Queen of the Chicken Swing

Melisa Pullins calls herself a “front porch lover, organic food grower, dog momma of six, chicken hugger, vegetarian and a dreamer of big dreams,” while living on her farm in Canton off State Highway 243. 

Spurred by a desire to leave big-city living behind, Melisa and her husband moved from Arizona four years ago.

“It was kind of like a blind leap of faith, I had bought land in Texas years ago sight unseen,” said Melisa. “We were getting tired of the chaotic, stressful city life in Arizona. We packed up our stuff, sold our house and moved to Texas.” 

It was more than a desire to leave the hustle and bustle of a big city that enticed the Pullins’ to make the move to Canton, it was a childhood dream.

”When I was a little girl living in a big city, I dreamt of owning a farm with a little yellow house,” recalled Melisa. “I would dream of owning the kind of house that you could sit on the front porch swing, listen to the birds sing and look out over the wide-open spaces. A place that you'd share holidays with friends and family and where you'd sit on the front porch swing to soak up the beautiful sunrise day after day. The kind of house where you could dream big dreams and live a simple life all at the same time. My dream always consisted of a small flock of chickens free ranging in the front yard and being able to grow a garden that would provide food for my family and the chickens as well.”

Melisa’s pampered poultry lived the dream life of a chicken while leisurely roosting on the front porch of their coop modeled after the Pullins’ home and enjoying organic meals when the weather is chilly.

“In the winter months, the girls get a little spoiled,” said Melisa. “On most cold mornings, they get organic oats and blueberries which are their favorite. Sometimes, they get strawberries, herbs that have been dried to supplement their diets to keep them healthy. They love it and the kale and lettuce that we grow. Summertime is their favorite because of the blackberries and blueberries. It’s quite hilarious watching them.  We have a blackberry bush that hangs over one of our garden fences and they stand on the other side of the fence and jump up and down to get the berries,”

The Pullins’ farm also has a queen of the chicken swing, the hen, Louise. “Louise loves the chicken swing,” pointed out Melisa. “She thinks she is a dog. She is personable, she comes out and greets people when they pull up to the farm.  She climbs on our front porch swing but also the chicken coop’s swing. She settles in fast and will just get up into her swing and take a nap. She is a little old biddy and her friends come up and they have their chicken chatter. Coming from the city, I never realized that

chickens had personalities. Each one of them have their own characteristics and behaviors. It is really interesting because each one of them is different. On occasion when the chickens take a break from chasing bugs or frogs near our pond, they love to stop to sit near me on the front porch and the swing. Some would say they're spoiled, but I just say they've come to the right farm to enjoy their life. Our chickens are not just chickens; they're part of our family. So much so that we built their coop to look just like our farmhouse--complete with their very own front porch and swing. They get up there and just have the liveliest chicken chatter, especially after one sings their beautiful egg song.

Its not all play, the chickens do have an important job to do.

“Our flock of chickens aren't just pampered hens; they also have an important job to do. They take great pride in helping with pest control in the gardens where we grow organic fruit, veggies and herbs year-round for us all to enjoy,” said Melisa.  

However, it was the chicken’s antics that captured the attention of “Backyard Poultry” magazine, earning a four-page spread in the magazine devoted to Louise and her feathered friends.

“Printed in Backyard Poultry Magazine, out on stands,” said Melisa. “I was contacted due to my posts on Instagram, about the stories I write about my chickens. I did a photo essay about them and it was in September but, I was told it had to be a Christmas theme. So, my family wanted to about kill me for decorating the whole farm in Christmas during September. People would stop while driving down our road and shake their heads at us because we were decorating for Christmas in September.”

The Pullins’ 2-year-old niece also enjoys the chickens as well, and has earned the ranking of “head chicken feeder.”

“I call our niece our farm baby.,” said Melisa. “She is constantly over here, and has became our head chicken feeder. In the summer, we grow a lot of blackberries and blueberries. So, for every two berries she gets into her mouth, the chickens probably get one. She is a huge helper for us.”

While living in Canton, Melisa said her “dream had come true.” 

“Fast forward many years and here I sit on the front porch swing of the little yellow house in the country,” said Melisa. “As I gaze out over the front yard, I can see my small flock of beautiful chickens scratching away happily as they free range throughout our farm. Dreams really can come true.”

To view Melisa’s Instagram, search for the username ‘Txmbirdie’ on Instagram for stories about the chicken’s antics and also to see photographs of the famous hens.