For Jennifer Lewis Of lipstick_and_chickens, Poultry Are A Passion

Jennifer Lewis wanted a life's passion, but it found her in the form of a special chicken who's now the star of her lipstick_and_chickens Instagram account.

by Jennifer Lewis
PHOTO: Jennifer Lewis

I was the girl who tried everything. You know the type—the one who has a tote in her closet full of wax that will never become candles.

You name it. I tried it. I searched my entire life for my passion—that one thing I couldn’t ever get off my mind.

But nothing ever clicked. Then, 5 years ago, my life changed when I was hired as a manager at a feed-supply store. Chick Days started, and I was immediately fascinated.

I spent the entire season taking care of the chicks for sale in the store and learning all I could about them. On the last day of the campaign, we were just about to pack up when a surprise shipment arrived.

I knew it was destiny, so I took home some chicks myself. Since then, I have become increasingly obsessed with poultry. I spend my nights researching about chicken health and the complexity of their wellness.

Read about one family’s journey from 7 chickens to 100!

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Passion Found

It was evident to everyone around me I had finally found my passion. It’s an indescribable feeling when your life suddenly makes perfect sense.

My obsession and hidden talents grew even more when I started photographing my birds. I had never picked up a camera before in my life.

I pride myself on being able to capture the hidden personalities of my pets. There is so much more to them than most realize.

Eventually, I started making tiny sets and costumes for them and posting my photo shoots on Instagram at the lipstick_and_chickens account. The lipstick_and_chickens page grew in popularity as I connected with people from all over the world.

A Calling Answered

Then one unsuspecting day at work, I received a gift that changed who I am as a person. Bartholomew was dropped off to me in a diaper box.

I didn’t know what to expect when I peaked inside. I saw two big, brown, friendly eyes staring back at me. Removing him from the box, I was shocked at what I saw. He had no legs at all—hardly anything, just two little nubs holding up his frail little body.

Nursing him back to health and watching him thrive and grow set my course in a new direction: chicken and rooster advocacy.

Barth now lives inside full-time with his brother, Mitchell, and they rock the tiniest chicken diapers ever. Barth has stolen so many hearts, and I am incredibly lucky to be involved in this community.

Chickens have truly changed my life and put me in touch with nature and all it has to offer.

I love helping people and making them smile through the lipstick_and_chickens account. You can be whoever you want to be. We don’t have to fit in little boxes anymore. I am just a girly girl who loves to get dirty and take care of her animals.

Keeping chickens transcends any stereotype. I am a modern hobby farmer.

This story originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of Chickens magazine. It’s a feature called Chicken Chat, in which readers submit stories and photos of their experience keeping chickens. Would you like to tell the world how you got started keeping chickens and just how far you’ve come? Send your story for consideration. Compose your tale in about 750 words and send it to with the subject line “Chicken Chat.” Include high-resolution photos of yourself, your chickens, your coop or your chicken run.

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