Chicken Day!!

I’ve been talking about adding chickens (and goats and pigs and turkeys and ducks and heaven knows what else) to our Forest for a while. BH got jazzed about the challenge of building a safe chicken coop out of scrap lumber and I have been lusting after eggs, and


chicken that I can eat without being afraid of what the critter was fed, or how terribly it was treated during its life.

I stopped talking and took bold action a few weeks ago and ordered 15 Buff Orpington chicks. The post office called this morning; the girls had arrived and were peeping loudly.

So we drove down to pick them up.

This is what they looked like when we opened the box.

Task #1: show them to the watering hole.

They learned the water lesson very well.

  Task #2: eating. They are good at this, too! This is when I counted and found we had been shipped 16 instead of 15 chicks. It is very likely that a few will die of natural causes in the next few weeks, I am told, so the spare will come in handy.

  All that drinking and eating, not to mention the arduous trip courtesy of the US Postal Service, made them tired. Task #3: naptime.

Chicks falling asleep on their feet might just be the cutest thing ever.

Stay tuned for more chicken adventures!

30 Replies to “Chicken Day!!”

  1. You should get a donkey (or two actually, since they like to have friends) to protect the chickens from foxes.

    Fresh eggs are sooo yummy!

  2. baby chicks

    Be sure to add a peeled clove of garlic to their waterer. Keeps them healthy without antibiotics in the mash.

  3. chickens

    I’m so jealous. I’ve been trying to talk my wonderful husband into getting us chicknens. I think I’ll have better luck if I finish unpacking from our move first. Why did you decide on the Buff Orpingtons? I’m thinking about Brahmas for eggs and meat. At least a neighbor raises chickens where I can get a steady supply of fresh eggs.

  4. Re: chickens

    Buff Orpingtons are cold-hardy and have pleasant dispositions, according to my friends who know more about this than I do. They are good layers and meat birds, as well. If you get Brahmas, let me know how they turn out.

  5. Time to Play!

    Can’t wait to come to the Forest tomorrow and play! Let’s see – Frisbee for Kezz; what do I bring to baby chicks!?


  6. Chickens

    I don’t know much about chickens, so I’m curious: are these ones just for laying eggs? Or are some for eating? If they are for eating, you’re much braver than I. I’m a meat eater, but I’m not sure I could raise a chick and then eat it. They’re just so darn cute.

    Can’t wait to hear how this goes and to see the pictures!


  7. Ah, the nostalgia! I remember getting a similar box a couple years ago. LOVED having chickens. In addition to the excellent eggs, they were better entertainment than TV. So much fun. I had a bunch of different kinds, but the Brahma, Orpington, and Rhode Island Red were my faves. Good luck w/yours!

  8. Seriously, I really wish we were aloud to have pets in my college apartment. We’re not even aloud to have fish!

    One of my friends raises chickens in her backyard, and she said spinach is their favorite treat. They go crazy over it! Is that a breed thing, or do all chickens like spinach?

  9. Omg, I feel like seeing them all soft and adorable at this age would give me pause before eating them. Which is so hypocritical because I’d still eat other chicken, but…lol.

  10. chickens

    Erica has had chickens for the last several years. She and her family say “My, my chickies. Don’t you look tasty today!” each time they go out to feed them. Try it! Nancy

  11. You!!!!!

    OMG i love your books!! For school had to do a project on a YA author and i went into your website and the minute i went into the Prom one i knew i wanted you as my author. We had to read three books by are author and i read Prom, Winter Girls, and Speak I loved them all (right now i am in the process of reading twisted just for fun, it is so good) I love the topics you write about, the rough ones that you can relate to life. My favorite book so far is Winter Girls i love the topic and how it was so sad (It might sound weird but i love books like that) Can you please write another YA book with real life topics i am starting to run out of your books to read!!

  12. So sweet! It took my mom two years before she quit giving cute names to all of her babies. Step-dad started naming them Sunday Dinner, Monday Dinner, Tuesday…

  13. that’s so adorable!!!
    it’s my dream to have a henhouse and have chickens run around in my backyard when i get my first house 😀

  14. Hawks. Didn’t you say you had hawks?? Is BH covering the coop and play area with chicken wire? My hubby had chickens in Texas. Fancy ones, with enormous feathers on their, uh, ankles. He said you could pet them when they set up to roost. Unfortunately, wild dogs ended his chicken days.

  15. Charlotte at got some chickens last year, I think it was, and wrote about a couple of them dying soon after, but the rest are still doing well as far as I know (I haven’t been reading blogs much lately.) You might enjoy reading about her adventures.

    Happy henning!

  16. My daughter just finished doing an egg-to-chick project in their first grade class. They got eggs from a local farm, delivered and set up in an incubator. They got to watch the eggs hatch into baby chicks. It was all pretty amazing. And such cute little chicks just like the ones here.

    Only I’m vegetarian and seeing them in this cute stage sort of breaks my heart. So – yes, I will probably not stick around for the whole story here. 🙂

  17. No worries.

    I plan on being very discrete about the end stages of chicken life. Which won’t happen for many months, I hope.

    I did the same project as your daughter when I was in 3rd grade. Have never forgotten the feel of a chick emerging from an egg as I held it.

  18. Wow — after scrolling through the past several days of LJ posts, starting with the newest, I’m so glad to go from the cute chick photos to the meat of the matter and learn that they are not just there to decorate your garden. By the way — I was at Bloomsburg yesterday, and it hasn’t changed. Everyone still flocks (no pun intended) to the picture book authors and only a couple dribble over to the YA writers. I remember sitting there, right after you got short listed for the NBA, and watching everyone bypass us and line up for an alphabet book.

  19. It was so thrilling when they hatched! I think my daughter will remember it for a long time.

    And I’m sure you will handle the end gracefully.

    I have suffered through worse in the past few days watching the Tudors on sho-time.

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