Update on our chickens

It has been a long time since I've talked about our backyard chickens. The little chicks we got back in March have all grown up and are beginning to happily lay eggs for us.

Here they all are, all nine of them, with one of their doting farm girls:

{From L to R: Missy, Millie, Della, Honey, Polly, Bawk-Bawk, Lucy, Flora, and Elizabeth.}

Audra is completely unafraid of the chickens, and the picture above is a typical sight. Either that or her toddling after them in the yard, babbling and patting their feathers. She's pretty cute.

Ella is responsible for the care of our chickens. In addition to talking to them, singing to them, and holding/petting them, she feeds them and gives them water, collects their eggs, and lets them out each morning. [Mark cleans the coop, for now, and puts them in for the night during the summer months since they go to bed after Ella does.]

Flora is our only hen left from our initial flock three years ago. It took some serious work to get them all acclimated to one another. I thought we were going to have to get rid of Flora because she was such a bully.

We kept easing her into it. First we put the box of chicks inside of Flora's coop so that while she could hear them and get accustomed to their noises and presence, she didn't have access to them. (The box was covered.) For the next phase we put up chicken wire in the coop, separating it right down the middle. Eventually we removed the wire and then watched very carefully to make sure that they were all doing okay together. Other than a few early squabbles, they seemed to be fine. Flora just kept herself apart from the other birds for the most part, and they kept their distance from her, too. She was a little fierce when they all went into their house to roost at night, but Mark helped a little with the arrangement and it was all going smoothly.

Until the younger birds began laying, that is.

Then Flora began picking on (literally) Honey whenever she sat in the nesting boxes. We had to remove Honey from the flock in order for her to heal, and once she healed up we placed Flora into her own area (think of it as a long time-out) and now we're mulling over what to do. We don't want Flora back in with the other birds if she'll just bully them. I think we're hoping that once they all start laying and get into the groove of it, she'll realize it's a lost cause to keep bullying each of them whenever one is in the nesting box and she'll give up.

Anyway~ it's fun to be getting eggs again, although the eggs themselves are still super tiny.

I maintain that chickens are the easiest pets, ever. They're very tame and gentle with the kids and our kids love them in return. AND they give us fresh eggs, which is of course why we have them.

Oh, and I was so happy this year that I was finally able to get some Buffs, because I've always wanted some. I think Buffs are a pretty bird (as far as chickens go) *and* I had heard they were calm birds, so I thought they'd be perfect for our kids.

Wouldn't you know it, though, but my favorites this year are our black hens. (If I remember right they're Australorps?) They are very docile (moreso even than the Buffs) and I think that's a good quality to have in a backyard chicken.

Okay... I'm done with my chicken ramblings...

Please do chime in on any advice you may have for our Flora-situation, or your favorite breed so far for backyard chickens!


  1. No advice as I've never had the fun of raising my own chickens - but I am curious if the eggs will just gradually keep getting bigger with time? ;)

  2. Teri~ Yes. They start small, kind of like their systems are getting used to the whole idea or something- and then they gradually become bigger (after a couple of weeks of laying, I'd say) until they're regular size! :)


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