I’ve talked about being the worst chicken hatcher, and now I’m excited to introduce our feathery and fluffy gang.
During our Chicks & Bunny Sessions, we bring in a new set of chicks each week. Once they are 4 days old, their feathers come in. They can’t fly, but boy can they really move! I know without a doubt, it’s a sight to see when we’re chasing them all around the studio (and probably a hilarious one at that).
For our baby chicks, we don’t know whether they’re hens or roosters. Predominantly, they’re often hens and in our family, we refer to them as the “ladies” (my stepdad Hans loves to hang with them and visits twice a day). As soon as each batch of chicks are done with their sessions, we take them out to my mom and stepdad’s farm in Pennsylvania where they’ll grow up with the other chicks who came before them. Among the chicks, we have several roosters. One is Tailess, who without a doubt, thinks he’s alpha. He’ll peck your feet if you so much as dare step near the coop. The second is Napoleon, who is a little guy, and was named aptly as he has a Napoleon Complex. Both are incredibly entertaining and full of personality. I know our “ladies” are in good hands with these two to watch the flock.
And then there are the bunnies.
Our star is Grey Ears (Brian loves to correct and say—first name Grey, last name Ears). She’s our absolute favorite to shoot. Grey Ears is so calm and easygoing. You can put her in a basket or push her around in a little wagon. For the most part, she will sit there. Older kids (ages from 6-10), can squeeze and hug her.
Our second bunny is Sugar and ironically, she is not so sweet and just a tad temperamental when it came to shooting. We tried to use her in the sessions a year ago, and she would immediately hop away. Every. Time.
Our last bunny is Fluffy, who was our addition from last year. He didn’t take to the camera either and wasn’t easy as our lovable Grey Ears. So back to Pennsylvania he went, to hang out and eat all day. Not a bad deal, right?
The ladies (and roosters and bunnies) are all part of our family. They are our backyard flock. We don’t ever rent chickens or send them to a random farm. They stay with us, happily laying eggs or eating the leftover vegetable odds and ends from our family dinners.
My girls love love loooove the ladies. Each visit to Grandma’s house involves saying hi to the chickens. I am not kidding. Each time Amelia sees Grandma’s car she screams, “I want to see the chickens!” For city kids, it’s such a special experience for them to raise the hens, collect the eggs and be comfortable with farm animals.
I wish we could name the ladies. But after 5 years of photographing and raising chickens, we have about 100 hens. Talk about oh my!