A Texas man quit his sales rep job to start up the Urban Rescue Ranch in his backyard in Austin. With a cast of animal characters such as a kangaroo named after rapper Da Baby and a huge, yet very violent bird named “Kevin,” the 24-year-old launched a massively popular social media profile with tens of millions of views on TikTok and YouTube.
Ben Christie was attending Baylor University, his roommate’s puppy would “just poop in his closet every day.” Ben joked with his roommate, “I told him, ‘Dude, ‘I could get a whole farm of animals and they would poop less than this puppy.” So while in college, he put his theory to the test, and he started “buying some chickens on impulse” because he loved animals.
Despite not knowing anything about caring for farm animals, Christie asked, “How hard could this be?” Ben purchased six chicks and two ducklings, which is where his love for rescue animals began.
The chicks would later lay eggs, which Ben sold at his college. “People knew me as ‘the chicken guy’ for a bit,” Christie said, according to the Daily Mail.
Christie was working at software company Oracle after graduating college. During the coronavirus pandemic, Ben was working from home with his animal friends.
“I was doing my calls and meetings while bottle-feeding little deer,” he said. “After a while I realized that what I’m really passionate about is the animal stuff. Even my boss at Oracle would be saying things ‘like, ‘When are you going to quit and just do the ranch full-time?'”
That’s just what Christie did. He quit his sales rep job and started the Urban Rescue Ranch in his backyard.
“I realized I was essentially stealing from my company and wasn’t working as hard as I should be,” he said of his sales job. “I was looking at the animal stuff and thinking, ‘What would happen if I put my life into that?'”
The day after Ben quit his job, one of his videos titled “How To Survive A Rhea Attack” (As seen above) went viral, racking up more than 5.7 million views on YouTube. A rhea is a large flightless bird that is distantly related to the ostrich and emu. Ben takes care of two rheas – Kevin and Karen. Kevin is very defensive of Karen’s eggs and is often seen attacking Ben. The attacks are so brutal that Ben bleeds and needs a riot shield to protect himself.
Its all fun and games till Kevin pulls out a Semtex 😖 (full vidyas in bio 👨🏻🌾🤝) #fyp
“When Covid started TikTok was really popping off and we started to get a lot of viewers,” he explained. “Then we started making videos on YouTube and then we started doing things like Cameo.”
To fund the ranch, Ben was selling Ayam Cemani chicken eggs. Christie revealed that selling the all-black chickens that “you’re making decent money,” adding that a hen that produces eggs consistently is worth around $100.
Now, Christie has over 600,000 subscribers on YouTube and nearly 40 million views. On TikTok where he goes by the name of “Uncle Ben,” he has nearly 3 million followers and almost 80 million Likes.
“Every other video then started doing well,” Ben stated. “And that’s why these videos have been one of the biggest blessings to us because on TikTok you can get 14 or 15 million views on something but you don’t make money from that. With YouTube we could show people more.”
Ben also has a kangaroo named after rapper Da Baby, his dog Poggers, Poppy the possum, Nugget the chicken, and Olive the turtle.
The Urban Rescue Ranch has been so successful that the animal farm has outgrown his backyard. Ben plans to move to a three-acre property in Waco, Texas. Another example of “dudes posting their W’s.”