Herding Chickens


If you had told me ten years ago that I’d spend part of my Sunday herding chickens through a vegetable garden, I never would have believed you. But as I spent part of last Sunday herding chickens through our vegetable garden, something struck me: herding chickens is essentially – perhaps entirely – probabilistic. Gently persuade [Continue Reading…]

Morning Chores On The Modern Homestead


I’m not what you’d call a morning person. Years of culinary training hardened my own bio-rhythms into a preference for about a 1 am bedtime and a 10 am wake-up. Life, school, work, chickens and kids laugh at my own sleep preferences. And so, every morning, I get up, brush my teeth, pull my hair into [Continue Reading…]

What’s In A Name? The Beyond Organic Backyard Egg Question


My mom was over and asked, “Are your eggs are organic?” “Oh yeah, of course!” I said, “We use organic feed.” But I’ve been thinking about it, and here’s the thing: I’m not sure our eggs are organic. Not really, not technically. I mean, our chickens have a good life. Compared to battery-caged birds they [Continue Reading…]

The Kids Who Will Save The World


You know how you read the newspaper (or whatever passes for a newspaper in your world – for me it’s the Google news homepage and my blog feed reader) and by the time your coffee is tepid you’ve discovered thirteen new ways in which The World Is Going To Hell In A Handbasket? Like most [Continue Reading…]

Coop Improvement Projects


The Chicken Coop, as I’ve mentioned, was done…well, done enough, anyway. But as all of our girls have come on-line in their laying, I felt like they needed a little reward in the form of a little minor coop improvement project. Besides, I needed something to do besides can more damn peaches. 1. We weeded [Continue Reading…]

Rooster Porn And Reader Help


A friend – and more experienced chicken raiser than me – came over to check out the coop and the flock. She showed me how to inspect a chicken vent and we noticed that our only laying hen looked a little…uh…weird, down there. Later that day I received the following email from her: “So my evening consisted [Continue Reading…]

Q: Why Did The Chickens Cross The Road?


A: To freak out my neighbors. Homebrew Husband and I go on approximately one date a month, if we’re lucky. Lately they’ve been less frequent, and have included our little guy, which does take some of the romance out of the mix. Anyway, last Friday was Date Night! We dropped our daughter off for an evening [Continue Reading…]

Chicken Crack: Homestead Upcycling

I am not the first to observe that livestock are an excellent way to convert waste scraps into food. But seeing your chickens go to town on a big bowl of, essentially, garbage, really hammers home the adage that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. This past weekend, like many, Homebrew Husband spent five leisurely hours [Continue Reading…]

The Chicken Coop Is Done…Enough.


The builder of our chicken coop turned it over to us with just a few final details left to handle: painting, notably, and any sort of facade-bling we wanted to add. We painted Coop 2.0 gray because that was the only color exterior paint we had on hand (you may recall me saying that exact [Continue Reading…]

Moving To The Big-Girl Coop


On Saturday the chickens were moved from their indoor Pack & Play brooder to their permanent home – the outdoor coop. The chickens are five weeks old and seem fully feathered to my new-chicken-keeper eyes so we decided it was time for them and their constant, unending pooping to move outside. We put down a [Continue Reading…]

Chickens In The Playpen, Baby In The Coop


I am learning what every first-time chicken keeper knows: chickens grow fast. At three weeks old, our 6 birds had outgrown their rubbermaid brooder. They were getting a bit too excited about their flight feathers and were constantly crashing into things, like the mesh ceiling of their brooder. They clearly needed more free ranger space. Thankfully, [Continue Reading…]

My, How You’ve Grown!


The chicks are two weeks old now. They are changing day by day. I’m a bit shocked by how fast they are growing. Relatedly, I am a bit shocked by how much they eat. Yesterday morning my daughter called out, “Mom! Come here!” in that voice that means something is really, actually wrong. One of [Continue Reading…]