Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I have been lusting after a flock of chickens for a while now. It seemed like a practical first step to my dream of being Laura Ingalls Wilder a homesteader. So, we started our chicken flock by getting Chanticleer, our Buff Orpington rooster. I quickly decided he needed some hens when he tried to come into my house when I left the door open; he was pecking on the window, and would roost next to our door on the porch. He reminded me more of a dog than a rooster as he followed me around the yard, and he ate out of Dmitri's hand. So we soon added three Buff Orpington hens. We've had fun collecting eggs, although they are still a little bit irregular (chickens don't lay as much during the winter).

We realized that three chickens was not enough for our rather high egg consumption; we love eggs for breakfast, snacks, and we use them in cooking and baking. Plus, I've been pretty giddy with my new pets (and the littles love them too). To help meet our needs, we grew our flock with another hen and two pullets (pullets are hens that aren't quite mature enough to lay eggs- ours should start laying in the next six weeks or so), bringing our total up to 7. Unfortunately, this addition didn't go as smoothly as the first one. One of our sweet hens lost an eye in a brawl with another hen. I think it grounded us to the reality that life on a farm or homestead is not always harmonious, however dreamy my conception and vision of it is.

But things settled down during the afternoon and evening after the chicken brouhaha of the morning, and I am hoping for happy chicken days in our future. So here are some snapshots of our flock. I hope to explain more about their living arrangements and care in a future post, but for now, just some introductions.

 Araucana (My only non-buff chicken): She lost an eye, and still laid a beautiful blue egg.

 One of my lavender splash Buff Orpington hens

 Black Buff Orpington. We've named her "Casha". No comment as to why. Haha!

 Dmitri shared his bowl of almond butter with the chickens. They are close friends.

 I have two lavender splash Buff Orpingtons. I call them both, "Betty".

 Would you like to lick the spoon?

 Dmitri enjoys helping me wash out the water container.

 Baby always in tow.

I have two other chickens that are black Buff Orpington & Rhode Island Red crosses. But they are quite shy around the camera (well, and me in general). Hopefully I will catch them another day.


CourtneyKeb said...

How rad! We've always wanted chickens too and hope to have some in the future! Yours are so pretty!

Mama Gone Green said...

how fun! you are off to quite an adventure!

Abby said...

Ooh, they are SO beautiful, Caroline! I'm jealous! It sounds like you are doing such a great job with them and it's evident Dmitri is very fond of the birds.

Christina said...

oh my goodness...this is so fun to look at!! You're definitely the only person I "know" with chickens & hens...and I love it!! :)

Christy said...

Reading this post it almost makes me want a farm or the illusion of a farm is what draws me it. Either way fresh eyes everyday...sign me up.

By the way you and the kidlets look darling.

Marcelle said...

Great to see you've added to the chicken family! That's sad about one hen loosing an eye, but it seems pretty common when adding extra hens.

I love the lavender hens - just beautiful!