Monday Morning Chicken

Amber the Speckled Sussex

Here at the end of our first full week of being suburban chicken farmers, we still walk about in a daze saying, “Whatzat? We have chickens. How did we get chickens?”

They are strangely easy to care for and quite charming. We’re still researching coop designs, but we have about 5 weeks left until they get moved outside, and 5 months or so until they start pulling their own weight (which, by the way, doubled in six days) and squeezing out some eggs.

The dog has adapted quite well and hasn’t made a single threatening gesture. Either she just decided to accept them, or she’s waiting for a little more meat on their bones before she makes her move.

"Will I escape this whole chicken project with my dignity? No, I will not."

"Are you my mother?"

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • Ben

    What kind of dog is that?

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Your guess is as good as mine. There was some indication that she’s part Australian shepherd, and there seems to be some kind of terrier in there, but other than that…

  • Brandon Vogt

    Oh, man! We looked into getting chickens but our suburban FL county says we aren’t zoned for it and therefore won’t allow it. We’re considering channeling our inner MLK and Augustine and standing up against this egregious assault on our poultry conscience–”an unjust law is no law at all.”

    I’d love to learn more about your experiences:

    - Where did you buy the chicks (and how much were they)?
    - How expensive is the feed and upkeep?
    - How much work goes into taking care of them?


  • Thomas L. McDonald

    I’m going to write more about them when I have a chance, but just to give you some quick answers:

    -In many small towns, zoning enforcement comes down to neighbors. If they don’t complain, you should be okay. (Just DON’T get a rooster.) No law that would prevent me from me feeding my family in economically hard times is just, therefore I would have ignored it anyway.
    -Chicks are about $3 each from the local farm store, and feed is minimal. A $9 bag will feed 3 chicks for a couple months. I’m not sure how much feed will be after they’re fully grown, but I imagine it can’t be much.
    -Thus far, it’s no work whatsoever beyond cleaning the water dish and playing with them. Eventually, you have deal with more poo, but even that is manageable, useful (composting for the garden), and easily outsourced to children.

  • Erin Manning

    So cute! My girls would love chickens. Unfortunately, we have both zoning restrictions and a stupid HOA to keep that from happening unless we move…

    {TLMcD: Chickens: The Choice of Distributists Everywhere!}

  • Green

    Oh man, my Chihuahuas would have already eaten those chicks if they were that close.
    We hatched 15 chicks in our incubator. The dogs managed to kill some.