dig these chicks

*I will select the canned-good winner tomorrow.*

:: :: :: :: ::

Meet my girls. Dee, Clementine and Ida:

I am so psyched to have chickens. We have an Ameraucana, a Golden Sex Link and a Rhode Island Red. They currently chirp, poo and sleep in our guest bathroom. I (with the hopeful help of my loving husband so the project takes a few hours instead of a few days) now have to build our coop so they have a place to roam, peck, scratch and lay for the next several years. Andy is less than excited about this new project whilst we are learning to balance our previously busy life with a new kiddo. But I know he’ll come around when he enjoys those amazing eggs laid in our backyard moments before consumption.

I have researched and wanted chickens for years. Missoula’s chicken-lovin’ ordinance passed on bug’s birthday. I used to want a monkey as a kid and am thankful my mom said no way. After my monkey wishes were crushed, I turned to chickens–a legitimate pet that doesn’t need diapers or the jungle; a pet that offers poo like gold, soil tillage, delicious eggs and funny companionship.

Oh, chickens.

Alice cautiously wags her tail at them and looks at me like, Come on mom, how many more creatures are you gonna divide your time among? Olive sits by the door with a twitchy butt. Sam, of course, is excited to have new friends that might pet him.

This morning Andy got up before me and I sleepily asked if he’d check on the chicks. He came back upstairs all serious-like and said babe, we have a problem. Oh no, dead chick, I thought. I sat up. I think we should take them back, he said. They aren’t laying any eggs.

Then he admitted they’re cute. Yes. He’s in.

:: :: :: :: ::

My Brooder:

Our small shower stall is the perfect pullet habitat. I ripped down an old oil cloth to size, taped all the way around the perimeter and then bought pine shavings to place on top (I am told not to use cedar as ingestion can be bad for the wee ones. And, I read that I shouldn’t use newspaper as it is too slippery when wet and can cause broken chick legs). The stall is blocked off with a baby gate and I hung the heat lamp overhead from the shower rod. As I drove up with my purchased pine shavings, my neighbor, who was in his front yard, asked me if I had any use for pine shavings. I am not kidding. I literally put the bag o’ shavings back in the trunk, walked across the street and returned with his house project refuse.

My favorite chicken book (and I have looked at them all): Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and Other Small Spaces

21 Responses to dig these chicks

  1. TRB Holt says:

    They are little beauties! It will be so fun to watch them in action. Love the names too!

    xoxo, Momma Hen

    PS..Let’s hope that Sam & Olive do not develope a taste for chicken.

  2. Katie says:

    I may be able to grow lemons, but what I really want to grow is CHICKENS!

    Talk about jealous. :0)

  3. Anonymous says:

    They are the cutest creatures. Andy is sooo funny!! So should I be prepared to paint and build a coop? This all leaves me wondering What’s next Nicole, what’s next? XOXXO J

  4. Jean says:

    hahahahaha! I’m lovin’ it.

  5. Congratulations on your chicks! You don’t know me but I got to your blog through a friend’s friend who said you talked about wanting chicks. My first ever batch of chicks arrive early in April so I need to create my brooder and start building my coop. I’ll be reading your blog to hear more chicken stories, I love your writings!
    Lisa, fellow chicken enthusiast

  6. Patia says:

    Aaaaahhh, chickies!!! So cute!

    I had chickens when I was a kid and can’t wait to have them again as soon as I have my own place.

  7. sarah says:

    they are cute! and i’m sure i don’t have to ask you these questions, but the vegan animal rights activist in me can’t help it: you’re not going to force molt/force light/debeak/sell them to people who will kill them when they are done with their egg producing years, right?? :)
    love you!

  8. Jean says:

    Debeak? Ida Wanna!

  9. Jessica says:

    Wow!!! I still have my horrible bird-phobia so looking at those pics makes my palms sweaty, but they are cute. Good luck chicken mama!

  10. Wendy says:


    I’m so jealous. I’ll be living vicariously through you for awhile.

  11. joan says:

    These little ones were in my dream last night. They were growing FAST. I also, in the same dream, taught Margot how to go down the basement steps. She also could talk. But she was still 3 months old. A smart one she is. XOXO Joan

  12. Wow all these chicken fans. How great. Jess, I actually thought of you when I got these peepers because of your bird phobia. Sarah, are you serious?! Do you know me? Patia, I may be asking you for advice. Lisa Yik, How exciting for you! We are learning together. Joan, Margot isn’t walking yet but she rolled over this morning!

  13. Patia says:

    My only advice at this point is to keep them away from drafts and handle them a lot so they grow up to be nice, friendly chickens.

  14. lera says:

    I want chickens. We have a chicken coop (original to our property). I’m just not sure if we can have them in “town” limits. I need to find out.

  15. Patia says:

    Lera, if you have a coop, it’s possible that you are “grandfathered” in even if chickens are no longer allowed. You might look into that at the same time.

  16. Huh, I had no idea about the grandfather rule. Interesting. Lera, the city code is almost always online and pretty easy to find. Patia, I am listening to your advice and I have been trying to hold my little chicks as much as possible! Thanks!

  17. RR says:

    I can’t even imagine how a conversation with my husband would go where I told him I wanted chickens!!

    They are quite cute though. Then you know for sure you’re getting organic, free roaming, grain fed eggs.

  18. Renee says:

    Glad we found each other’s blogs!

    Jay was okay with the chickens, but not completely embracing the idea until a month into owning the girls. I think he thought it would be way more work. Now he’s usually the one who works it into the conversation with people we meet :)

  19. chickengirl says:

    Aaaw, they’re so cute! But they grow so fast. Our chicks are getting too big too fast…. Oh well, they’ll be laying soon!

  20. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  21. Dan Wilson says:

    Your blog is pretty cool check out mine! http://tiny.cc/iioeuw