Chicken Houses Of Mendota Part I

Did you know that Mendota has the largest dairy farm in Washington County?   Yep…Steve and Mary’s River Gate Farm.     We have the fire tower.  We have the North Fork and small mouth bass.  Soon we’ll be known as as “that place where those old people rent you a kayak!”    We’re quickly becoming  known as a wedding destination.   But there’s more.    Here’s something else.  We have the coolest chicken houses in the world.   Seriously.  

Take Jim and Lynn Otis…let’s look at their chicken house.  Hidden behind the trees, surrounded by the North Fork and guarded by a pack of dogs is one of Mendota’s best chicken houses.  We are so proud! 

Chicken House Overall

This is Jim and Lynn’s Coupe DeVille!       Built to last with a slate roof.   Do you have a slate roof on your house?     

Chicken House Slate Roof

I don’t have a slate roof either, but Miss Georgia does.   She shares it with five other girls.   Just to be clear, Miss Georgia is the chicken.   Ms. Lynn is her human.   Every chicken needs a good human.  


Georgia invited me into her lovely home.    She has special boxes where she leaves her eggs, and when she’s done with those sort of “necessary things,” she flies up and perches on one of her perches.     Why be a queen if you don’t take time to sit on your throne?     How does one fly when one is so fat?   Hmm..not sure.   

Chicken House Interior

Inside the nesting box…look what I found!   This is a little different than picking up that green syrofoam thing with white eggs in it in the dairy case at Food City,  isn’t it?

Chickens Lay 3 Eggs

The girls get to roam around outside of the fenced area of their home.   They are free ranging.   They have work to do on the spring garden.    If there is a bug, it must be found.

Chickens in the Field

And beyond that fence and row of brush and trees…they have a pretty sweet view.    They see a bit of this. I could not find the picture I took today, so I substituted this one.  Wrong picture.  Right River.  Who cares?

Tressel View River

People think we’re crazy to live 17 miles from a grocery store, but we think they’re crazy to live anywhere else.    Back to the chicken house…

If the girls do have to stay in the enclosure, they need shade, so Jim built them a little cabana of sorts.   I wonder how they order their drinks?

Chicken Shade

The girls work so hard to repay Jim and Lynn.    They know they’ve got a really good thing.  Here’s a small down payment.

Eggs Four

Hmm…did you notice that one egg is a different color than the others?   Mendota eggs are not boring.

Chicken Eggs 2

These girls are well fed Look at them eat!   Look at the little, pert tail feathers of the girl the furtherst away in the picture.  Happy!

Chickens Straining to Eat

Lynn says that one of their favorite meals is fried potatoes and sliced cherry tomatoes.  Wow…the girls and I have more in common than I thought.

Chicken Feed

When she’s gathering the eggs, Lynn showed me how she goes to the back side of the chicken house and opens a hatch.  I like adore this chicken house.   Mike has offered to make me one, but now that I’m working, it would be something else for him to take care of.   Still…..I would like to have one.

.Lynn and the Egg Hatch

Hello…do you see something strange in the picture above?   No…it’s not Sarah the Dog.  It’s not Lynn the Chicken Lady.   It’s to the right.   Is that a heat pump?

Here’s another look…it is truly a heat pump!

Heat Pump

Let me introduce you to Jim and Lynn’s other babies.     I do not know all of their names.   This beautiful creature pictured below is Sarah.  ( you spell your name with an “h” at the end?) She takes her job of guarding her girls seriously.   Better not mess with Sarah’s chickens.    Don’t you just love doggies?

Sarah the Dog

I think this one is Colby?  This is a very sweet dog.  He is a rescue as well…carried to safety in a hunter’s pocket as a puppy, and he ended up with Jim and Lynn.    He is black as a piece of coal.  I wonder if that’s how he got his name?

Black Nose

Here’s another of this pretty black dog.   What kind of dog do you think he is?  He looks like a Gordon Setter.   We weren’t paying any attention to him, and he ran and got a toy.  He’s a bit of a show off!  Notice me!!

Colby Notice Me

Here’s Mikey.  I think Mikey may be the pack leader.   Mikey is also, apparently, a good eater.

Mikey Peeks in the Fence

And I can’t remember this little fur ball’s name.  Cute, though.


And check out Jim and Lynn’s license plate…


I started this blog to answer the question “you live where?  and why???”    It’s hard to articulate the answer; it’s easier to show you.    Come see us in Mendota, Virginia.

Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage.

But there’s more…see Chicken Houses of Mendota Part II here!




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