We recently had the pleasure of connecting with Kathy Shea Mormino, author of The Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard Chickens: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Hens and the newly published Lifestyles of the Chicken Famous: Pretty Pets in The Chicken Chick’s Backyard, to learn more about her love of chicken-rearing and how she came to be known globally as the “Chicken Chick.”
Why do chickens make such great pets?
Chickens are the new family dog! Not only do they produce nutritious food and valuable garden fertilizer, they offer chemical-free pest control, educational opportunities, and the most unexpected benefit: the ability to enrich the lives of their caretakers.
What is it about a chicken’s personality that you love most?
Which chicken? That’s like asking, “What is it about a dog’s personality that you love most?” Each chicken has their own distinct personality and the best part of chicken keeping is being able to spend time getting to know them and what makes each unique.
How many chickens do you actually have?
Some? A few? Not enough! My flock has ranged in size from 14 to 60 bird sover time. At some point, we chicken collectors stop counting. I have always focused on diversity my flock; I enjoy having a variety of breeds, shapes, sizes, plumage colors and patterns, and collecting a rainbow of egg colors.
Can you tell us about any new friendships or experiences that came about because of your love of chickens?
With over 800,000 fans on Facebook alone, I have become acquainted with people all over the world. I have regular followers in Japan, Trinidad, Mexico and Germany, Turkey, Australia, Sweden, South Africa, as well as in all 50 states and beyond! I feel quite fortunate to be able to connect with people I likely never would have met around the globe through my chickening experiences online.
The basis of my brand is bringing solid, reliable information to people about backyard chickens in a fun, relatable, reliable way.
Given our audience of landowners, what advice do you have for someone looking to get into the chicken game for the first time?
Do your homework to ensure that you understand the challenges inherent to keeping backyard chickens before committing to care for them. They require tending several times a day, there are widely variable laws pertaining to this non-traditional pet, and poultry veterinarians that treat backyard chickens are practically non-existent.
Do you have other pets or animals?
I have a Yorkshire terrier, a Netherland dwarf bunny and tens of thousands of honey bees in beehives in my backyard.
Did you have experience with chickens growing up?
No, none at all.
What’s the story behind your love of chickens? What gave you the idea to set out to become the “Chicken Chick”?
I never set out to become “The Chicken Chick,” it occurred organically over time. When I began sharing my chicken-keeping experiences on Facebook and my blog, the brand was not “The Chicken Chick,” it was a small custom egg carton labels business. Articles I wrote on my blog focused on important chicken care and management topics and answers to frequently asked questions from my Facebook followers. Collaborating with poultry veterinarians, scientists and other poultry experts, I offered practical chicken care information in a digestible format to others with a shared passion for pet chickens and caring for them responsibly. Several years into my chicken adventures, my online presence took on a life of its own and morphed into The Chicken Chick! The basis of my brand is bringing solid, reliable information to people about backyard chickens in a fun, relatable, reliable way.
What are some of the things you love most about the land/area where you live?
After my husband and I were married, we bought several acres of land in Suffield, Connecticut, to build our house. We chose Suffield primarily based on its excellent school system, but we also really liked its rural character. We have all the convenience of a major interstate and an international airport 10 minutes from home as well as being 20 minutes from Hartford while enjoying all the benefits of a small farming town and close community.
The Land.com Network connects buyers and sellers of land and rural real estate. Do you have any tips for someone buying land for the first time, or moving out into the country?
If you have a sense you would like to engage in a particular activity on your property—say, chicken keeping—make sure the property under consideration is zoned for your intended use.