Friday, May 22, 2009

The Chickens Are Coming!

I am hoping hoping hoping that chickens are Things Great Danes Don't Eat. I have 8 chickens coming the week of June 8. They aren't born yet, so the wonderful folks and photographers at have given me permission to post their photographs of the little lovelies.

Mike had originally stated in no uncertain terms that he would have nothing to do with the chickens, including, but not limited to, the following:
  • Coop Building
  • Egg Collecting
  • Poop/Coop Cleaning
  • Feeding
  • Petting
  • Looking
  • Liking
He did say that he *might* feed them when I am out of town. I have my doubts. However, a few weeks ago he changed his mind and he is helping me build the coop. I see veiled excitement under his thick crusty exterior. In the alternative, he may have just been worried about the potential disaster that is me with a hammer.

Silkie Bantam

We will be the proud caretakers of four of these little muppets. If your first reaction was to clutch protectively at your throat and back up from your computer screen, click here (probably not good for the little ones or those of you sensitive to, um, the salty language.) If you think they are adorable and you want to carry them in your pockets and rub them on your face like a cotton ball, here you go: "lapdogs of the chicken world." Where do you think they keep their eyes?

Barred Plymouth Rock

We will have 2 Barred Rocks, or "Stripey Jailbird Chickens." See the ankle monitor on her right leg? They are supposed to be plucky and docile. I'm not sure what this means, and the word "plucky" makes me a little nervous, but I do like a good black and white ensemble, especially one with red accents. They lay a lot of eggs, but since and Mike and I don't really eat too many eggs on a regular basis, I may sell some at one of our local farmer's markets one day.

Easter Egger

Easter Eggers have a gene coded for blue, green, or pinkish eggs (one color, not all). They are a kind of hybrid, and I think they will nicely round out the flock. Normal chickens.

The Mother Cluckin' Hen House

We've been working on the coop by thinking furiously about it. We plan every weekend to work on it, but thus far it has rained or snowed every single weekend for the last 5 weeks so only a little demolition work has been done. Most of you have seen our old goat condo, which is what we are using for the coop. We are adding windows, a large run fortified as best as possible to keep out bears, mountain lions, raccoons, foxes, and hawks. I was planning on hand-digging a 12" trench to bury fence in, but my brilliant father-in-law suggested that maybe renting a trencher would be more efficient and less back-breaking. I researched trenchers and they all have about 50 pages of safety warnings, so with my propensity for bad accidents, I'll leave this decision up to Mike. Maybe I will post pictures of our progress.


  1. Stuffed animal chickens with hairy feet! I'm sure they will sneek into my dreams tonight. I will happily eat their eggs someday.

  2. Thanks for the coverage! But I'm curious -- you're a vegetarian, and you and Mike don't eat eggs regularly -- so why chickens?

  3. Because Mike won't let me have any more dogs. But he never said I couldn't have chickens! And honestly, when the chickens you are getting are described as the "lapdogs of the chicken world," that is obviously a loophole that I need to take advantage of.

  4. I won't help you eat any eggs when I come to visit (unless they are cleverly mixed into delicious baked goodies), but I will help feed the chickens!

  5. Are you sure that the Silkie is really a chicken? It will be fun to see if the eggs look as silkie as the chick! Do all the different types of chickens get along or will there be division of nest sites?

  6. Since I am getting them all when they are one-day-old they should get along fine. If I had ordered more of the larger breeds than the smaller, there might have been some bullying issues, but for now we are good I think. And no, I am not sure that the Silkie is an actual chicken, but it is at least bird-like, yes?

  7. I know this blog is older but I'm wondering if you ever got your Silkies, Emily?
    If so how are they/ hows it been going?

    I so wanted a couple of them but live in NY and don't want to keep them outside in the winter. And I get raccoons (no complaints... I love all animal visitors :O) ) but I don't want them to have a chicken meal.

    They're the most beautiful and cool looking chickens ever! I have a long haired stunning calico cat who's feet are also covered in long hair (even between the toes). Between that and her silky fur I'm always calling her a silky chicken. Althouh her name is Wooly (cause she also looks like a Wooly Mammoth... but more like a silkie!

  8. Brama,

    Yes I have had the silkies for a year and a half now. In fact, I now have 11 chickens total. One of the silkies turned out to be a rooster, and he is alternately sweet as pie and mean as a snake. I think he has a split personality disorder.

    It gets very cold here, but my coop is insulated and I have a heat lamp in there, so they stay fairly toasty in the winter. Silkies can actually tolerate very cold temperatures. But while they can brave the cold, alas you are right that a raccoon would win any scuffle with a chicken. I would suggest an attached covered run in addition to your coop if you decide to get chickens. Of course, they do make chicken diapers for those who like to keep their feathered friends indoors.

    Your cat sounds lovely.

    Good luck!