Martha Stewart, the chicken.

On October 4, 2008 we traveled with our granddaughters to CETA Foundation Ranch in Vacaville, CA to pick out our first chickens. Emily picked a Naked Neck and named her Judge Judy. Michael and I picked chickens, named them Nancy Grace and Paula Deen. Both turned out to be cockerels and had to be re-homed.  Amanda picked a little Cinnamon Queen who we named Martha Stewart.




We called our “girls” the Celebrity Chicks and had this little coop and run all ready for them when we brought them home.


Michael and Martha.


Me and Martha.


Amanda and Martha.



Emily and Martha. I don’t know who was less happy.


Amanda remained fond of Martha and Martha remained fond of being picked up and held. Maybe not by Emily (see picture above)  :-)


Martha  learned to roost with her friends.


Martha and her friends loved to hang out in the rain.


Some of her best friends had four legs. She liked them better than they liked her I think.


Martha loved to frustrate the goat boys by laying eggs in their feeder.





She loved to frustrate me by laying eggs in the hay loft.


She loved to peck in the grass for bugs with her friends.



She loved picnics.


She loved warm oatmeal on a cold, rainy day.


Martha loved working in the compost bin.


Martha and her friends always thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.


They occasionally escaped to find out. This break-out, lead by Judge Judy, had me on the run.


Michael took a more laid back approach to the mayhem.


Sometimes you just have to laugh and hope no one ends up in the pool (again).


Martha was just a Cinnamon Queen, bred for egg laying. But she was so much more than that to us. She was a beautiful chicken.






Well, not always beautiful.


Martha Stewart lived more than five wonderful years with us, which for a hatchery bird is a good, long life. She had everything a chicken could want or need. But, for everything we gave her, she gave us double in return. Our sweet Martha passed away peacefully yesterday in a warm, safe nest box, surrounded by her friends and family. Rest in peace Martha.


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  1. Lisa says

    I found your blog today via Fresh Eggs Daily. I am sorry for your loss. Enjoyed the beautiful tribute to Martha’s life. I’ve lost 3 in my 2.5 yrs of raising hens. It hurts every time.

  2. Elizabeth says

    As the scarecrow said, “you know you have a heart….because you feel it breaking”. So sorry for the loss of a valuable member of your family. Godspeed Martha!

  3. says

    This is such a lovely tribute to your friend, and I know how you are feeling right now. I have lost two hens since I started keeping them, and my heart broke in two both times. It’s so hard. Martha Stewart was blessed to have had owners who loved her so much and took such good care of her.

  4. Noel says

    What a beautiful tribute to a gorgeous girl. Thank you for sharing the smiles and story. I am very sorry for the loss of your friend and companion. I’m sure your family’s love for her brought Martha as much joy as she brought you. Best wishes to you all, and peace in your hearts.

  5. says

    What beautiful ladies you have and your post made me weep for your loss. What a beautiful girl Martha was. So much we can all learn for from them about life, productivity, playfulness and how to be industrious while enjoying life. I’m sorry for your loss…truly! I thank you for sharing her with us.

  6. says

    So sorry for your loss. I grew up with chickens and adore the birds. I convinced my husband to raise hens, he thought it was just a project to make me smile. Little did he know the level of love he would have for our hens. My gruff guy grumbles — look what you’ve done to me! He needs to check in our little brood and the lower ranking birds come to him for safety. It wasn’t me who taught him to love the chickens – But, these wonderful birds.

  7. says

    She was such a beautiful girl! I have been keeping chickens for the past four years so I know what you mean when you say she was so much more than just a chicken. My girls have been such a big part of my life and losing them is so hard. I’m very sorry for your loss :(

  8. Siobhan says

    So sorry about Martha. We have chickens and our girls are just a much a part of our crazy family as yours are to you.

    • Mary says

      Lisa, thank you for posting Martha’s story on your website and Facebook page. What a lovely response from you and your friends to Martha’s story. I am glad so many people were touched by our dear girl. She was certainly loved.

      Mary and Michael

  9. says

    What a wonderful memorial to your sweet little Martha Stewart :)! I love choosing fun names for animals- the celebrity idea is great!

    So happy you had her for that many years. Such a blessing. With chickens, you just never really know how long they will make it. Thanks so much for sharing her story with us :)

    Your newest follower, visiting from the Clever Chicks Blog Hop :)

    Yellow Birch Hobby Farm

  10. says

    Beautiful pictures and heartwarming story! I love to hear about animals that have lived a full life with respect and dignity. And love! Thank you for sharing.

    • Mary says

      Thanks Vickie. She was a wonderful girl. She did what she was bred to do, lay big brown eggs. She never went broody as that instinct was bred out but she was friendly and loved to be held and petted. WE will miss that. The hens we have now are all freaked out about being picked up. We need another Martha.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  11. Laurie says

    There are always a few that touch our hearts and remind us that chicken keeping is definitely more than just eggs and meat. I’m glad Martha Stewart was one of those and was able to share in your families’ lives.

  12. says

    I know you know that I understand. Been there so many times myself with my hatchery girls. Martha was well-loved and cared for and she did, indeed, live a long life for production hen. She was a beautiful old lady. So sorry for your loss. I’m glad she had a great family, though, and that you had her as long as you did. RIP, sweet Martha.

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