WEST POINT, Ala. – “Never! Never!” is what Judy Snead said without hesitation when asked if she would ever return to an office job. It was 2019 when she purchased her first chickens and today, her farm has grown into something she considers a blessing from God.
Snead’s Farmhouse, located in West Point, is something Judy never planned, it simply grew out of her search for something to keep her busy. When her father became ill and moved in with she and her husband, she explained, “My life totally changed and I was kind of sad because I couldn’t go out with my friends or anything.”
Judy, dressed in her overalls and boots, said, “I am not a country girl. Like, these overalls? They are not me. I am a straight up city girl.” After working in sales her entire adult life, she traded in her business suits when she moved and began caring for her dad.
To give Judy something to do in all her new spare time, one day her husband suggested she buy some chickens. She laughed and said, “What do I want chickens for?” He thought that she would enjoy the fresh eggs and having something to do to which she thought, “Gee, thanks! Just what I want–a bunch of chickens!”
Well, she did it. She ordered some chickens and things did not go well. She turned to the internet for advice and was met with some criticism, but also those willing to help her through the process. “This lady took me by the hand and taught me how to raise chickens.”
She got more chickens and quickly fell in love. “I kept getting more and then I wanted a turkey. My husband asked me what I needed a turkey for and I told him, ‘because they are cool.’” Next, she wanted a peacock and it kept growing to include cows, pigs, rabbits and more. She added, “It just started happening one by one. I just did this for me and for my dad, it gives him something to do and he likes naming the chickens.”
Judy began posting photos of her animals on social media which led to a following of friends curious about her little farm. Soon, they began asking if they could come for a visit. That’s when she discovered how much people enjoyed the experience. She thought, “I don’t want to make people broke, so I am just going to charge $5 a person and I never dreamed that people would be dying to get in here and that I would be booked.”
All of the animals at Snead’s Farmhouse are gentle and will eat right from your hand. All the money Judy makes from the tours goes back into her farm. “Every dime I make, I just put back in and buy nicer things. I am going to put a duck pond in here and we started building the barn.”
The farm is currently home to approximately 120 chickens. The ones with the “rockstar hair” are Polish chickens, Judy’s favorites. Among the roosters, hens and chicks (that are in every color imaginable) are gorgeous white and black turkeys, peacocks and ducks. Two cute pigs are close by and love to play. Dexter and DeeDee Crawford, the miniature cows, enjoy being brushed and, of course, being fed.
Queso the tortoise and sweet Angora rabbits are great for little ones to visit with and pet. In the near future, she hopes to add new animals, possibly donkeys and some bees. With 17 acres, the farm has plenty of room to grow. Guests can purchase a T-shirt to remember their visit and drinks are also available to stave off the humid Alabama summer. Currently, Snead’s Farmhouse is also raffling an Angora wool scarf crafted from the wool collected from the farm’s rabbits.
Once guests have visited all the animals, they can head down to the nearby creek to play on the natural sand beach or search for crawdads in the creek. Judy said, “The kids love to go catch minnows and crawdads. Parents have to beg the kids sometime to leave the water and sandpit.” Judy enjoys getting in the water with the kids and playing. Each tour lasts for two hours–one hour visiting and learning about the animals and one hour playing in the water.
Judy tries to make sure her guests have a learning experience when visiting. She has a new program renting out incubators to parents and home-schoolers interested in learning about the process. Judy is NPIP certified, as Snead’s Farmhouse stands as a certified hatchery.
The Good Hope cheerleaders have recently partnered with Snead’s Farmhouse for a fundraiser. The cheerleaders are selling tickets for farm tours in an effort to give back. The money the cheerleaders raise will help them fund upcoming competition expenses. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Instagram Ghhscheerleader or through email at Blowe@ccboe.org
Snead Farmhouse is now a licensed 501c3 nonprofit and has three sponsors to help as the farm grows. She is sponsored by Chickenluv, Kalmbach and Chambers. She is currently busy planning the inaugural Fall Festival event at Chambers Farm and Garden Supply scheduled for Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Snead Farms is hosting the event and will feature live music, DJ, local vendors and much more. Look for more details coming soon about this great event.
As a nonprofit, any donations to help with the upkeep of the farm are tax deductible.
As a caregiver, Judy’s availability varies so she asks that guests book a tour ahead of time. Tour times are typically 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. You can pay through PayPal on the website or in cash upon arrival. She can accommodate small groups and larger groups of up to 40 people. Groups of all ages and abilities can enjoy a trip to farm. To book a tour visit http://www.sneadsfarmhouse.com/ or visit Snead’s Farmhouse on Facebook.
“I never dreamed that people would want to come to this. It just kind of happened and it has just turned into a wonderful place. It’s an inexpensive place for parents and kids to come. I do birthday parties. I had a guy propose to his fiancé down at my creek. I’ve had photographers rent my farm for photos,” Judy said. “I get blessed from people coming here. I know they get blessed by seeing all of this, but I get blessed by seeing them. It is so wonderful.”
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