Country-Fied Chickens

Several years ago, I had stopped at a road side stand that was selling “raw” gourds which people commonly use to make simple birdhouses. The gourds intrigued me, so I brought several of them home and began to explore ways to decorate them. After trying my hand at wood burning and simple painted designs, I soon discovered paper clay and my gourd decorating adventures began to take off.

My first painted gourds shown above.

I began to make gingerbread men and human caricatures to get a feel for working with the clay. My sister is an avid rooster collector, and she made a special request for a chicken-shaped gourd. I rose to the challenge, and the first chicken gourd was made. Rude and crude as this first attempt was, it delighted my sister and provided the motivation to find ways to make a better chicken.

My first sculpted gourds shown above.

This is how the Country-fied Chickens got their start, and in the past 4-5 years, they have been making the rounds at local festivals and have found new homes all across the U.S. by virtue of Etsy, Facebook and the internet. The Country-fied Chickens have also sold from time to time at Nora Mill General Store in Cleveland, Georgia.

The very first chicken gourd made for my sister, shown above.

Each year, I travel to one of several south Georgia gourd farms to personally select gourds for chicken-making purposes. The gourds are lined up at the farm in drying bins that stretch out for acres upon acres, and it takes an hour or two to walk through the rows of bins and choose the gourds that are just-right. The gourds are bagged by the dozens and carried home in the bed of my pick-up truck to be washed, drilled, cleaned, sanded and sculpted. One chicken can take 2-3 hours to make from beginning to end, so a lot of time goes into each one.

Gourds piled up in drying bins at the gourd farm.

DIFFERENT STYLES & SIZES

Chicken Dumplins: These are 2″ to 4″ in height and made from small spinner gourds. $8.95 each plus shipping.

Little Biddies: These are 4″ to 8″ in height and are designed as shelf sitters. They are not used for bird houses and are not drilled with an opening. $14.95 each plus shipping.

The larger gourds are Little Biddies; the two smallest ones are Chicken Dumplins

Hen Birdhouses: The birdhouse gourds average 10″ to 16″ in height and have an opening that is drilled into the belly so that they can be displayed as a birdhouse.  Examples of the birdhouses are shown in the photos below. $36.00 to $48.00 each plus shipping.

The chicken gourd birdhouses have transformed over the years.

Each chicken gourd that is sold comes with a tag that includes the chicken’s name, date of creation, photo, artist’s signature and “care and feeding” instructions. This is what makes them perfect as folk art collectibles or as any occasion gifts.

MADE TO ORDER

I invite you to browse through my ETSY shop to view the chickens that are currently available. If there are no current chicken gourd listings — they sell out quickly — feel free to use the CONTACT form. I will be happy to create a custom order for you using gourds that are currently available in my stash. Please allow 2-3 weeks for your custom gourd to be shipped. ~ Susan