At the end of a stressful day, we all seek something to restore our sense of peace. For Kris Chase, that comes while caring for the chicks she’s incubated from eggs. Attending to the chicks gives her a moment to step away from the demands of daily life and enjoy simplicity. Her mood is quickly lifted. As she watches over the birds, tension ebbs and tranquility flows. “One of the things I love about chickens is they bring a piece of farm life home. When I think of farm life, the cares of the world are completely different than when living in the city. You are outdoors, growing your own food, and there’s such an appreciation that comes with that. Being able to bring that home while living in the city is relaxing and eases my daily stress.”
As a kid, Kris would occasionally help care for day-old chicks for a couple of weeks before they were taken to her dad’s ranch to live. Once, as a young teenager, she was put in charge of watching the chicks. It was an experience that stayed with her. So when a neighbor offered her some fertilized eggs to hatch with her kids for Easter six years ago, she agreed – unaware that everything was about to change.
Over the next twenty-one days, she fell in love. The various blues, greens, and tans of the Ameracauna eggs were unlike anything she’d seen before. Her fondness grew in parallel with the chicks, becoming too big to be contained and bursting out into the world. She was hooked. As the chicks matured into chickens, Kris was surprised by how beautiful they were. She says, “Going through the whole chicken experience from egg to adult chicken really gave me an appreciation for chickens.”
Now Kris shares her passion for raising chickens with others through Chase Hatchery, the nursery she owns and operates. “The joy that I’ve experienced in caring for chickens myself and with my children, that’s something that you just want to share with everyone,” she tells us. “Running Chase Hatchery, I get to talk to many people and hear their stories, hear their struggles, get their advice. I love sharing the experience with others, whether it be helping someone set up their first hatching project, helping a customer pick out their chick order that they get to then take home and enjoy with their family, or the pictures I get from customers showing me their grown chickens that they bought from me as babies.”
The teacher in Kris–who is an early childhood educator–also enjoys sharing the wisdom she’s gained. “As with anything new, there’s such a price for knowledge. Every phase of raising chickens requires knowing in great detail the science behind it.” To that end, she guides customers, participates in the chicken-raising community, and runs a program that instructs young teens how to care for chicks while also instilling business essentials so they can begin their own entrepreneurial endeavors.
In the end, though, it all comes back to passion. She’s shifted her career and expanded Chase Hatchery to introduce others to the joy that chickens brought to her and her family. “I hear over and over again how relaxing it is to just watch them and care for them and about the companionship they bring to their caregivers,” she shares. “Chickens are such beautiful animals.”