How a chicken changed everything for Judy Snead—founder of Snead’s Farmhouse

Judy Snead feeding chickens and turkeys at Snead's Farmhouse
Judy feeding chickens and turkeys at her farm. Photo via Sarah Beauchamp

As a self-proclaimed city girl, Judy Snead would have never expected to be where she is today: giving tours of her successful farmhouse in Cullman. What started out with one chicken became a bustling family of all kinds of animals. Keep reading for more on her amazing story.

Judy from the block

Judy Snead and her pet goat at Snead's Farmhouse
You’ve ~goat~ to love those smiles. Photo via Sarah Beauchamp

When Judy moved across the state from Stapleton to Cullman, she didn’t know anybody in town. Her mother had a massive brainstem stroke at 52, causing her to be bedridden for all of Judy’s adult life. When her stepdad fell ill, Judy promised her mom she would take care of him.

When she quit her job to help as a caretaker she had nowhere to go, but plenty of land. Funnily enough, the house came with a chicken coop when they bought it. So why not put it to good use? Her husband suggested that they get some chickens, and the rest is history.

“I’m the city girl. I’ve been in sales jobs my entire life, wearing business suits every day. So I was like…what do I want chickens for? Eventually, I let my husband talk me into getting them, and I fell in love”

Judy Snead, Founder, Snead’s Farmhouse

From the office to overalls

Two fluffy chickens from Snead's Farmhouse
Learn more about these Silkie chickens at Snead’s Farmhouse. Photo via Snead’s Farmhouse

After she got the hang of raising chickens, she knew they needed company. A white turkey? Or a couple of ducks? Well, why not!

Judy and her husband worked hard clearing their property, moved the chicken coop and opened up 17 acres of land to bring more animals home. And for Judy, the sky was the limit. You can visit her growing family of animals including:

All the new farm residents were uplifting for her and her sick stepdad.

“He would go out on the golf cart and name all the animals. He would love to go out and watch the animals and come back to tell me what they had been up to. It was great therapy for me and for him.”

Judy Snead, Founder, Snead’s Farmhouse

Opening the doors to visitors

thumbnail IMG 9209 How a chicken changed everything for Judy Snead—founder of Snead's Farmhouse
Rio the Alpaca and a young guest spreading holiday cheer. Photo via Snead’s Farmhouse

With all these new animals came a lot of new expenses. It even got to the point where the animal feed bills were bigger than their own.  

Just for fun, she had been posting pictures of the animals on Instagram + Facebook—because how could you not? After gaining a following on social, she figured she’d try to opening the farm up for tours. 

“I opened up in June and my Facebook blew up. I started with a few tours a day—I never thought people would book all of those. Suddenly, I was so packed I couldn’t even go for a bathroom break or eat lunch. My phone was blowing up with people calling to book tours.”

Judy Snead, Founder, Snead’s Farmhouse

Now, Snead’s Farmhouse has hosted field trips, photoshoots, wedding proposals, baby showers— you name it.

Plus, thanks to a sponsorship from Kalmbach Feeds, Judy has all the materials to visit schools in Cullman and teach them about incubating baby chicks. Classes get to help chicks grow and watch them hatch—and you can too. Talk about an adorable science lesson.

It takes two to make the farm go right

thumbnail image0 How a chicken changed everything for Judy Snead—founder of Snead's Farmhouse
Judy reading her book “Snead’s Farmhouse” to guests. Photo via Sarah Beauchamp

With the surprise success of her farm, Judy couldn’t help but want to teach everyone her story. She worked with her cousin Deitra Deal, a children’s teacher and author, to write a book about her farm got started. Now, you can find it on Amazon!

With all she had been blessed with, she wanted to give back. One of the stops on her book tour promoting “Snead’s Farmhouse” was a nursing home. There she was able to give 1000 gift certificates to the residents, so they could give them to their grandkids for Christmas.

Snead’s Farmhouse is a nonprofit, so all of the proceeds from her farm go right back to the community.

Plan your next visit + support

pigs edited How a chicken changed everything for Judy Snead—founder of Snead's Farmhouse
A trip to Snead’s Farmhouse is never boar-ing. Photo via Snead’s Farmhouse

Dressing up a pig, feeding a goat, going on a scavenger hunt, catching crawdads in a creek… need I say more? For a day full of hands-on farm fun, book a tour for only $10 per person.

Snead’s Farmhouse isn’t your average petting zoo. Help support a local nonprofit by donating to the farmhouse.

I know we’re not the only ones thinking about getting chickens now, so we’ve got you covered with all the cock-a-doodle do’s and don’t’s of owning chickens for yourself.

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Gabby Gervais
Gabby Gervais
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