Are you officially a “Chicken Lady” or “Chicken Man” November 22, 2013

It’s probably a little self-evident that I can be classified as a “Chicken Lady.” After all, it’s what I do professionally. I write about chickens. I write about them on the My Pet Chicken website, on our blog, and we even have a book coming out—The My Pet Chicken Handbook—something our Chief Eggsecutive Officer Traci and I created together. (It’s actually going to the printers today–woo-hoo!)

So, I’m not only a Chicken Lady; I’m actually a professional Chicken Lady, and I love it!

Below, you’ll find a quiz to help you determine how far along the path you are to being an official Chicken Lady, or—let’s not be sexist—a Chicken Man. Scroll down for the quiz! But first, quick story about Chicken Lady-ness:

I had no idea until just recently I was classified locally as a Chicken Lady, even if I was a Chicken Lady professionally. Those of you who read our blog regularly know I live in beautiful, rural West Virginia. The truth is, our neighbors live so far scattered over ridgetops and in hollers (as we call them here), and our house can’t be seen from the road.

That’s why it surprised me when TWICE in the past week, I ran into a neighbor—we use that term pretty loosely here, since everyone within 10 miles is really considered a nearby neighbor in a rural area like this—who asked me if I was the Chicken Lady they’d heard about. Cool: I’m The Chicken Lady even locally, and to people who’ve never met me.

The first was a man whose son lived one ridge to the east of us, and who himself lived two hollows to the west. He stopped his truck to chat a while when he saw me walking the road, and wondered if I was the Chicken Lady from the ridge. He’d heard about me from another neighbor to whom I’d given eggs and chicks.

I laughed. “That would be me!” Naturally, I promptly offered him some eggs and chicks.

The second was a man who had just retired. We ran into each other when we were both hiking a nearby gravel road. Once we had reached Step 4 of the list of preliminary WV Rules of Preliminary Acquaintanceship***, he asked if I was the same Chicken Lady that two cars full of girls had been looking for a few months ago (this was doubtless the caravan of Hot Tomatoes for the “Down on the Farm” photo shoot). They had asked him if he knew where Mrs. Smith’s chicken farm was.

“Mr. Smith is my husband,” I said. “We have different last names, but I am the Chicken Lady. I have eggs.”

What a nice way to be known. And it got me to thinking about writing this blog post.

Are you also an official Chicken Lady or Chicken Man? Take this quiz and find out where you score.

QUIZ: Are you officially a “Chicken Lady” or “Chicken Man”?

  1. Take two points if you are the only one of your neighbors who has chickens. Take only one point if you have other neighbors with chickens.
  2. Take two points if you have rescued a chicken, or you have kept a disabled chicken (such as a blind or lame chicken).
  3. Take two points if you have at least one rooster. If roosters aren’t allowed in your area, take one point if you’d LIKE to keep one.
  4. Take two points if you have nursed a chicken through an illness or injury that required either temporary convalescence inside the house, or an isolation in a hospital coop or hospital area.
  5. Take two points if you make money with chickens professionally (this could be through selling eggs, selling chickens, blogging about chickens, making chicken-related products, etc.). Take only one point if your chicken-related activities break more-or-less even.
  6. Take two points if you know about biosecurity—and you follow it!
  7. Take two points if you’d rather go without eggs than eat store eggs.
  8. Take two points if you have ever helped someone get started with chickens (via offering chickens or even just advice).
  9. Take two points if you read our blog every Friday.
  10. Take two points if you order your chickens months in advance.
  11. Take two points if you have hatched eggs at home. Take one point if you’ve had a broody hen raise your purchased chicks. Take three points (in other words, an extra point) if you’ve had a broody raise chicks hatched at your home.
  12. Take two points if you know the difference between Easter Eggers, Araucanas and Ameraucanas. Take two extra points if you’ve written a hatchery to complain about the false advertising!
  13. Take two points if you want or have at least one rare or unusual breed.
  14. Take two points if you appreciate mixed breed chickens.
  15. Take two points for EACH of the following statements that is true. Your family has so many extra eggs that you share free eggs
    • with non-immediate family
    • with (ni) family and non-work friends
    • with (ni) family and (nw) friends and neighbors
    • with (ni) family and (nw) friends and neighbors and colleagues


0 – 14 points – You’re not a Chicken Lady or Man—yet! Keep trying (or run away fast).

15 – 23 points – You’re on your way to official Chicken Lady or Chicken Man status.

24- 29  points -You are an official Chicken Lady or Chicken Man. Congratulations! 

30 + points – You are most likely THE Chicken Lady or THE Chicken Man in your local area


***According to the WV Rules of Acquaintanceship Procedure (Rural version), when you first meet someone new , here is the proper way to proceed in introductions:

  1. Directly after greeting and exchanging names, you must pinpoint exactly where you each live. (For instance, “Go down Pine Drive two miles, then hang a left at the unmarked road, then past the Old Cunningham place about a half a mile. If you get to a persimmon tree, you’ve gone too far!”) Implicit in this is the establishment that you appreciate the history of the area. The “Old Cunningham” place may have been divested of Cunninghams two or more generations ago.
  2. Second, you must establish respective genealogies. (For instance, “You’re related to the Marshalls, eh? Any connection to the Marshalls that started the hardware store in 1902?”) It can be a disappointment to talk to someone that doesn’t at least know surnames back to his great greats. That indicates someone who doesn’t appreciate family history, and puts you at a disadvantage, since you’ll have to skip Rule 3.
  3. You must pinpoint whether you’re related by blood, or if any of your ancestors knew one another. (For instance, “Yup. Granny Merchant would have had your great aunt Gladys as a teacher in the ’40s.”) This means you’re friends, or in some cases, cousins. Do you know what a double second cousin once removed is? You might if you live in small town or rural WV. If worse comes to worst, you may have to settle for ancestors having shared an occupation, such as both having worked in the oil and gas industry.
  4. Once all necessary associations established, then you may proceed to discuss your life philosophy and other subjects. This generally includes at least one protestation of love for the state. (For instance, “I’d never live anywhere else!”), as well as a comparison of where you/your family own/lease hunting/fishing property. You may discuss your favorite outdoor recreation (hiking, camping, boating) or your favorite West Virginia State Park. Cooking is also a good subject, provided it’s home cooking.

Note: The initial WV acquaintanceship conversation is traditionally ended with friendly offers such as an invitation to a home-cooked dinner or an evening bonfire and official marshmallow roasting. Highly recommended in rural areas would be to offer some homemade pepperoni rolls in trade or as a gift. (In WV, pepperoni rolls can be purchased practically everywhere… but like nearly everything else, they’re better homemade.) Trades, such as agreeing to trade  farm eggs for homemade jam, may help you re-establish any points you lost if you couldn’t establish your genealogy in Rules 2 or 3, and are generally preferred to gifts, as establishing from the get-go an equitable relationship.

B.A. Chickenman November 22nd, 2013

34 and as the name suggests I have long been THE Chickenman for my area. Lol.

– on Facebook as


George Castonguay November 22nd, 2013

28 and as to question 7, I will not buy any eggs from a store unless they are from a company like Happy Egg or a similar producer. I would ban battery coops forever if I had the power to do so.

Lissa November 22nd, 2013

I’m with you on that, George!

Carol Moseley November 22nd, 2013

I didn’t count points. I read through them and though “Ok, I’ll just write down if I only get 1 point!” SO how ever many all of them add up to @ 2 points each ~ that’s my score. 🙂 My rescue chicken was horrific! I was driving home one day and all the cars in front of my were going around something in the middle of our lane. I thought WTH! Some sort of up-right animal? As I pulled around to miss it too ~ It’s a Bloody Chicken! I pulled off the road and RAN back… the poor thing had been fought and his eyes were swollen shut, blood soaked, no head or neck feathers. I don’t know how he survived it! I cleaned him up and taught him to eat by pecking on a pan of oatmeal and putting it near his beak. eventually just pecking on the pan got him in the right direction. He recovered sight in one eye, I had to have to other eye removed by a vet. He didn’t regrow the feathers on his head. But I had “Rocky” for several years! 🙂

Lissa November 22nd, 2013

Oh, how sad! Poor rooster. He’s so lucky you found him. It’s really surprising sometimes how resilient chickens can be. <3 It's so nice he had a few years of being cared for and spoiled!

ann November 22nd, 2013

good lord I’m at a 30. I have been called the crazy chicken lady more than once and have a couple of people check out my coop for ideas. have also had people call for advise. was the first in my area to get the vets to treat chickens and take the time to learn more about them. guess that makes me the local chicken lady.

Gina Marie November 22nd, 2013

30. I had to give up a couple of points because though I sell eggs at work, I’m far from making any kind of profit or even breaking even. But I think I cover a portion of the cost of feed. I live in Frankin County, GA, which is a top producer county of commercial chickens and there are backyard (front yard, all around the yard) chickens in abundance and a local chicken auction 10 miles from my house every (yes, every) Friday night. But I’m the chicken lady among my friends, co-workers, and Facebook buds. I do have yardbirds and they are quite spoiled. They’re my pet darlings and I love them. I’ve given advice and received a ton of it. I have roosters who compete with neighbor’s Roos every morning for the loudest crow. I have a ton of fun.

Lyddie November 22nd, 2013

29, and if I had been able to purchase an incubator a few months ago like I’d originally intended, I’d be over 30 by now, but finances did not allow for it. I guess I won’t count as THE chicken lady until that happens. lol

Lisa November 22nd, 2013

I scored 25 – and I’m starting to become THE chicken lady for friends.

Kathy Melendez November 22nd, 2013

My score is 24. Numbers 6, 9, 10, 11 are the only ones I did not have an answer for. However, I do want to order chickens ahead of time.

Heather November 23rd, 2013

33….And love being a Chicken lady. 😀

Roger November 23rd, 2013

Scroed 28 and i have alway s liked chicken, had them growning up as did most of the people in the community. Like to raise all kinds adn really enjoy having bantams. Have always like brown eggs the best and like toget them from a local grower if i don’t have any laying at the time.

terry and jeff November 23rd, 2013

LOL!! I wasn’t a 30, but I was close. One of my girls is a severe cross beak named Hapsbird. She is alive because I feed her with a syringe every day, and she has personality galore. I’m working with a nearby vet to design a prosthetic lower beak for her. Maybe she will be able to feed herself one day 🙂

Donna November 23rd, 2013

I am at 26 at present. I have a “thing” for the unusual breeds of chickens and, although, we enjoy the eggs, I more enjoy sharing them and just really have the chickens to go out and watch and interact with. I love my babies!

Madz December 11th, 2013

I am not THE chicken lady, but I’m proud of my girls!

Lori Benton April 1st, 2016

I got 30 and may be THE Chicken Lady if I was allowed to have more chickens in town. I thoroughly enjoyed your list of WV Acquaintanceship Rules! Western Wyoming has some similar rules which, sadly, are slipping away.

[…] involved in the hobby and has experience with pet chickens. Preferably, in fact, you must be suffering from Chickenmania, or struggle with your Chicken Math every year. This is one of the things that sets us apart from […]

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