The Henhouse at Virginia's Executive Mansion

To fulfill a campaign promise, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe stocked his new digs with egg-laying chickens.
by | February 2016
(David Kidd)

Behind America’s oldest executive mansion sits a new green and white chicken coop, home to Hillary, Dolley and Camo. The three egg-laying chickens came to roost in Richmond, Va., as the fulfillment of a campaign pledge. Gov. Terry McAuliffe promised his two kids in 2013 that if he won his race for governor, they’d get chickens. “The small flock makes McAuliffe the first modern Virginia governor to keep farm animals at the 200-year-old mansion,” according to The Washington Post. McAuliffe is thought to be the only current governor with a coop. Pat Quinn kept nine hens at the Illinois governor’s mansion in 2014, before his successor, Gov. Bruce Rauner, removed them. Caring for poultry ties in nicely with the agendas of both the governor and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe. He is a big promoter of agriculture, the state’s largest industry, and she is a champion of improving children’s nutrition. The coop “is a fun way of promoting healthy eating habits,” she says, “and reminding us where our food comes from.”

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David Kidd | Design Director | dkidd@governing.com