25 chirpy ladies joined our homestead over the weekend.

That’s right…..25    yikes:)

We went to the hatchery on Friday with the intention of getting 12-15 chicks and…..well…..we…um…got all wrapped up in the excitement and the variety and before we knew it, Madeline had filled our box with one of these, three of those….she even had to put a few back.  When it was all said and done, I’m not exactly sure what ALL the breeds are that we ended up bringing home and will have to wait and see what they grow into, but we do know a majority of them.  We’re looking forward to seeing who takes the lead and how they all interact.

Madeline’s favorite is Charlotte…the Araucana.

Apparently, our 6×8 coop will house that many just fine — (we were banking on 4 sq. feet of coop space per chicken…but Bud from Murray McMurray Hatchery said with our run and the free range opportunity, we had PLENTY of room for 25 — Maddie’s eyes lit up with that bit of news and Jon and I knew at that moment, that we were going to be bringing home more than 12. Bud also gently steered us away from a rooster this time around to keep things as kid-friendly as possible.  Maybe when the girls are older.

It was the last hatch for a while, so we had to bust a move to get the coop built in 100+ degree weather!  We had enough salvaged materials to build the entire thing and have only $35 invested in it so far.  We still have some architectural elements to add, build the run and do some landscaping, but it’s turned out really cute and the little chicks seem to be making themselves right at home.

The folks at Murray McMurray Hatchery were incredibly hospitable and very helpful in getting our chicken raising venture off to a healthy, knowledgeable start. One of our episodes in Season 4 is all about backyard chickens and they shared a wealth of information that everyone will find very interesting and helpful.  I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous about bringing that many baby chicks home.  All I know about raising chickens is what I’ve read and heard…no personal first-hand experience in that area and you know how it is when you do something for the first time! Plus, the chicks we brought home had just hatched that morning….Fresh out of the shell and ready to roll.

But you know what….it’s been a very easy and joyful experience so far.  Those little chicks are hearty gals…they were eating and drinking the minute we set them up in the coop.  Madeline is LOVING every minute with them.  Saturday morning, she looked at me and said “These chickens have changed my life”… cutest soundbite ever!  We have a list of names, and she’s already started making her ‘eggs 4 sale’ sign….(not that we need that anytime soon….will be a good 20-24 weeks before we see any eggs…but I’m sure that time will go by quickly!)

Cheers to chickens…and the adventures that lie ahead!





  1. Carol aka Taraegon says:

    Adorable!! Just had to pop on and say I’m so glad I found you – I was just thinking that I miss your old TV show, googled you and found this site. Glad to ‘see’ you again.

  2. Cris Angsten says:

    I love your delightfully mixed veggie and herb plantings in those beds. I’ve become much less regimented myself, intermixing plantings rather than the old traditional groupings of the same.

  3. Grace St.Clair says:

    How exciting!! You’re going to have so much fun with the girls. It’s amazing how quickly they capture your heart. Can’t wait to meet them!

  4. Shirley says:

    I love, love, love that I have a chicken named after me :) I squealed with delight – and the perfect # – 22 —-my age exactly (30 years ago)! Best of luck to all of you and the chicks! I’ll have to see how big they are when I come visit next month!!!!

  5. Michele says:

    They have been so much fun…I’m thinking of planting a special garden just for them by their house, we’ll see how that goes….Thanks Glenda..you’ll have to come out and visit! (and meghan….you can do this too…just start making plans and go for it!) :) Cheers, all!

  6. Jackie says:

    I LOVE IT!!! If we ever get to move outside of town, this is our FIRST adventure! I can’t wait to watch how things unfold. Good Luck!!

  7. Glenda Aldrich says:

    Soooo cool! The chicks, the coop, Maddy’s excitement-love it all and you guys, too!

  8. Janice says:

    Michele, I too got started with chickens this year. It amazes me how FAST they grow. And they are wonderful bug eatters-flys, slugs, beetles-even the dreaded Japanese Beetles-mine think they are treats! They help weed in the garden and their fertilizer is so helpful for so many things. The only down side is that mine recently discovered blackberries and raspberries and have picked my raspberry bush clean. They even jump for the blackberries on the bush. Where I live I have blackberries by the truckload, but only a few raspberry bushes. Oh well with chickens eatting them, perhaps I will get more bushes-. I built my coop out of recycled materials that I found illegally dumped along the roadside. The only thing I had to add was nesting boxes made from 25 pd. pails that previously held cat litter. Chickens are great birds and if they can free range they can be happy healthy,helpful birds all while just doing “bird things”.

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