Lesson 730 – Once Upon a Flock by Lauren Scheuer – Giveaway

Lauren Scheuer is definitely a rare bird. She’s one of those people who has tremendous talent, a huge heart, and is someone who understands chickens  – a winning combination in this game called life. She’s written a book about living with her backyard chickens and forgive me, but I’ve just got to crow about this accomplishment! once-upon-a-flock-cover-3

Lauren and I found each other on Facebook years ago, I had seen her chicken art from her fabulous blog Scratch and Peck, (if you haven’t seen it, go over now and have her illustrations make your day) and she had noticed I wrote about chickens. We started conversing. When chicken people meet chicken people, nothing can stop us. It was a friendship meant to happen.

It was Lauren who invited and organized the NE chicken ladies (Hencam, Tilly’s Nest, Scratch and Peck, and me, Lessons Learned from the flock) to attend the Northeastern Poultry Show two years ago in January.

It was a cold day, the kind of day where you think twice about retrieving your water bottle from your car parked at the far end of the lot. (Then you realize, there’s no need to fetch it because it’s probably frozen solid anyway.) We all showed up at the designated meeting place.  We met.  We clucked with each other over food.  We saw the most incredible chickens.  We left with newly found chicken friends.

And I also came home with Charlie.

charlie lo res

At the poultry show, there was a breeder who had newly hatched Black Copper Marans chicks for sale. One chick, later to be named Charlie, was going to be destroyed because she had a genetic aberration that caused her feet to be mangled. No breeder wants that kind of chromosomal bump in their flock. I, however, convinced (begged) the breeder to let me take the baby home and at least give her a chance.

No one expected Charlie to survive.

Lauren oohed and ahhed over little Charlie. She fully understood the desire to help another creature who was down on her luck. After all, she had gone through a chicken-ICU episode of her own when she nursed her chicken Lucy who had contracted Marek’s disease.

Lauren understood and for that reason, I christened her Charlie’s “fairy Godmother” for without her planning the trip, I would have never gone, and without her immediate, positive and unconditional support, I might have had a bit more trepidations about bringing a chick home. To my husband.  In the freezing weather of January. While living in New Hampshire.

At home, my son and I performed surgery on Charlie’s feet to release her toes and then we had her do physical therapy (up on the roost, off the roost, up on the roost…) to straighten and strengthen her toes.

Charlie fully recovered from the surgery but as we couldn’t put a chick outdoors in a New Hampshire winter, she ended up living in our house for the next 6 months.

Charlie, by simply being Charlie, ended up filling a gaping hole in our lives that had been ripped open by a son who was desperately ill and 2 family dogs that had recently and unexpectedly died. Charlie followed the family around, watched the Super Bowl with us, perched on our shoulders as we read, and came running like a puppy when called. With humans and a dog as her flock mates, she soon adapted to being a house chicken.

Charlie became a member of the family.

She taught me much. Charlie taught me that love comes in all sizes and that sometimes the best family members are not born into the family but rather come into the family by other means.

pippin charlie lo-res

When I was struggling with my son, wanting to pull him from college to bring him home so that I could care for him and keep him protected against the world, Charlie taught me that sometimes, the bravest and most loving thing you can do for someone is to push them out of the nest into the world, where they really belong.

Lauren understands those types of life lessons that you learn only when you fully invite someone else into your life. In Once Upon a Flock – Life with my Soulful Chickens, Lauren shares the compassionate, heartwarming lessons after lesson she has learned from her flock. Well written (on some of the best paper stock I’ve ever felt in a book) and filled with Lauren’s trademark photos and art, she brings us through life’s cycles with her chickens. She rejoices in the good times, and fully embraces the more difficult ones. She knows that with the unconditional support of your flock members, you’ll be able to weather the sometimes heart-crushing storms of life.

Birth, youth, and eventually sickness and death, to get a little Zen on you, Lauren shows us that life is what it is. In Once Upon a Flock, Lauren lets us know that there is so very much you can learn from chickens, if you only take the time to listen.

Once Upon a Flock is an absolute must read for chicken owners and for anyone who understands the connections between people and animals. Although there are some wonderful tips (coop building, anyone?) on how to take care of chickens – it is, above all else, a story of love and respect to which mama hens and flock members everywhere will be able to relate.

Well done, my fellow-chicken friend, well done.

This blog post is part of a blog tour. Check out these other blogs. Lauren has drawn art specific to each of these blogs’ stories and if only for that reason, go look at them and smile.

March 19 Tilly’s Nest
March 20 Hencam.com
March 23 Our Little Acre
March 27  Garden Rant

Lauren’s blog is Scratch and Peck go look at some lovely artwork that will make your day.


You can win a copy of Lauren’s fabulous book, Once Upon a Flock. Just leave a comment on this post and one of those comments will be randomly chosen. Make sure that  you have a way for me to contact you should you be the winner.

The winner will be chosen on Thursday and will be announced on Friday’s post.

By the way, Lauren did the illustrations of Charlie for this post. Just looking at them brings a tear to my eye. Thank you Lauren, thank you so very much.

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even  a recipe or two. 



Filed under All things chickens, Book Reviews, Inspiration, Personal, The Family

64 responses to “Lesson 730 – Once Upon a Flock by Lauren Scheuer – Giveaway

  1. Lucy

    Wendy, I LOVE Lauren’s blogs, illustrations & photography. I’ve been holding off buying the book because I hope to win it on one of the stops on the “blog tour”. Thanks!

  2. glynnis lessing

    Hi Wendy, here I am commenting and hoping that this is the blog that helps me win the book! thanks for encouraging me!

  3. dawn goad

    Such a lovely tribute. Well done! The book looks amazing.

  4. I loved reading this post and would love to win the book! I am a chicken lover and really appreciate the beautiful; illustrations as well. ♥ Good luck to everybody! Contact me at pupaenation@gmail.com if I am the lucky one!

  5. Monica Cook

    This sounds like a good read.

  6. Heather

    What a great blog and thanks to Community Chickens I am now able to join in on your adventures! P.S. The book sounds like it’s going to be a great read, where can one get your book?

  7. Do

    I will be reading her book,if I win it or not 🙂

  8. pegthomas

    Wow sis–you have always been a great writer but I think this is one of your high-water marks! A great story and reflection. It was so wonderful to travel with you on your adventures with Charlie last year, and now so inspiring as you reflect upon the underlying reasons that you went clear out of your way to help this newest “soulful” chicken–and your own family. Thanks!

  9. Trina Mechling

    WE are just getting ready to buy our first chickens this spring. I am so excited as I have been reading everything I can so I can be ready for my new ‘friends’. I would love to add “Once upon a flock” to my chicken library.

  10. Marsha Dishman

    WoW,I would LOVE to read this book 😉 Sounds very interesting!

  11. So cute! Can’t wait to read the book.

  12. Gerry

    Would LOVE to win the book “Once Upon a Flock” Thank You 😉

  13. Teri Klick

    After reading your nice article, count me in!

  14. I am a 73 year young woman who would love to have a flock of chickens, but I guess it is not to be. My son is ill and has 2 nurses who have their own flocks and their stories are so interesting and unique. I would love to read this book. Thanks for all the stories you put online.

  15. Lisa

    I have been following Lauren’s writing for a while. I too have learned a few lessons regarding what it takes to care for sickly chickens.

  16. Gina

    This looks like a wonderful book and one that I would love to share with my other chicken owners!

  17. Danni

    I’ve just read your post about Charlie and it warmed my heart. What an incredible thing to do for this tiny precious life. Can you imagine how amazing this world could be if it were full of people willing to take on a Charlie too?

  18. Melanie Dunn

    Love your blog and would love to win the book too! Say hi to Charile for me.

  19. brenda boe

    Oooo I hope I am picked to receive this book!! I can sit in my heated coop and read it to “the girls”.

  20. kelly

    Isn’t it amazing how these little critter can cluck their way right into our hearts?!
    I’d love to win, but I’ll own this book one way or another!
    Thank you for sharing.

  21. Bernice

    I would love to win and read your book!

  22. Genny

    Absolutely wonderful. What a talented, thoughtful, loving woman she is, this book would be a treasure!

  23. Lisa Matthews

    chickens definitely ROCK

  24. Mary Magdic

    Lauren is a very talented illustrator, writer and probably the best photographer of chickens ever! Her Facebook posts continue to brighten my days.

  25. Heatherly

    This story, and all of Lauren’s, really hit home. I can’t express enough how much they affect me. Would love a copy of the book, but more than that, I wish to let you know how much I appreciate people like you.

  26. Cherie

    I have a grumpy rooster who hasn’t used one leg for 3 years! He still manages to breed some of the girls and although he can’t follow them around the house any more he still guards close to the hen house and rose bush. He is very handsome and all advise given was to end his life and I am so glad I never did.

  27. Priscilla gray

    I was introduced to Lauren and her blog about a year ago. Warm, educational and wonderful drawings. I look forward to her postings. And let’s not forget to find Markey!!

  28. Thank you, I would love to have a chance at winning a copy of her book.

  29. Darlene

    Wendy, I would love to have Lauren’s book~I grew up on the farm and we always had chickens~so anything about chickens brings a flood of memories back to me. Her book sounds wonderful and I would be thrilled to win one. Thank you for this chance.

  30. Ariana Elise

    Lauren’s posts have ALWAYS made me smile, even on a bad day! I’d love to win her book.

  31. very inspiring – thank you. -Amy

  32. We are a military family and we have just made the switch from active duty into the guard. For the first time we get to grow roots somewhere. We just bought 10 acres in February and bought a variety of chicks at a local farmers market. We are excited to be chicken parents for the first time.
    Amanda Geaney
    Airlift Acres Family Farm

  33. Happy to discover another chicken blogger
    with compelling stories to share. And I look
    forward to reading “once Upon A Flock,” too.

  34. Susan

    I would love the book! I loooooove chickens!

  35. dennarahl

    ive had a couple of chickens live inthe house for periods of time, but only one has gotten to what i’d be willing to call a house chicken. thankfully she got better and was able to rejoin the flock.

  36. Alison Drouillard

    How exciting I cant wait to read it ❤

  37. You are also a great writer! I love this blog tour and if course I hope to win a copy of the book.

  38. Looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the opportunity! (:>

  39. Judy Gillham

    So glad to find your blog! Loved reading about Charlie, too. These creatures steal our hearts, yes?

  40. Frankie Stanford

    I am waiting for the newest member of our flock to arrive at any moment. We are talking to our chicks about your chicks to ease the waiting.

  41. Cady

    I would love to own her book! I love her blog, such adorable illustrations! That is such a neat story about Charlie, thank you for saving her life. Thank you for the giveaway!

  42. Lisa Chmelar

    Seriously…nothing like this blog…and the adventures…and the illustrations! You have to fall in love – no other choice! I know the book is equally wonderful!

  43. What treasured friends you have found through chickens! We are brand new to chickens (and ducks)…and homesteading for that matter. But could be happier – we have really found our heaven on earth. Can’t wait to read Lauren’s book!

  44. Pat

    My chicks arrive in May – I’m having fun finding wonderful chicken blogs to keep me entertained while I build a coop and wait for my chicks – Just found Lauren’s blog and clicked onto yours – I’ve had such fun exploring here 🙂
    I already read the book (new in our library this week!) in one sitting, but would love a copy of my own.

  45. What a delightful story about caring for the most vulnerable. I shall have to scroll back and find out hoe Charlie is faring with the flock these days.

  46. Belinda

    Cannot wait to read this. So many wonderful reviews.

  47. Love your blog–so glad to have discovered you along with Lauren, that rare bird!

  48. Candace

    I loved reading about your house chicken.

  49. I have loved reading about Charlie.

  50. Jane Taylor

    Loved Lauren’s book on kindle and would love to have the paper version too!
    Great story about Charlie too.
    Jane in Hawaii

  51. vicki woyak

    I just discovered you both thru the blog tour! I love your writing and Lauren’s drawing are amazing! I would love to have her book to curl up with as I still watch it snow here in the northwoods, sigh. If my girls didn’t have the little greenhouse to play in they would be totally miserable.

  52. Elizabeth

    Thank you for sharing that lovely story 🙂
    I would love a chance to win Lauren’s book. I’m so eager to read it!!
    zabecc (at) hotmail (dot) com

  53. Connie

    Thank you for the chance to own this book! I borrowed it recently and just loved it!

  54. Candice

    Lauren and her chickens are so wonderful to follow. And now I’m looking forward to you accepting my new friend request on Facebook. I love my chickens so much and enjoy hearing how others who adore their chickens too. Chickens make the world a better place.

  55. It’s wonderful to meet more chicken bloggers (as I’m planning to start my own little flock soon)! The book sounds wonderful, love the illustrations, especially Charlie!

  56. Teya Starre

    I’m a chickie mom. I too had a chick with one deformed foot. She turned out to be one of my best layers. Love this story

  57. What a fun way to read more chicken blogs! I love the blog book tour! My little flock of seven keep me company in the garden and provide moments of great joy and hilarity. Thanks for sharing your adventures with the rest of us!

  58. Veronica

    I love her blog and would love the book!

  59. Marilyn

    Great story thanks for sharing your insights.

  60. I’ve been making my way through the book blog tour and am really enjoying the stories. I hope to get chance at Lauren’s book. for what it’s worth

  61. cpc

    Love your chicken tales about Charlie as much as I enjoy Lauren’s!

  62. Carla

    This blog tour has been so great! I love the blogs not to mention the chance to win such a neat book!
    Since I am new to your blog, I must ask for the rest of Charlie’s story. Hope he is still part of your family.
    cjay (at) iavalley (dot) edu

  63. I think that Charlie is the same bird that I saw at the Congress show last year. A story is also on the BYC site. Kudos for you for helping Charlie be the chicken she deserves to be! Absolutely love these stories, they soothe the soul 🙂

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