Hi everyone! I just wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Lisa Steele and I’m the new chicken spokesperson for Small Pet Select. I’m a fifth-generation chicken keeper, Maine Master Gardener, and creator of the popular website Fresh Eggs Daily which has been named one of the Top Ten garden blogs by Better Homes & Gardens.
My grandparents were honest-to-goodness chicken farmers in Massachusetts and I grew up across the street from their farm. I currently live on a small farm in the Maine woods with my husband, mixed flock of more than two dozen chickens, ducks and geese, corgi, and spoiled barn cat. We moved to Maine from Virginia almost six years ago when my husband retired from the Navy. Since we both grew up in Massachusetts, we knew we wanted to return to New England as soon as he retired.
I started raising backyard chickens and ducks back in 2009 (we added geese more recently, in 2019) when they started to regain popularity due to the recession. We have a variety of chicken breeds including Australorp, Lavender Orpington, Ameraucana, Marans, and Olive Eggers – which results in a very colorful egg basket! We also raise several breeds of ducks alongside our chickens including Pekin, Saxony, SIlver Appleyard, Magpie, Ancona, and Indian Runner.
From the start, I knew I wanted to raise my flock naturally – without using any antibiotics or chemical medications. After all, we were eating their eggs, so the healthier my chickens were, the healthier their eggs would be. I knew the basics of raising chickens since I had them as a kid, but I started researching, reading, and speaking with poultry scientists and avian vets, learning as much as I could about incorporating herbs, edible flowers, and natural supplements into all aspects of my chicken keeping. My grandmother lived to be 99 years old and during her last few years, she enjoyed sharing her own experiences raising chickens. and so I began to reintroduce and popularize old-timers methods including the deep litter method and hanging curtains across nesting boxes.
So many people responded to advice I was sharing on my Facebook page and blog that I decided to write a book titled Fresh Eggs Daily in 2013, followed in 2015 by Duck Eggs Daily which focuses on raising backyard ducks. Four more books on backyard poultry followed, including a kids book titled Let’s Hatch Chicks.
For the past two years, I’ve been hosting a half-hour “chicken lifestyle” TV show called Welcome to my Farm on NBC in Maine. Each episode includes segments on chicken keeping, gardening, and cooking with fresh eggs and produce. Past episodes are available on my YouTube channel.
I have also appeared on many local and national television and radio shows including Martha Knows Best on HGTV and the Hallmark Home and Family Show, and been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Parade, and Country Living magazine. And I’ve written articles for the Farmers Almanac, Hobby Farm Chickens magazine, and HGTVGardens.com.
In 2019 I launched a line of Fresh Eggs Daily natural poultry feed supplements based on ingredients I use with my own flock. They include probiotics, sea kelp, brewers yeast, and garlic which help support respiratory, immune, digestive, and bone health.
With nearly a million followers worldwide, I continue to share common sense advice that is not only fun and practical but also time-tested and reliable. I hope to inspire both newcomers and the seasoned veteran to be better chicken keepers with my unique and creative approach to raising backyard flocks.
And I’m excited to share my knowledge and first-hand experience raising chickens with the Small Pet Select community. Stay tuned for information on chicken behavior, feed, tips, and more!
Books and products are available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Chewy.com.