Creative Genius: Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily
Get to know this chicken-keeper extraordinaire.
Lisa Steele is a 5th generation chicken keeper, backyard chicken expert and former HGTV homesteading contributor. Steele runs the award-winning blog, Fresh Eggs Daily, where she helps fans worldwide learn her accessible, easy and fun approach to raising backyard flocks naturally. We sat down with Steele to learn how she used her creativity to turn chicken rearing into a thriving business.
When did you get into raising chickens and ducks?
My grandparents were chicken farmers. I grew up across the street from their chicken farm. As a kid, I always had a little flock. In 2009, my husband and I were living out in the country in Virginia and I just thought we had a lot of land and not enough animals. We ended up getting some chickens and that was kind of the beginning of the end.
What inspired you to turn your hobby into a business?
I didn't really have a plan. My husband was in the Navy, so we had moved around a lot. I was home and bored, and so I decided to get chickens. It was a fun hobby for me and kind of evolved. I started the Facebook page, and the blog, and then someone said, "You know, people will pay you to advertise on your blog." And the light bulb went off. The blog was perfect because it was something I could do from home, and it didn't matter where my husband was stationed. I could turn something that I really love doing into a career. The books followed the blog and the freelance writing followed that and it just kind of evolved into this brand. I just had a lot of fun developing the Fresh Eggs Daily brand and seeing where it could go.
What is your favorite thing about sharing your knowledge about chickens and ducks?
With chickens and ducks, there's just so much that you can incorporate into their upbringing. I think my approach to a natural and healthy way to raise chickens really appealed to people. People get really excited about how there are different ways to do things. For example, when your chicken gets sick, you don't have to run to the feed store and buy antibiotics. There are natural ways to treat them with what you already have growing in the garden. Even better, raise them healthy and build strong immune systems. Sharing that knowledge is really exciting to me. I think when people finally see the connection and start doing it and saying, "You know what? This works and my chickens are great and they're healthy," that is important to me.
How do you incorporate your creativity into chicken rearing and duck rearing?
My mom was a third-grade teacher and was always crafting with me and my brother. My father was super artistic as well. He dabbled in color graffiti, and drawing and painting. I think I got a little bit of both of that and I just absolutely love making stuff, building stuff and crafting. I love the fact that I can incorporate that into chicken keeping. You can build a coupe, nesting boxes, little things for the chicks and a feeder. There's so much DIY involved with chicken keeping and I love that. There's always something new to build, or create, or make, or repurpose.
What advice do you give to someone who's just starting out?
Yes, buy all my books, read my blog, visit my Facebook page, every day and like everything. No seriously, do some research, do some reading and subscribe to some chicken magazines. Know what you're getting into. Overall, chickens are easy. The hardest part is keeping them safe from the predators and realizing that your family dog can be considered a predator. Also, it's very addicting. Once you start, you can't stop. Suddenly you go from like three chickens to 45.
What do you have up your sleeve next?
I have two books coming out next year—a chicken-related kid's book and another one in the fall I'm not allowed to say too much about. It does incorporate some DIY, which I love to do, so that's going to be fun. I'm also working on a private label—Fresh Eggs Daily line of chicken stuff. Everything's open and the sky is the limit and whatever I can kind of think of or dream of, if somebody's interested in it, then I'm like that's the direction I'm going to go.
Read more of Lisa Steele's duck and chicken advice on HGTV: