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Chickens. Yup.

Well, we took the plunge.

The chicken plunge.

I’m writing this from my dining room table across from four sleeping chickies in a homemade brooder of a clear plastic bin, lit by a 250 watt heating lamp.  But let me start at the beginning.

I think it started at last year’s Alt Summit after talking to Jenny of Frecklwonder/Mi Casa Su Casa and thinking to myself, maybe I could actually raise chickens.  I should have been dissuaded after reading Jennifer Reese’s wonderful book, Make the Bread. Buy the Butter and her experience with chickens, but I was still completely charmed by the idea.  Then I continued the conversation with friends and after almost a year of discussion with Eric and watching other families on our block start chickens, we finally decided that 2013 was going to be the year of the chickens.

In January, I bought a hen house off the Internet and a couple of books on raising chickens. I read an absurd amount of posts on Backyard chickens and ordered four chickies from Mill Valley Chickens.

Of course I want nothing more than to hug and kiss the girls, but they are rather young and I think they are a touch frightened of my big hands coming down to grab one, but the more we handle them, the nicer they are supposed to be.  I try to pick them up once a day at least just to get them used to being handled.

Early last Saturday, we drove up to Mill Valley to pick up our girls.  Instantly we fell in love with those little balls of fluff.  We were given them in an old Nordstrom paper bag and carefully brought them home and immediately put them in the brooder. Out they popped cheeping all the way. Except one–who died within an hour of being home in the 95 degree brooder.  And then another one die within 12 hours and we felt awful. And we were being such new paranoid parents, but it just happens sometimes.  Like needing two cocktails awful. But we were assured the very gracious lady who runs Mill Valley Chickens that this can happen, but it’s OK.  And our girls are now a week and a half hour and doing fine.

And growing! Oh, wow, how they grow–already sporting feathers amidst the fluff and to see them sleep is something else!  But enough about me, let’s me introduce you to the girls, shall I?

Miss Lucy was named by the Peach and I think she is everyone’s favorite.  She is quite a little charmer and I love her stripes. She’s our sole Easter Egger and we adore her.

Rumaki is quite the spirited Barred Rock and has more than enough fiestiness for the whole gang.

Goldie was named by Eric and has a very nice disposition although she is rather flighty.

And sadly, I can’t find a decent picture of our last chickie, Mabel. She’s smaller than her sister Rumaki, but just as feisty.

I’ll try to keep you updated on our girls with pictures. So far, so good…  Have you raised chickens? Do you want to? Am I insane?

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13 Responses

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  1. Jody says

    Aw, little fluffs! Growing up in the country, I had several friends who had farms with chickens. I was never that crazy about them, but then, they also weren’t backyard pet-like chickens–these were your basic run-of-the-farm ankle-pecker chickens! And I never got to see them when they were cute widdle babies.

    And alas, since I’m intolerant of eggs we wouldn’t be able to keep up with the production. But I think it’s a divine idea! Good luck!

    • Dottie says

      That is a bummer about being egg intolerant! But I gotta say, they are fascinating to watch if nothing else!

  2. Moe says

    RUMAKI!! I’m so excited to see the little chickies grow up here. And all their names seem to suit them perfectly.

    • Dottie says

      I’m still mourning Miss PInkie, but I’m glad the others are still alive and pecking! Tee hee!

  3. Carrie Anne / Little Big says

    CHICKENS!! So exciting!!

  4. Caroline says

    How adorable!

    I was just trying to convince my husband to agree to raising a few laying hens this past Thursday! I lost that one, but I haven’t given up yet! [Especially from a practical standpoint considering how much we spend on fancy pants cagefreeorganicfreerangepleasedon’tcostsomuch eggs at Whole Foods ;)]

    They really are adorable though – can’t wait to read more about them and so happy I just found your blog via Sometimes Sweet!

    • Dottie says

      Oh don’t worry–they will certainly make another appearance on the blog. And of course on Instagram and Vine. They are sleeping right now and I adore them!

      BTW, it took a year of wearing my husband down on them, but now he loves the ladies and has them crawling up his arm!

  5. Erika says

    Awesome! I really hope to one day raise chickens! And I don’t think you are crazy at all.

    • Dottie says

      You are very kind, Erika, and I bet you raise chickens soon! Crossing fingers!

  6. karen says

    Hooray!!! I can’t wait till we have some chickens! Right now we just foster our neighbor’s free rangers that hang in our front yard all day and poop all over our driveway. They are an endless fascination to Cleo, particularly the poop part. Congratulations, what a delight.
    PS. I will always come chase dogs away from your chickens. xo

    • Dottie says

      Girl, you totally need to get yourself some chickens! You totally have room in your big house! And Cleo would have the best time with them. hey–do you have a garden? I’m totally going to send you my chicken books to inspire you do it!!!

  7. fuzzymama says

    YOu are sooo brave. I’d love to do this, but afraid of the work!!
    Can’t wait to see their first eggs.

  8. Jen Boscacci says

    So glad you finally took the plunge! I’m sure the fresh eggs will be worth it!



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