Drinking with Chickens Is the Instagram Account Everyone Needs to Follow
You don’t know it yet, but your dream is to live in Los Angeles with a flock of chickens. Just scroll through Kate Richards’ endlessly charming blog and Instagram account, Drinking with Chickens, and try to deny it. Kate lives with her husband, dogs and nine (yes, nine) chickens in L.A., but looking through her Insta you’d think they lived in an edenic paradise filled only with gorgeous flowering plants, mohawked chickens, and lots and lots of colorful cocktails.
I first heard about Kate’s account from friends who recently became chicken owners themselves. Apparently, once you own chickens, you are instantly part of a cult national community, and you are deeply and fervently involved. “They’re crazy,” Kate says. “Most people that have chickens love the hell out of them. Of course, there are chicken farmers doing this for a living—that’s a different breed. But the people who are backyard chickening as a hobby or a lifestyle are a fanatic bunch.”
Kate owned chickens for a few years before starting Drinking with Chickens. It began almost as an inside joke between her and her husband. “We’d go outside and have a drink with the chickens. It’s just what we did,” she says. “I told him one day that I was thinking about doing a blog about drinking with chickens and he said, ‘Please, for the love of god, don’t do that. No one will understand.’” She did it anyway, though, and it was an instant success. As it turns, she wasn’t the only one who relished an afternoon spent drinking outside with her flock. “It immediately spoke to people,” she says. “Chicken people do this, and I also found a voice with people who don’t have chickens.” People like me, who use her Instagram as an aspirational escape from dreary, chicken-less NYC winters.
Drinking with your chickens is par for the course if you own chickens. “You have to let [chickens] have a bit of free time,” Kate says. “Part of the deal is sitting and watching them—and that’s more fun with cocktails.” The chickens themselves also add some entertainment value to the happy hour. In alphabetical order, Kate’s chicken’s names are: Annabel Lee, Beatrix Potter, Clementine, Elphaba, Frau Farbissina, Pippy Longstocking (Pip) (pictured on Kate’s husband’s arm), Princess Vespa (pictured on Kate’s hat), Veronica Corningstone (Corn) (pictured on Kate’s shoulder) and Veruca Salt. While Kate loves them all equally, there are a couple of standout drinking buddies in the flock: the Polish ladies (Pip and Corn). “They both just have pretty funny personalities and they look funny as well,” she says. “They are lap chickens. And they’re quite derpy. They don’t react to stuff like other chickens. They’re just a little more silly.” Princess Vespa often steals the spotlight as well. “She’ll jump up on your lap and be up in your face,” Kate says. “She owns the place and is not afraid of anyone.”
If you’re convinced and hoping to live out your own fantasy with chickens and cocktails, Kate has a few pieces of advice. Firstly, do your research and make sure it’s cool with your city and neighbors. “Chickens are loud even if you don’t have a rooster,” she says. Secondly, kick off your first drinking with chickens session with an egg-based cocktail, like a Flip. “It’s just very fitting,” she says. And, thirdly, watch your garnish. “If you’re holding something, they think, ‘Oh, that’s for us.’ You have to be on your toes about it and not abandon your drink at all. They’ll get into it, knock it over and take the garnish,” she says.
When asked what other animals she would be interested in drinking with in the future, Kate is quick to answer. “Goats,” she says. “There have been many conversations between my husband and I about pygmy goats. But it’s probably not a good idea for where we are. But if we ever move to a bigger property, I would probably already have gotten them before we even moved in.” You heard it here, folks. Stay tuned to scroll through your next dream life: Drinking with Goats.