them chickens is organized.

I’m a little surprised at how much I enjoy having chickens around. Our ten chicks have turned into ten pullets that are almost fully grown adult hens now. We still have all ten of them—no accidents, predators, or other attrition, although one of them had a run-in with a dachshund that luckily only ended in some missing feathers.

They’re entertaining to watch. We have a routine in place where they get let out of their coop first thing in the morning, and they’ll wander around the property in a flock all day and eat bugs. When it starts to get dark, they’ll all come back to the coop and head upstairs to roost for the night, and all I have to do is to lock them up. I never realized how smart chickens actually are, or that they’re social birds with a flock hierarchy. I’m also amused by the way they all come running when I set foot outside—I know they have learned to associate me with food, but it still makes me feel a bit like the Chicken Whisperer.

We bought a large garden shed, eight by ten feet, to use as a chicken house. Right now they’re still in their coop, but this weekend I’ll place the coop inside the new chicken house to get them used to the new digs. They’ll weather the winter better in the shed, and they’ll be safer from predators at night.

Of course, they’ll have to lay about three thousand eggs for us to save enough in grocery store egg purchases to make up for all the chicken swag we’ve bought to get the little cluckers situated.

Owning ten laying hens is definitely something that we couldn’t have done at the old place in suburban Knoxville. Ten acres out in the country leave one some room for agricultural experiments.


The ameraucanas have distinct plumage patterns, so they’re easy to tell apart. We’ve named all of them. The barred rocks all look the same, so they’re just about impossible to tell apart. Those are Clucky One through Clucky Five.

6 thoughts on “them chickens is organized.

  1. Soon enough, you will have enough eggs every day that you will struggle to use them all.

    Oh, and think about getting a few stone eggs. You’ll learn why, if you haven’t already.

    • Apparently, a golf ball works just as well – proving that chickens don’t know any better than to avoid securing their reproductive future to that of the Great Arnold Palmerbird.

  2. On the Blog-A-Tron: “them chickens is organized.” 5 hours ago

    One chicken is still missing. I’m hoping it’s just lost and slow to find its way home after all the excitement. %$&*# fox. 1 hour ago
    Just had to have strong words with a fox who was in the mood for a chicken lunch. 4 hours ago

    You just had to taunt Murphy didn’t you. 😉

  3. Having chickens is a little like handloading. If you’re doing it to save money you’re in for some serious disappointment. If you’re doing it bacause you like having chickens around, it’s a winning situation. When I was a kid we kept chickens because going to the store to buy a chicken for Sunday dinner required a 75 mile round trip. That and my Dad loved his chickens, even the roosrers. He said they were the cheapest alarm clocks on the planet. Even at 67 I find myself waking up at around daybreak.

    Gerry N.

  4. Like most livestock, there’s a certain number that results in break-even on the cost

  5. Baxter Black commented once that chickens are kinda like CDs: if you’re gonna have one, might as well have a dozen.