why chickens?

why chickens

in some ways it is almost obligatory:

you move out to the sticks, you get chickens

amidst all the pintrest-fluff on self sufficiency

there is something deeper and richer about the food on your own plate coming from your own toil

a brood of fluff ball chicks

it is simply the easiest and cutest way to first step that 1,000 mile journey of being more self-sufficient

may i add,

frugality should not be the primary motivation

like all projects the start up costs are always steeper than advertised

we did everything as creatively cheap as possible but building a solid, dry, yet well-venalated, racoon-and-fox-proof 8×8 coop cost money

however, our CLUCKINGHAM PALACE was fun to plan and build and all six of us were involved, and so higher cost was more easily swallowed


not to mention

have you recently woken up on a saturday and thought


how about we all see that new disney movie today…

and get popcorn…

and then go out to eat afterwards…

all six of us as a family…

our lumber cost probably neared that typical saturday at the mall with the family excursion

another thing:

almost everyone told us:

“don’t name them”

i almost always never listen to given advice

and so,








met an untimely and messy end

and i kid you not:

the chickens we never really got around to naming were the only ones to survive!

graphic life lesson?

six laying hens that include three different breeds remain

we have a pretty assorted half dozen eggs each morning for the eating

we have come to love quiches and french toast

even a family of six can’t eat three and a half dozen plain cooked eggs every week

we realized our name-less breakfast providers were being executed by chicken hawks

keeping them cooped up

{hey, that is where that term comes from!}

in their coop seemed mean or corporate or something…definitely not hip earthy organic cool like we like to THINK we are

a pretty cool solution emerged:

the solution that presented itself does nothing if not laud the natural eco system circle that emerges when a family starts to lives more natural and organic


let me explain:

we have a big ole vegetable garden

of course

because like chickens it is pretty much something you have to do or you are just pretending to be a hick

i love gardening and love growing my own veggies

however come august, i am like:

“…meh” when it comes to weeding

{i should also mention i am real cheap when it come to mulch in may}


“pick some veggies”  turned into   “try to find some veggies” by september

it is the folowing spirng

i am lamenting my cheap–may-self and lazy-august-self

i now have two problems:

my chickenS being air raided

my vegetable garden flowering so many summer weeds i cant even find the garden stakes left from last year

let me plant another visual in your mind

chickens are good at three things:

scratching the earth


& laying eggs

the last we are reaping the protein rich rewards, aplenty

the first two we have recently put to good use in our unsightly weed garden of doom:

plop our six ladies inside our fenced garden every morning

{after their morning job has been accomplished}

the ladies then are employed to do nothing but paw at the ground, eat the weeds and their weight in bugs {many garden pests} to boot, and poop…and chicken poop is another word for fertilizer

however before we could put our girls to work we had to hawk-proof it:

that entailed stringing about half a mile of various string, rope, and cord from post to post, criss-crossing it over and over until there were no spaces left wider than a foot

{hawks have a very wide wing span}



it is beyond humorous to see family members




squawking hens each morning to then fling them in between stringed spaces inside our garden fence

because we kept them contained in their coop for about two weeks once they were feathered their instinct to go back to the hen house every evening is strong

when the shadows get long we look out

the ladies are gone

they have put themselves to bed in their hen house


yet all wild things wander

that is partially why we got a dog:

Padfoot was a



nipping maniac

puppy that for weeks i feared had ruined our life,

but perseverance

common sense discipline

a strong bond of love for the furry beast

and careful controlled use of a shock collar

has transformed out menace of a puppy into

watch dog…ever on duty

he is as viligant as he is enthusiastic

he herds and gently nips his feathered charges

tail thumping with glee the whole time

again, the cohesively working together; we bought chickens, and a dog, and seeds, and plants not to just buy and consume and dispose of, like so many of our purchases

each purchase has a purpose, and that purpose improves our life

enriches it in terms of:





or entertainment

A movie in a theater or stuff for sale on a rack can’t compete with that