Animals Christianity/Religion Family

Beautiful Colleen and Her Chickens

Jerry and I had the great opportunity of being in church services with Pastor Kris Keyes in Safford, AZ. over this past weekend, and we had a delightful time. The church is a long-established one that recently has experienced a fresh surge of growth, and we thoroughly enjoyed worshiping with this tremendous group of people.

One of the highlights of the trip was to become better acquainted with the Keyes family, including their two beautiful daughters, Sarah and Colleen. Sarah is a senior in high school who is also taking college classes. She does a great job playing the keyboard during their church services. Pastor Keyes is a tremendous singer and also plays the guitar…all in addition to being a great preacher and pastor, of course. πŸ™‚ Within the next few days, I will be writing a piece on my devotional blog about Sister Keyes, along with a picture of her, but today I want to tell you about the younger daughter.

Colleen is a vibrant 16-year-old, truly in love with God, and a witness everywhere of His love and power, but especially to peers in her high school, demonstrated by the fact that sitting on the pew with her on Sunday were two young ladies she had brought from her school. Colleen not only loves God, His people and His work: She loves chickens.

Chickens? Yes, chickens.

I had heard rumblings of such attraction earlier in our stay, but it was when we were at their home on Sunday evening, that from the back of the house, here came Colleen. “Want to see one of my chickens?”

Her mom, her dad and her sister smiled at Colleen and her love affair with birds.

“She loves all animals,” her mother told me.

“Maybe she’ll be a veterinarian,” I suggested. Her mom nodded in agreement. “She would be very good at that.”

These chickens are not mature ones–still a little young–and although they stay outside during the day, at night Colleen keeps them in a box in her room. When evening approaches, the little chickens flock to the door to be let inside.

After we had admired both the male and the female Banty and had watched them “kiss” her, she took them from the room and returnedΒ  with a beautiful parakeet.

…who obviously loved her.

“Once she rescued a sparrow who had fallen in their yard,” her mom told me. “She scoured the internet to find feeding instructions and nursed the sparrow to maturity.”

“He would come when I called him,” Colleen told me.

“Sometimes after dark we find Colleen outside, checking on her chickens,” her mother added. Many of them roost in the trees, and she wants to be sure they all made it home.

The last bird Colleen brought in for us to see was a beautiful rooster. “I thought he was female when I bought him at the pet store,” she told me. She giggled. “Then he crowed.”

How refreshing is this charming family;Β  a loving mother and father who have reared beautiful, wholesome, godly daughters.

…and one of them loves chickens.

Cheers for the Kris Keyes family of Safford, AZ.

Click here to see Trees of Safford.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

13 replies on “Beautiful Colleen and Her Chickens”

Yes, house-trained. She would never poop in the house. She would go outside to do it. The former owner trained her and she was his pet like a dog. They are very smart and she was smart and sweet. She loved to be held and petted and begged for it! We were very sad when she died.

Rob ~ Ditto what Shirley said back to you. πŸ™‚
Dean ~ You are funny. πŸ™‚

Sis. Buxton ~ Regarding what you said, “Does such upbringing produce repressed, poorly functioning adults? No. Quite the opposite is the result.”

My boys are ages 24 and 18. I homeschooled them and they have never dated, yet. Yes, I said…NEVER! They want to wait until they are ready for marriage. You know them. Are they normal young men? Are they stable? Do they love God, America and people? Boy, this is a who-o-o-o-ole big subject. πŸ™‚

We think we are the kind of people you are talking about here: “nobility of families who have the courage and the sense to rear their children in a godly, loving, structured way.”


Having never raised any type of fowl for pets, I have a somewhat biased view of them. I reserve my comments till we get to a more recipe friendly post.

Dean, when Colleen brought in the first chicken and I asked what kind it was, her dad instantly answered: Fried, baked, boiled…”Stop it, Daddy,” said Colleen.


Hey, I love chickens and have a kitchen full of them, not alive for sure. My Aunt Molly Parker used to raise bani chickens and once they all got sick, she went out and prayed for her chickens and they all got well, so I guess God loves Chickens Too! I have thought of raising chickens also. I have the perfect place. thanks for the article! PamKern

Pam, I’ve seen and admired those chickens in your kitchen. Yes, you should grab a few live ones to run around in your beautiful back yard–the most beautiful I have ever seen anywhere. Wish I were there right now sitting on the bank of the creek with a big bird soaring in to catch a wriggling salmon.


Sis. Buxton,
I thoroughly enjoyed your blog about Safford and my family there. I love going to visit and catching up on all of Colleen’s bird news. I call her the “bird whisperer”. She is definitely gifted. I’m pretty impressed with the rest of the family, too. Thanks for the blog.

God bless you,

Kasse Foster

There’s no doubt about it, Kasse: You are part of a tremendous family. Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.


As always…loving those chicken shoots! Your lens are a good and faithful servant in your blessed hands. And yes, be sure I will be reading about the Keyes’ as you post. Keep them coming.

Blessings to you and yours,


You’re so kind, Gladwell. Happy to have you as a participant in my blog activities.


@Tena, what do you mean, she was “house trained?” You mean like a dog or cat who either uses a litter box or waits until they’re outside? Amazing.

@Rob, I understand exactly what you mean, and feel the same way.

Another thing, Rob, that I really didn’t get into in this piece very much, but that I feel strongly about is the nobility of families who have the courage and the sense to rear their children in a godly, loving, structured way. These girls don’t date unsupervised; they are closely guarded.

Does such upbringing produce repressed, poorly functioning adults? No. Quite the opposite is the result. These are exceptional, bright, ambitious young girls, who without a doubt will be exceptional wives and mothers.

It’s a big subject, much too big to tackle as a response here, but one about which I feel strongly.

Be a brave, strong father, Rob. God will bless you for it.


Great blog post! I enjoyed the story and the photos. I have contemplated raising a few chickens with my children since moving to Gallup, and this blog post might be my final piece of motivation.

People always misunderstand me when I make the following assertion, so let me start with a disclaimer. I’m no animal-rights activist, and I get frustrated with animal-rights movements when they border on the worship of the animal kingdom while denying the created order and devaluing human life.

That said, there is something that I always find particularly beautiful in spirit — whether in men or women, whether adults or children — when a person knows how to engage the animal world lovingly, skillfully and compassionately. Three cheers for Colleen and her family.


Wonderful post. πŸ™‚ What a precious girl.

We grew up with chickens and I’ll never forget Henny Penny, we named her. A pretty little brown Banty. A man in our church had passed away and his family gave her to us. She was house-trained and when we left the back door open, she would just hop up over the threshold and come on into the house…like she owned the place. Lol! We loved her. πŸ™‚


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