34-year-old Summer Rayne Oakes from Williamsburg, keeps a hen Kippee in her apartment with 700 plants. It all started when Oakes, […]
34-year-old Summer Rayne Oakes from Williamsburg, keeps a hen Kippee in her apartment with 700 plants.
It all started when Oakes, who runs the popular blog Homestead Brooklyn, found a wounded ovenbird in her local community garden last May. Not just a plant lover but an animal lover, too, Oakes brought the creature to the Wild Bird Fund—the only bird rehabilitation center in New York City—for treatment, and that’s where she met a small, friendly hen.
‘I was like, ‘Oh my God this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life,’ Oakes said. ‘She jumped up onto my lap and just started preening herself. She was so comfortable there.’
Kippee was an Easter gift but was then abandoned by her previous owner after the holiday and taken to a Manhattan shelter where she was put up for adoption.
Kippee quickly imprinted on her new owner. The pair are regulars at their local community garden, and they’re frequently spotted together around town.
The pair have been identified while riding the subway when the woman recognized Kippee. Oakes recalls getting scolded by a police officer for letting the bird roam free at a park: ‘He says, ‘Excuse me ma’am, is that your hen? She has to be on a leash.’ It was the most ridiculous conversation ever had by two people,’ she told Modern Farmer.
Besides being an author, blogger, and houseplant expert, Oakes is also a sustainable fashion advocate and model. To keep the animal’s anxiety at bay, Oakes began taking Kippee along on photo shoots, which eventually resulted in the hen getting work of her own, including campaigns with Lululemon, Celestial Seasons tea, fashion editorials, and even a bidet company.
As much as she loves her, Oakes knows Kippee can’t live in her Brooklyn apartment forever. Oakes wants Kippee to play with other hens and has recently raised $3,500 to re-build a chicken coop at a nearby community center.
‘It’ll be good for her,’ she said.