The Kardashihen Flock Frolics At Hawthorn Creek Homestead

Hawthorn Creek Homestead founder Brandie Funk tells us how her flock of chickens, the Kardashihens, and bees help to uphold a family farming legacy.

by Phillip Mlynar
PHOTO: Hawthorn Creek Homestead

Brandie Funk calls herself the “keeper of the Kardashihens.”

Naming her brood after various members of the Kardashian reality TV family, Funk’s chicks have become the stars of her Instagram account. There, she documents the daily activities that take place at her Southern Manitoba-based family hobby farm.

“My husband and I both grew up in the country,” says Funk. “My parents are honey farmers, and his parents often had a small herd of cattle. So we both knew we wanted a country property that we would be able to have animals on one day.”

We spoke to Funk about the origins of her chickens and her family’s beekeeping legacy. We also touched on how chickens and wine make a perfect match.

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Looking back on the moment that inspired her full-on dive into homesteading, Funk points to the creation of her Instagram account.

“I originally created it to share my chickens with friends and family. But after seeing the huge homesteading Instagram community, I realized the lifestyle very much resonated with me,” she explains.

“We are a family of seven, and raising our own food is appealing. I also love the idea that our children will be able to interact with our animals and learn responsibility as they care for them.”

Read more: These chicken breeds thrive on small farms and homesteads.

Get to Know the Kardashihens

Funk’s flock of Kardashihens currently stands at 23. When it comes to the Kardashihen with both the most distinctive personality and the most high-maintenance needs, Funk holds up Kim, a Silver Wyandotte.

“Kim’s definitely got a lot of personality,” she says. “She’s second in command after my roo’ Brucester, even above my second rooster. She’s the first one to greet me (looking for food) and not afraid to put the other chickens in place if they try to get treats before her.”

Beginner Chicken Tips

If you’ve been considering adding chickens to your own homestead or hobby farm, Funk says it’s important to properly prepare for their arrival.

“Don’t just jump into it one day without any supplies,” she advises. “I’ve made that mistake, and it is stressful! Make sure you have a place to house them, a way of feeding and watering them and, if you live in cold climate, a plan to ensure they’ll be comfortable through the winter months.”

Read more: Technology keeps chickens happy at this homestead!

Summer Nights, Chickens & Wine

When it comes to enjoying living with chickens, Funk says it’s all about taking time to appreciate the moment.

“I love sitting with a glass of wine on summer evenings and watching them interact with each other and with me,” she says. “It’s so fun to watch them and discover their unique personalities.”

Bring on the Bees

Alongside the Kardashihens, you’ll also find bees playing a vital role at Hawthorn Creek Homestead. Funk grew up with parents and grandparents who were honey farmers, but it wasn’t until her husband “became fascinated with the process” of extracting honey that they decided to add bees to their own hobby farm.

“It’s been fun learning alongside him and discovering how amazing bees really are,” says Funk. “I think the most fascinating thing I’ve learned is how instinctive they are. For example, if they lose a queen, they know to feed royal jelly to a young larvae and that larvae will then become a queen bee.

“It’s so interesting to me that all these little behaviors are engrained in each bee and they all work together to create and maintain a healthy hive.”

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