Tag / Scratch and Peck


Once Upon A Flock Blog Tour and Giveaway

As most of you know, I have come to have a very special place in my heart for my flock.  Some folks thought that I was crazy to have come to love, appreciate and value chickens.  After all, this blog was named after my head hen, Tilly.  She is a funny little whippersnapper who takes head hen business very seriously. One of her most endearing traits is how she loves to chat.  She narrates life, play by play.  Whether she is laying an egg, outside discovering a tender morsel, putting Dolly in her place or exploring the yard, she always has a tune to sing and a story to tell.  Often when I lock them up at night, Tilly is nestled in between snoring Oyster Cracker and Sunshine.  She is awake.  She tells me goodnight and I tell her I love her, and so it has gone for the past few years.

Sunshine, Tilly and Oyster Cracker by Lauren Scheuer
When I had the pleasure of reading Lauren Scheuer’s book, Once Upon A Flock, I was overjoyed!  She has written a sweet memoir about her flock of backyard chickens.  Finally, someone else gets it; gets what I love about my girls and adore about keeping chickens.  It is much more than the eggs.  It is connecting.  Her sketches make me giggle.  Her hands may sketch and write the words but her heart tells the story.  Yes, some folks may call me a crazy chicken lady.  I know better.  Sometimes it takes another kindred spirit to shine the light on things that are overlooked in the world.  Thank you Lauren, for shining your beautiful light. 

“…This must-have for animal lovers also features Scheuer’s drawings, which along with photographs, enhance the endearing text.”- Publisher’s Weekly

“…Chickens are people, too. They form bonds, have spats, make new friends and even fall in love…” Tamara Staples

“…This is the book I wish I’d read when I brought my first chicks home from the feed store…”-Amy Stewart

Once Upon A Flock is available for purchase today and available at all major booksellers and we are giving one away on Tilly’s Nest too!  One random winner will be selected. Item ships to a US address only.  One entry per person.  Giveaway ends 3.23.13 at 12 midnight EST.  Please leave a comment and an email address on this blog post to enter to win your very own copy. 
Tilly’s Nest is the first stop on Lauren’s fun and fabulous blog tour.  Be sure to check out the schedule below for more fun with Lauren Scheuer.  You can also find Lauren on Facebook.

~Once Upon a Flock~ 
Book Launch Blog Tour
March 19
March 20
March 21
March 22
March 23
March 24
March 25
March 26 
March 27
Happy National Poultry Day!

Original Sketch: Lauren Scheuer

Chickens Coop Tours

Tour de Coop: Scratch and Peck

Lauren Scheuer and I have become great friends over our common love for chickens.  We spoil our girls.  We love them deeply and are constantly entertained by their antics.  So, you can imagine my excitement when I finally got to meet the girls I knew so dearly through her blog!

As we stood in her kitchen, there out across the backyard was her beautifully constructed coop.  Lauren designed it herself.  She has made many coops since keeping chickens and this one seems to house the girls perfectly.  The thing I love about Lauren is she is very talented with power tools and design.  If she envisions it, she builds it.
Her menagerie of girls have many different ways to explore and enjoy life.  They have a chicken tractor, they have various mobile pens and they have a fantastic guard dog named Marky.  Marky is the girls’ protector.  He watches over them when they are out and about.  He warns them of imminent danger and takes his job very seriously.


It was a cold January morning when I met the girls.  There they were; Fern, Pigeon, Lucy, Daisy and Lil’ White.  Lauren shared some treats as an icebreaker.  At first they were afraid of me, until I squatted on the ground in the run and said hello in my best chicken voice.  Somehow, the language is universal and they all came over one by one to greet me.

There was…




Lil’ White
Lucy is Lauren’s special needs chicken.  Years ago, seemingly overnight, Lucy was afflicted with Marek’s Disease that affected her feet and her ability to walk.
 I believe that it was Lauren’s love and special attention to this girl that gave her the will to survive.  Over the past couple of years, Lucy has regained the ability to walk, yet is crippled, slow and very methodical.  During my visit, she walked across the run to meet up with Lauren at her sweet little house made just for her. Sometimes she prefers to stay inside this tiny house. Other times, she can be seen perched on the edge of the platform with a bird’s eye view of the yard, run and her family.  I think her favorite thing is to hop up onto Lauren’s forearm and go for a ride.

Lauren has designed her coop with great attention to detail, both decorative and practical.  She has included outside nesting boxes for easy egg harvesting.

Her run and coop are covered and are designed with an A-frame roof.  It is perfect for rain and snow to melt away and never create too much weight.  She covers the hardware cloth with plastic sheeting in the Winter to help minimize the girls’ exposure to the elements.  This also serves to keep the portion of the run closest to the coop sheltered.  A ramp leads up to the entry door of the coop.  A heated dog bowl in the covered run keeps their water from freezing in the winter and food is available at all times.  Play things are abundant including logs, treat containers and perches.  Lauren tells me that her best idea was adding play sand to this portion of the run.

Inside the coop, there are a variety of perches of different widths and heights to meet every chicken’s desire.  Lauren uses pine shavings on the floor.  Despite her best efforts, poor Fern always needs to retire at night with the help of Lauren.  The coop has a large window that faces the morning sun.  It is perfect for early risers and wonderful to give outsiders a glimpse in.

Soon enough, the cold began to nip at our noses and we needed to return inside to the warmth of the house and get ready for our day trip to the Poultry Congress.

Lauren reminded Marky of his chicken duties. I watched the two of them communicate without words.  It was clear he understood.

If you would like to see more of our Tour de Coops, click here.

Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest