Chickens 101

Good Morning!

I thought that I’d share a little bit about our life with our chickens today. I sometimes take a few in to visit the first grade classes at our elementary school when their studying the life-cycle. First graders always have great questions.  So do our visitors!  Here are some of our most asked questions:

How many chickens do you have?  We currently have nine adults and six twelve week old pullets.

Where do they live?

The older girls live here in their coop:

The younger flock  lives in our chicken tractor. In a few weeks they should be about ready to join the older ladies out in the coop. This photo of the tractor was taken a few years ago.  Notice how new and shiny it is, along with the fence and the coop before siding was added.

How old do they get? Chickens often live for five to eight years but  I’ve heard of some living longer. This is one of our very first chickens. She’s named Chip, after the friend who brought her to us. She is still laying eggs and  recovered from a bad bout of “bumble foot” last year. Chip is one amazing chicken!

Do the boys lay eggs? No, they don’t. This is always very hard to explain to the first graders.

Do you have roosters? No, we tried to keep some small Banty Roosters last year but they were way too noisy for our neighborhood. Our hens are quite happy without a rooster around  🙂

Do they  poop a lot?  Yes!!

Do you have a favorite chicken? We all have our favorites. This one is mine.  I call her the little red hen. She’s a Speckled Sussex chicken and she is so cute and sweet!

Can we hold them? Sure you can, but we might need to help you.

Are they friendly? Some are friendlier than others but our chickens are raised by hand from when their one day old so most are very used to humans.  Several of them like to sit in our laps.

Do they all have names? Not really, the older ones do. I call this one Sheba because she thinks she’s the queen. She tends to wander away from the flock. We’ve had neighbors come over and ask us to come get her. I don’t know why she’s standing on one foot in this photo? I think she’s planning her escape.

Is there a pecking order? Yes, most definitely.  The social structure of the flock is very interesting to watch. This little Banty Cochin is actually kind of in charge these days. She rules the roost and she can be really mean!

How often do they lay eggs? About one every day and a half in the warmer months when there’s lots of daylight. Egg production slows way down in the winter.

What do the eggs look like?  Just like this…their all different shapes and colors. It depends on the chicken.

Do you eat them? No, we don’t eat our pets.

Is it easy to take photos of chickens?  No! Their always moving around and running away.

But we love them, their wonderful pets, the fresh eggs are great and they keep us connected with our food source and with each other~

Questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll try to answer them. Thanks for stopping by!

17 Comments

  1. Hi Michelle–I love the chicken blog!! I also love taking care of your chickens when you all go away for a few days! Great pics and Q&A!

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    1. Hi Becky! the chickens love when you take care of them! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  2. oldhick54 says:

    Great chicken blog! I’m still figuring out how to use your blog and where my comments actually go!!

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    1. the comments just go to my e-mail for approval. I tend to approve as soon as I see them if I’m near the computer.

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  3. PJ Girl says:

    I’m a huge fan of chickens – they are the most delightful creatures and my life would be so much duller without them! Great post and I completely understand how difficult chickens are to photograph 🙂

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    1. thanks PJ! They just keep running away, I think I’ll try giving them some treats next time!

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  4. June Varcoe says:

    We had lots of fun on Eyland Ave. when the kids were little with our chickens and rabbits. Our house was not as fancy as yours and we did have roasters. Charles roaster Theodore went to Coolege as well as all the different schools. Good Momories.

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    1. We hope that we’re making lots of good memories for our kids too June… thanks for stopping by!

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  5. EA Bussey says:

    Thanks for stopping by my place. That is the most adorable chicken coop I have ever seen! Must send your link to my sis who has chickens.

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    1. that’s actually an old photo of the coop, it has a window box and a new garden bed in front of it now. I’ll have to do a post about it soon. Thanks so you to EA!

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  6. AmySue says:

    Great Post! Loved it! I have two little speckled sussex, and one is always coming up to me inquisitive and she lets me pick her up, I think she might be a favorite one!

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    1. I think the speckled sussex are just friendlier than other breeds, their an easy favorite!

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  7. Katie Glenn says:

    We had a few chickens when I was little and my favorite was Henrietta. Great post, it was fun to see everyone. 🙂

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  8. Just for the record, I didn’t “like” this post, it was my husband who was reading logged in as me 😉 I can’t figure out how to change it

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  9. Beth M says:

    hey cool! Chickens in Salem, – I didn’t know this!. (although I had a lot of fun reading about the Bees in Salem in a semi-recent Patch article. http://tinyurl.com/bprmolc)

    Also, great to see another Salem blogger. 🙂

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    1. Hi Beth! I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner! It’s great to meet you! Hope I see you around Salem!

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