New Additions to the Ruka

So many things have happened at the Ruka since our last post! In addition to a whole summer’s worth of adventures for all four of us, we have made some new additions to the house. It happened on one Saturday afternoon when Paula and Allison’s moms helped us take the initiative and get into contact with a local farmer who happened to breed chickens. The idea started back in the spring and grew when the Memphis Commercial Appeal ran an article about urban chickens and their growing popularity in Memphis. We also happened to meet a neighbor, who has three and routinely has organic fresh eggs. So that fateful Saturday, after chatting with Russell over the phone, we made the decision to commit, and we took a drive out to Collierville. After an adventure finding the farm, and establishing that it was in fact in the country, we hesitantly knocked on the door and proceeded to be shocked for the next hour. Not only does Russell have over 200 chickens of various ages, breeds and sizes, he also raises bees for their honey, has a donkey and owns one of the sweetest dogs ever!! Allison and I proceeded to be wowed by the entire experience because it was so far from anything we’ve ever done before—Paula and Allison’s moms took pictures. I think the most ridiculous (and craziest) part of the whole thing was when we were all prepared to select our chickens to take them home, Russell took the time to explain how to hold a chicken without it flying away, then put one in our hands! We thought he was going to put them in the box….I HELD A CHICKEN! He was the kindest person; he answered all of our questions (though I’m fairly certain he was fearful for the survival chances of his precious pets), gave us feed to last the weekend, explained the dangers of raccoon predators given our location, and taught us all about what to do to keep them happy so we’ll get the best eggs!  Finally, after thanking Russell for his hospitality, generosity, and getting his phone number for future questions/problems, we made the trek home still attempting to process what was actually happening. This was also when the names Lucille and Ethel were agreed upon for our newest family members. After putting them in the expertly fashioned coop (thanks Mr. Vasichko!) we introduced them to their new home and let them sleep for the night.

The next morning trying to check on them after their first night, we realized how appropriate these new names were. In the midst of trying to give them food, one got out of the coop and jumped/flew (still not exactly sure how that happened) up onto our back fence between our neighbor’s yards and ours. After running into their yard, scaling a fence to a third yard (to steer her back into our yard), 6 people and a half hour later, she was finally back into her coup. That day a new run WITH ROOF was added to their space!

Nonetheless, approximately one month later, our girls don’t run away from us anymore and have even laid their first three eggs! They have become a part of the daily routine and the family around here. We brag about them constantly and frequently just go visit them in the backyard when we get home from school! More updates coming soon about the community happenings and the hysterical CHAOS that is life in the Ruka…

Ruka love,


At Russell’s farm! Our first time holding chickens!!


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