Homesteading update: the chickens have landed

I spent Sunday afternoon somewhere between extremely tired and blissed out. That feeling when something you’ve worked really hard for and toiled over is suddenly, actually here.

Chickens.

In case you weren’t aware, I’ve wanted chickens for a really long time. Remember, way back when I had those chicken and kale dreams? Well, it turns out that the kale was easier to realize than the chickens for a number of reasons. Among them, radical rent increases, pregnancy, buying a duplex, moving and becoming a family of 4.

But we stayed the course, and were regularly reminded of that way-back dream every time we had to haul this coop around over the last 2 years.

I’m pretty obsessed with these ladies. We chose 4 very docile breeds that are known for being good layers. From head placement in the photo from left to right, there’s the Black Sex-Link who Jo has already named Rosie, the Black Australorp who is still unnamed (suggestions?!), the brown and black mottled lady is an Easter Egger who I’ve already taken a particular liking to and named Mavis. And that big golden gal is a Buff Orpington, also, as yet, unnamed. So feel free to put some names in the hopper.

I chose to get pullets (teenager chickens) rather than baby chicks because I’ve had enough baby action around here, and it’s just less time and labor and material intensive. Pullets have their adult feathers and can sleep outside and eat out of all the adult gear, so no need for heating lamps or special feeders that you only use for a handful of weeks. We chose to buy our chickens from Dare 2 Dream Farms, a sweet and savvy outfit nestled near the coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Their website is a complete dream come true–organized, beautiful and delivering exactly the information you need instead of overwhelming you with 300 coop designs or a forum 6 miles long about how to keep pests from eating your layers. We got their coop-ready package which thrilled the pants off me, because it meant I didn’t have to strap the boys in and hunt around for feeders and food and wonder if the person at the farm supply store was giving the city girl a line.

dare2dream

It probably sounds like they gave me my chickens for free so I’d write all these nice things about them, but no. I’m just a shameless promoter of things that I find helpful. And they were radically helpful from the breath of fresh air website to Jeremy (Dare 2 Dream farmer and co-founder) hanging out in our yard while the girls pecked around their new home. He checked out our coop, gave us tips on how to not freak the ladies out in their first few days with us, and we yakked like old neighbors about farming and New Zealand, as you do.

And then I just spent the rest of the afternoon sort of dopey and in love, staring fuzzy-eyed into the distance and listening to their sweet little croons.

I finally got my chickens.

**long, slow, satisfied sigh**

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13 Comments

  1. Squeeee!! Now I can live vicariously through you. Please post lots and lots about the gals. I miss having chickens and regret the teenyness of our back yard which prevents me from getting more. Yes, it’s remarkably easy to fall in love with a flock of hens.

    Name suggestions: Myrtle & Maybelle; Tosca & Turandot; Fannie & Philomena

    Have fun!!

    Reply
    • amazing name suggestions. i’m partial to myrtle and tosca. will keep you posted. where did your beloved chickens go when you moved?

      Reply
      • The girls moved in with a neighbor who had chickens. The flocks intermingled by day, so it wasn’t a big deal.

        Reply
  2. Chickens rule!!!!!
    Count me in as an aficionado of the cluck.
    While living in Geezerville I hand raised 4 chickens. They followed me around like puppies.
    When I drove in they would all run to greet me.
    Loved it.
    We gardened together (worms were like heroin to the girls), played among the flowers, went for walks, looked for mushrooms and cocktails (yes, they love red wine).
    All were free to come inside. Man, did they love investigating everything. When I would sit in the garden just admiring all of nature, they would often come sit with me. Ethyl really enjoyed sitting in my lap.
    Me and the girls just peacefully basking in the wilderness.
    My girls were Lucy & Ethyl, Virginia and Gertrude. Four females I greatly admire. But, opps, one turned out to be transsexual….became a rooster so he became just Gert. Not saying he was dumb but I had to teach him to crow. That was a mistake.
    All gave me wonderful eggs. Because I let them roam freely (insects and grasses), the yolks were the most brilliant golden orange I had ever seen.
    Nature and life being what they are….the fox got one, an idiot, horrible neighbor kicked and killed one, one just died????..bird flu???? and the last became bear food.
    I was so sad. Cried for days after each death.
    My suggestion to you….be very careful and aware of raccoons. They love chickens too.
    Sadly, I can’t have chickens where I am now residing….boo hoo.
    Keep us all updated.

    Reply
  3. Dad & Mom

     /  May 7, 2014

    So glad your chickens are there and so glad I got to see them first hand! I’d like to have some coop time myself in June :)
    Love You & Miss You All,
    Mom

    Reply
  4. Just found you through D2D. I got my girls there too – they are now 2 years old and happy happy chickens laying eggs every day. Enjoy!

    Reply
  5. I want chickens! Greg won’t let me :'( someday, however, I will overrule my husband. :-D

    Reply
    • Why would Greg be against chickens? I would assume him to be very pro-chicken.

      Reply
      • He’s anti messed up yard. And anti having to do any work to take care of chickens. And honestly he would end up doing much of the work, so I don’t push it :-)

        Reply
  6. Sarah E. Edinger-Gomez

     /  May 8, 2014

    Congrats on your chickens! I really want chickens too!

    I had my little man on April 15th! Here is a picture of Sebastian. He was 8 lbs, 6 oz and I was able to have him naturally at Kaiser Walnut Creek. This was the most painful birth of all, he literally got stuck coming out and I had to get on all 4’s. He was blue and with some oxygen he pinked right up! I was able to labor at home and had the baby within the hour of arriving at the hospital. The pre labor cramps and pains this time around were happening days before my actual labor.

    Warmest Regards,

    Sarah Edinger-Gomez

    On Wed, May 7, 2014 at 10:12 AM, An Honest Mom

    Reply

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