shopping!

When I was in the hospital giving birth to my youngest, my mom cared for my chickens like they were her own. And since she lives in Texas near my sister, she cares for her flock whenever her family goes on vacation. She’s such a good chicken grandma! Which is honestly not that surprising, because she is a really good mom, too.

The Queen Mother of Chickenlandia with a chicken puppet!

This past week, I got to sit down with my mom and show her how to sprout some grains. If you remember the video we did about fermenting chicken feed, you’ll know that we had a lot of fun. Not only did she learn how to sprout grains, I also presented her with a gift from Chickenlandia! It was just a token of my appreciation for being such a good chicken grandma. To see the gift and to learn how easy it is to sprout grains in a jar, check out my new video on YouTube. Just click the play button below! Remember to like, subscribe, and click the notifications bell so you never miss out on fun Chickenlandia videos.

Do you have a good chicken grandma in your life? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Thank You, Chickens, for Rescuing Me

I write a lot about the chickens I rescue, but not as much about how they rescue me. Many of you probably already know what I mean, but if you don’t, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you why I tell my flock each day, “Thank you, chickens, for rescuing me.” After all, tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

This isn’t me, it’s a wonderful gif I found!

Someday, I’d love to tell you the story of my life. But for today, let’s just say that I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. I’m sure you have as well, because is there anyone who’s had a perfect life? I don’t think so. Watching my chickens each day, with their imperfections as so-called “non-show-quality” birds, I see their beauty despite what others may see as flaws. That’s also how I try to look at my life. There have been really tough times, but overall, I’ve been lucky enough that the joys outweigh the sorrow. I’m so thankful for this.

The Little Prince and The Little King of Chickenlandia. <3

This past year, I’ve had some health problems that have been tough to figure out. Nothing alarmingly serious, just inconvenient and puzzling. I’ve discussed it a little on my blog and I know many of you can relate. A big part of my relationship with chickens has to do with the way they motivate me each day. It doesn’t matter how I feel, the chickens need tending to. It’s snowing? They still need food and water. I’m too tired to get up? Too bad, they need to be let out of their coop. I must go outside and be in nature and listen to their calming noises. It’s good for me, and I’m so very grateful to them.

My flock. <3

So, along with my wonderful family and friends, I’m so thankful for this flock of mostly rescue chickens that continue to rescue me. It’s true, they’re not perfect. But neither am I, and in their imperfections I find my own peace with the ups and downs of my life. Thank you, chickens. And thank you to all of you who are with me on this journey. I love being in your flock!

To see Chickenlandia’s Thanksgiving Special: The Tiny Chicken Rescue, click the play button below! I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments!

Click here for my rescue dog page!

 

 

A Box of Fun Amidst the Storm

A box of fun amidst the storm… I’ll start with the storm. Let’s just say I didn’t have the best week. As some of you may know, I have several aging hens. It’s never easy to see an older hen start to go downhill, even when you know they’ve had a good life. My sweet Lavender Maran, Jessica Lange, started to move a little slower a few months ago. I could tell she was having issues, but she was still pecking, scratching, and eating. To my surprise, she went through a pretty tough molt and then appeared to bounce back strong. That is until last week, when I found her listless. I knew the time was coming.

Beautiful Jessica Lange the Chicken in her prime.

I did all the good-chicken-mom things. I brought her inside, gave her some anti-inflammatory meds, massaged her crop, gave her vitamins, herbs, and homeopathics. Her last meal was tuna and mayo, which she loved SO MUCH. But by the next day she wouldn’t eat and her toes began to curl. She soon passed over the rainbow bridge.

More storm: later that same day, I heard a scream coming from the chicken yard. This was no ordinary egg song, it was THE terror alert. I opened the kitchen window to see nothing other than a HAWK attacking my sweet chicken, Little Stinker! I ran outside and shoo-ed the hawk away, but not before it sent Little Stinker into shock. If you know anything about birds, you know that shock is a terrible state for them to be in. My heart sunk. Here she is in better times.

Little Stinker in her favorite place, the food can!

I brought Little Stinker in, but she wouldn’t eat or drink. Since I often use a homeopathic physician, I consulted her regarding what remedies to use. It took about twenty-four hours, but Little Stinker miraculously came around! As of this moment, she’s in my warm bathroom and has been eating and drinking. Could the storm be clearing a tad? I hope so. I’m really pulling for Little Stinker and I know many of you are as well! To watch Little Stinker’s story on YouTube, click this link.

Little Stinker shortly before she started eating and drinking again.

It’s the little moments of joy and hope that get us through the moments of stress. No matter how big or small your problems are, it’s super important to take a break, if you can, from the worry of things. That’s why I was so delighted to receive my Henny and Roo monthly subscription box (see below for coupon info) this week! I hope watching me and the kiddos open the box and reveal all the fun things inside can bring some joy into your life. And, as always, I hope that whatever you’re dealing with, you can find peace among your flock.

To watch the Henny and Roo Unboxing Video, click the play button below! For 10% off your Henny and Roo Subscription, use the coupon code CHICKENLANDIA at check out. 🙂

I’d love to hear how your week went. Let me know in the comments!

Welcome Duckles the Duck!

Welp, the kids’ birthdays are over (they’re both in October) and Halloween is finally done. Even though I’m so happy things have slowed down, I confess to being a little bored this week. Boredom is a dangerous state for those who suffer from chronic #BirdMathFlu such as I. A couple days ago, my sister (The Pippa of Chickenlandia) and I got to talking about ducks and guess what I went out and did? Yup, I got another duck. Please welcome Duckles the Duck to Chickenlandia!

The day Duckles came home to Chickenlandia.

I actually did put some serious thought into whether I should add a new duck to Chickenlandia. This past Spring was the worst for us in terms of duck luck. I had two ducklings die in transit to me, one die in the brooder, and two juveniles die suddenly of an unknown illness. It was just awful. You can see them toward the end of this video. They were both healthy and happy, then tragically passed away just a few days later.

Sweet Rosalina at the vet on the day she died.

So, you can imagine I had some moments where I thought no more ducks, ever. But here we are a few months later and I’m ready to try again! I feel confident that Duckles will do well here. Take a look at what she accomplished her first morning in Chickenlandia:

Big o’ duck egg! The best kind.

Since we have some chicken egg intolerances in our home, Duckles is going to serve a great purpose as well as being a wonderful pet. In case you didn’t know, duck eggs makes the absolute best pancakes, waffles, muffins, and other baked delights. They’re also delicious how I like them, in an omelette covered with sheep feta. I just love eating them and so does my family.

So, of course, I vlogged all about my trip to go get Duckles and her arrival in Chickenlandia. You can see where she lived before, and how I’m integrating her into my flock. I may have also taken some creative license to make it more fun LOL. To watch the video, click the play button below!

Have you had any new arrivals in your flock lately? Let me know in the comments!

Green Envy for a Red Barn!

You know the feeling. Your new chicken-friend invites you over for the afternoon, and of course you’re excited because who doesn’t love hanging with chicken peeps? But then you get to their house and see their immaculate, gorgeous coop that you can’t believe is even real. Where is the poop? Where are the unfinished projects? Where’s the clutter? Don’t worry, that feeling you’re having is just the #CoopEnvy bubbling up inside and it’s totally normal. I had it a few weeks ago. I was green with envy for a beautiful red barn coop!

Just a sneak peek at the outside of Selena’s gorgeous barn coop.

It wasn’t the first time I’d seen my friend Selena’s amazing coop. I visited several months ago, when I first started making YouTube videos. Let’s just say the footage didn’t turn out exactly how I planned. I’m not an actual camera person so it’s been a bit of a learning curve for me. Plus, her chickens kinda scared me LOL (not really but look at this picture! haha)

I hope this chicken doesn’t know where I sleep…

Anyway, this time around, I loaded up The Little King and The Little Prince of Chickenlandia and we headed out to the country to visit my friend. She and her husband have recently painted their barn red and it is GORGEOUS. Inside the barn, Selena has a completely predator proof coop and run. Literally the whole thing is reinforced with hardwire mesh. She has a number of critters that come around her area, even BEARS, but they are no match for this coop. Plus it’s super cute.

Cute chicken coop sign in Selena’s completely predator proof run.

I’m not showing much in the photos because I want you to watch my NEW Chickenlandia YouTube series called Coop Envy! I’m hoping to visit lots of amazing coops and I want to share them with my viewers. Of course I’ll have to keep my #coopenvy in check, but I can’t make any promises. I know it’s wrong but I can’t help it when the envy boils inside! LOL

Just click the play button below to see Selena’s amazing coop. And remember to subscribe and click the notification bell so you never miss any fun Chickenlandia videos.

Do you ever get coop envy? Or maybe you have a coop that everyone is envious of? Let me know in the comments!

A Very Chickenlandia Halloween

It’s no secret to my friends and family that while I love the changing seasons, I definitely prefer when they are changing into Spring or Summer. It’s true, despite having a Canadian husband I’m no fan of colder temperatures. The way I get through these months is by jumping head-first into the holidays. I absolutely love them, and Halloween is no exception. This year, I’ve decided to share my love for all things spooky by having A Very Chickenlandia Halloween.

Art by Sarah Hudock

We usually go all-out for Halloween, with a haunted house on our covered porch every year. Since I have young kids I like to keep it on the less terrifying side, but we do have a flying ghost and a large jumping spider! Costumes vary and we’ve certainly enjoyed our share of different chicken costumes, but this is one of my favorite pics ever:

The Little Prince of Chickenalndia on his second Halloween

What could make one of my favorite holidays even better? My chickens, of course! Last year, you might remember my very silly trailer for the obscure cult film Chick-o-ween 2: Second Hatch. This year, I’ve taken it up several notches and created a short film for all my fans to enjoy. (FYI – I’m pretty confident this won’t scare little kids, but you never know! It does have spooky music and I look kinda scary in it LOL, so maybe give it a watch first if you have really young ones.)

I hope you love this Chickenlandia Halloween Special! It’s the sixth episode in my series Chickenlandia Stories, and it’s called The Creature! You may recognize the narrator as my grumpy but lovable rooster, Philippe:

Do you enjoy Halloween? If so, what’s your favorite thing about it? Let me know in the comments. And make sure to have A Very Chickenlandia Halloween!

I Henny and Roo and You Can Too!

Are you on Instagram? I recently joined, and to be honest, it’s kinda dangerous! Only because I’ve been introduced to some of the cutest chicken things through that platform. One of the companies I’ve been following for a while is Henny and Roo. I’ve been drooling over their subscription boxes but haven’t ventured to take the plunge until now. It’s true, I Henny and Roo and you can too!

Excitement in a box!

Full disclosure, I contacted Henny and Roo after my YouTube channel had been up and running for a while, hoping they would bless me with sponsorship. I had already heard really good things about them from my other fave company Scratch and Peck Feeds, so it seemed like a good fit. I cannot tell you how excited I was when they responded with a special deal for my Chickenlandia fans! Keep reading and I’ll reveal the special code for 10% off the October 2018 subscription box (while supplies last) or a new subscription.

Me and the kids freaking out while opening our October Box!

I don’t want to give too much away regarding what’s in the box, because of course I made a YouTube video about it and I think you will enjoy it! But I will show you this example of chicken cuteness. Don’t you just love it? I found everything else in the box to be very useful for chicken keeping (and there’s some candy for humans in it, too!).

Henny and Roo pin that is 100% chicken cuteness.

As Welcome to Chickenlandia continues to grow, I’m honored to be building relationships with companies I admire. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my new YouTube video, Henny and Roo Unboxing! Just click the play button below and make sure you subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss anything fun:

To receive 10% off your order of the October 2018 subscription box (while supplies last) or your new subscription, use the code CHICKENLANDIA at www.hennyandroo.com! Offer does not apply to other shop items but subscribers always save 10% off in the Henny and Roo Shop. Be sure to let me know how much you love your subscription in the comments!

 

Chickenlandia Makeover Update plus Halloween FUN!

My friend Julie came again this week to help with the great Chickenlandia Makeover of 2018 and beyond! I’ve also been very busy working on some Halloween fun for Chickenlandia that I’m super excited about. But first, let’s talk about a little problem I have that maybe you can relate with. It’s super scary so it kinda goes with the Halloween theme. Can we talk about CLUTTER???

Keepin’ it real cluttery.

I’m not ashamed to say my house has a little clutter. In fact, I’ve kind of made it a point on my YouTube channel to not hide the fact that I’m an actually person who lives in a house that isn’t perfect, and I’m the proud owner of a chicken yard and coop that aren’t perfect either. I have some neighbors with immaculate homes and I think it’s great, but I have no idea how it’s accomplished. I mean, that’s some special kinda sorcery that I know nothing about.

Me with anything that has to do with cleaning.

But I do admit, clutter can get out of hand. And when it does, it can make you feel pretty darn yucky. That’s why I’m so grateful to my friend Julie who came by again this week to help me with some old Chickenlandia clutter. And when I say old, I mean ANCIENT. There was a plastic container in the yard that I’m pretty sure has been in the same spot, unopened, for about five years. She told me whatever was in it was SCARY. I believe her.

A very BIG spider.

Speaking of scary, I’ve also been working on some fun Halloween stuff for Chickenlandia. Some of you that have been following me for a while might remember the very first creative video I put out on Facebook last year around Halloween. It was a trailer for a movie called Chickoween 2: Second Hatch (which doesn’t actually exist LOL). It’s so funny watching it now after having my YouTube channel for a while. I’ve definitely grown as a filmmaker! To see an update on Chickenlandia’s Makeover, see all my clutter disappear with the magic of my friend Julie, AND see a sneak peek at this year’s Chickenlandia Halloween video, click on my YouTube video below!

If the clutter of your life was a movie, what genre would it be? Horror (yikes), Fantasy (keep dreaming it will go away with magic), SciFi (other worldly), or Romantic Comedy (the fault of your partner LOL)? Let me know in the comments!

Getting by with Help from my Chicken Friends

You know how I always say I like to keep it real in Chickenlandia? The reason I do this, is because I want everyone to know that no matter who you are and where you come from, we all have more in common than not. This includes life’s struggles, and I’m no exception. I’ve been having some health issues that are making it tougher for me to keep the pace up with all my projects. But you know what? I’m getting by with a little help from my chicken friends.

My awesome chicken friend who is helping me with Chickenlandia, Julie Berto.

Over the last few years I’ve met so many women suffering from autoimmune issues, so I know I’m not alone in my experience. My issues are relatively mild compared to most, and I’m constantly encouraged by the strength and stamina I see in those friends suffering along with me. But of course, I’m human, and I can get pretty down in the dumps after not feeling well for days (or weeks, or months). This is part of the reason I love my chickens so much.

My peaceful flock of chickens.

I honestly don’t know what it is about a flock of chickens, but whenever I feel crummy and tired, I try to force myself to go out and tend to them. Even if my body really doesn’t want to. I do it because it always seems to lift the dark cloud at least a little. And when I’m out there, for some reason, I hardly feel sick at all.

Now, I know that nothing can replace proper care and medication for the body and mind. I’m not saying chickens are a cure for any illness because they’re not. But I will say that they definitely help me. I’m no scientist so I can’t explain why. But I guess for some things, I just don’t need proof.

Rooster Boy George
Boy George the Chicken looking fab.

Recently, I hired someone to come and do some badly needed Chickenlandia renovations for me. Her name is Julie and she’s a super awesome chicken-lady that I’ve known since our farm store days. My little rooster Boy George is actually the descendant of her little award winning roo, Fred (RIP). Anyway, I went ahead and made a before-and-after video of everything she did for Chickenlandia this week. She’s coming back to do some more things, and I’m sure we’re gonna be seeing a lot of her around Chickenlandia. I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the video on Chickenlandia’s YouTube Channel!

I’m glad to be getting by with a little help from all of you, my chicken friends. <3

 

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