Sonya Guimond tends her chickens and ducks Wednesday in her backyard in Auburn. She started with five chickens and grew her flock through hatching, buying from people on Facebook and purchasing day-old chicks from local farm supply stores. She said she prefers getting chicks so they all have the same upbringing. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

AUBURN — Sonya Guimond says she craves chaos. Her brood of 28 laying hens, two roosters, two male ducks and four female ducks satisfy that craving.

“I have a chicken addiction,” the Auburn hen farmer said. “They’re my best friends. I would rather be out here with them than hang out with people.”

Taking care of the 36 fowl is a mental health strategy of sorts for Guimond.

“Instead of all the negative chaos that I used to have in my life, abusive relationships and doing risky things, this is my chaos instead,” she said, gesturing to her flock. “This creates positive chaos for me.”

She started with five chickens and grew the flock through hatching, buying from people on Facebook and purchasing day-old chicks from local farm supply stores.

She learned techniques to care for the birds by watching YouTube videos, sparing her the cost of traveling an hour to the closest avian veterinarian.

“I’m not going to travel an hour with a five-dollar chicken,” she said.

Guimond has treated mild injuries and lice and mite infestations. She has an indoor incubator and an indoor coop for convalescing chickens. She said she wants to move to a place with more space so she can grow the flock.

The downside to raising chickens: too many eggs.

“I’m beyond overwhelmed with eggs,” Guimond said.

She put a call out on the community Facebook group Lewiston Rocks, asking, “Is there anyone down and out that could use some nice fresh eggs?”

That led to giving free eggs to five or six people and selling a few dozen more to others.

“Everyone should own at least two chickens,” Guimond said. “Provide some of your food, yep, but also to teach yourself to be self-reliant. Yeah, that’s huge.”


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