They’re two birds of a feather.
Williamsburg model Summer Rayne Oakes isn’t much for poodles or pomeranians. Instead, the 34-year-old environmental activist totes a pet hen everywhere she goes — and eats her eggs for breakfast.
“I’ll usually make them into a veggie omelette,” said Oakes of Kippee’s brown-speckled spawns. “You can’t get any fresher.”
Oakes had no intention of becoming a mother hen. But after meeting the Rhode Island Red chick at the Wild Bird Fund — where last May she had brought a wounded songbird she found stuck in a rat trap — it was love at first peck.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life,’” Oakes gushed. “She jumped up onto my lap and just started preening herself. She was so comfortable there.”
Kippee had been an Easter gift, but like so many chicks, was abandoned shortly after the holiday. It was brought to the Manhattan shelter and put up for adoption.
“She definitely chose me,” said Oakes. “She imprinted on me right away and we’ve been inseparable ever since.”
The lucky chicken now lives a life of cluck-xury — sipping on San Pellegrino from the cap, nibbling on prosciutto at parties, and posing in commercials and fashion shoots.
“I’ve become a bit of a stage mom,” Oakes admitted, saying her baby chick has appeared in commercials for Celestial Seasonings tea, Lulu Lemon, Tushy and more. “I really do feel like a mom with a child.”
Since the two became family 11 months ago, Oakes has only left Kippee alone for two hours.
“If I leave her she screams and gets really depressed,” said Oakes, who grew up on five acres in Clarks Summit, Pa. “Instead of her being my emotional support pet, I’m like her emotional support human.”
The model tows Kippee in a bird carrier purse — on the street, in the subway and to Whole Foods — and usually opens the lid so she can perch on the side. The peculiar sight turns quite a few heads.
“Only in New York!” A 55-year-old woman exclaimed as she snapped a selfie with Oakes on the Bedford Avenue subway platform Wednesday.
“Look! Look! It’s a rooster!” A 5-year-old boy screamed on the street. The mix-up is quite common, Oakes explained, since Kippee has an unusually large comb, which is the red, ruffled skin on her head.
“We’re so disconnected from farm and forest life here in New York City,” Oakes said. “So she’s an especially great tool for me to educate the public.” Pet hens are legal in the Big Apple, but roosters are not.
Back at Oakes’ apartment — which is brimming with 700 plants — the bright red, silky soft hen likes to coo at herself in the mirror, perch on the arm of her mom’s chair as she works, and eats fly larvae, mealworms, seeds and her own crushed up egg shells. “They’re particularly high in calcium,” Oakes remarked. She poops about 30 times a day.
At night, Kippee snuggles in bed with Oakes before going to roost at 8 p.m. on her wooden plank above the model’s bedroom door.
“She’s very fond of her routine,” said Oakes, who is writing a book titled “How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivating Your Personal Green Space.”
But the entrepreneur worries Kippee is too “spoiled” and isn’t getting enough of her “chicken life,” so she raised $3,500 to re-build a chicken coop at a nearby community center for her to play with other hens.
“It’ll be good for her,” said Oakes, but she can’t imagine parting for good. “I’m tied to this hen for life.”
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