My 4 boys and their 6 Chicks!


Well, we have done something in our family that I never thought we would ever do.

My boys have the way of talking me into things that I never dreamed I would say yes to.

This is definitely one of those things!

Warning to my Dad:  This post contains pictures of birds!  This may be the only post of mine you do not read. Smile

{My dad cannot stand birds!}


My four boys now have six chicks!

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Praise the Lord they are “chicks” of the bird kind and not of the human kind, if you know what I mean! Winking smile



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Yep!  Jonathan and Luke have talked me into letting them have a hen house.  They want it to be THEIR project for the summer.  They have done tons of research online about how to care for these chicks and how to build a hen house.


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As much as Cy and I wanted to say no, we saw so many life lessons that could be learned through this, and we also knew it would teach them more responsibility.


The store policy was to purchase a minimum of six chicks, so Jonathan and Luke got to pick out two, and Adam and Eli each picked out one.


Of course, they named them all…

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Eli loves his little chick.



And so far, I am really impressed with how well they are taking care of them.

We haven’t built the hen house yet, but the boys will be doing it in the next few weeks.  We are going to let Jonathan and Luke do as much of the building as we can.  Cy will supervise.




I’ll let you know how it goes, and I will share some pictures of the boys building and working on their hen house.

At least we will have plenty of eggs around here now!

And probably a few to share. Smile


Do you have a hen house? 


Any advice for this mama?


p.s.  For those of you who worry about germs, we have plenty of hand sanitizer right by the chicks, and we’ve been doing a lot of hand washing.


  1. Did you research the breed/s you chose? Are these only pets or to be used to supplement the household with eggs? What does the hen house look like?

  2. So fun! I loved having chickens as a kid. Of course we enjoyed the eggs, but they were mainly “pets” for us kids after we finally coerced my parents into letting us have them! We housed them in a converted dog house and played with them a ton… enjoy! I am sure your boys will have some great memories of this fun experience.

  3. How exciting! This will be a great learning experience for your boys. They’ll learn a lot, have so much fun, and have memories that will last their whole lives. My parents moved us to the country when we were kids and we were able to experience chickens, goats, cows, pigs, bunnies and a pony for a few years. It was the best part of my childhood. Your boys look like they’re having so much fun already. The pictures of them holding the chicks are precious. The chicks are pretty adorable too! ;-)

  4. We had chickens for almost two years! My advice is to keep them in their coop ALWAYS!
    1. because they poop ALL over everything! 2. why did the chicken cross the road??? to dig up the neighbors bark and yard! 3. when you notice 1 & 2 and don’t let them out to roam free they get really mad and peck your hands when you feed them until you have little bloody peck marks! Yep! They obviously they haven’t heard of don’t bite the hand that feeds you! That is when we decided to be done! BEWARE of neighborhood dogs that will stop at NOTHING to eat your chickens! We were woken up at 3 am by dogs from clear across town that had somehow managed to get in and were trying to eat them! It was amazing how much damage they did to the coop and a miracle they didn’t kill any!! And lastly be careful of mice….they LOVE the left over food on the ground from the chickens so not sure how to avoid them!Other than that it was a super fun experience!! One the kids will always remember and look back on fondly! We even had them in our yearly Christmas card photo!! Good Luck!

  5. Have you seen the chicken coop…no it’s more like a chicken MANSION, that Heather Bullard and her husband built for their chickens? They thought of everything when they designed it and they do sell the plans. As handy as Cy is, he (and the boys) could build something like that in a snap! Here’s a link for some of her Q&A posts about her chickens and “Chez Poulet,” in case you’ missed it:

    My (adult) daughter has tried to talk her dad and me into adding chickens to our family owned horse boarding business (as well as cows, goats and pigs). So far, we’re holding firm with an “absolutely not” because 20+ horses to care for and worry about is enough. Also, there are coyotes around here and as tender-hearted as I am toward animals, I would lose it if the coyotes got even one of the chickens.

  6. Once the kids and I pulled up next to a truck with chickens and I thought it’d be fun to hear them squawking, so I rolled the window down and we all gagged!! Seriously, though, I have heard of nothing but good things from kids taking care of chickens. We always had fresh eggs in Ukraine and they tasted so good!

  7. AWESOME!!

    We are a farming family, so of all your posts, this is right up my alley! We love chickens!!! Have the best time with them, and I hope your boys learn a lot through this project! They are going to have SO MUCH FUN with them!!

  8. So cute! When I was around 11 I got an egg that was supposed to hatch and be an adorable chick. Instead it looked like a turkey buzzard. I do not recall what happened to it but my sisters and I still laugh about that ugly bird!

  9. So cute! Great way for them to learn responsibility!! Watch out for
    Predators. They need to be safe…. I’m sure you already know that :)
    Can’t wait to see all the photos. Blessings to you all and enjoy all those
    Omelets :)

  10. We have 4 hens. And we get a decent amount of eggs (for a family of 5 it’s just enough during the spring – in winter they don’t lay as much). I let mine run around our yard – we live in the desert so we don’t have much grass anyway – but we do have scorpions, centipedes and lots of other bugs that I like for them to eat. I have never heard of chicken snakes though. Chickens are supposed to kill snakes.
    We’ve also raised meat chickens which worked out well.
    Good luck – they’re a lot of fun! Almost like Easter egg hunting every day!

  11. it will be a great journey for the entire family. The names are so interesting too. maple and brown sugar. someone was thinking pancakes and eggs ??

  12. We love chickens here. Beware of chicken math, and build the coop bigger than you think you need. Also, they grow faster than you think they will. Don’t lose any time getting that coop built!

  13. Oh what fun! When I was young we also had chickens. With six children it was cost effective. I can’t wait to see the their new home. Thanks for sharing.

  14. We raised chicken and rabbits when I was a child. The young chicks grew very quickly and it wasn’t long when my mom made my dad put them outside because they started to smell (they were in the laundry/furnace room in the basement).
    I loved the girls but Randy the Rooster was not nice to them or anyone else in the yard! He attacked some of the girls and you had to watch yourself around him… so don’t get a rooster.
    One of the funniest activities was feeding the girls the grasshoppers we caught and tossed into the backyard. They would come running and sqawking from all directions to gobble them up!
    Cooked spaghetti noodles was also hilarious to watch.
    You are going to have a blast and you will enjoy eating the rich eggs… imagine yolks that are orange!!!

      1. We too had a rooster we had to get rid of. He was ok at first but started “kicking” my kids, my husband and I and even our mini dachshund. As long as I had my border collie with me he was ok and he always waited til our back was turned to attack….he was a chicken. Lol! You don’t need em anyway – I just had him to protect the hens but I think the dogs will do.

  15. I am cracking up!!!! We had a rooster that walked around our old neighborhood. On occasion chased neighbors! Your boys will have to bring their skills here and youngins everything they know!!!

  16. Very cute! You are a good momma to do this. I can’t wait to see all of your posts and learn right along with them! :0)

  17. That is great! Our 13 year old son started with buying 6 laying hens last year in May. Then he bought 20 Isa Brown chicks in June and took care of them. His Dad has been instrumental in getting him set up, building the coop, chicken runs, advice, reminders etc.

    This has been so good for him. He has matured so much, and is learning responsibility, and has become much more confident about himself! He has to buy the feed, etc. from his profits. This took him quite a while as he was feeding 26 chickens and only 6 were laying!

    My husband and I are usually the egg delivery people(customers are from our work). All of them love the eggs and say they taste so much better.

    PS. He is ordering 25 more chicks this year! These are a mixture of Browns, Black Stars, Easter Eggers & Barred Rocks. These are all good layers. He has no problems selling his eggs!

  18. PPS: I forgot to write that my daughter is getting 1 French Black Copper Maran which will lay eggs that have shells the color of milk chocolate!

  19. We live in New York and I’ve been wanting two chickens ever since we found out our neighbor is moving upstate with his. The eggs from his little farm are BETTER than store bought and the most beautiful colors of cream, blue and brown shells. My husband won’t let me have them for all the reasons your readers mentioned above. However, I’m going to show him the Heather Bullard coop and hope he’ll humor me.

    Traci, great idea for the boys! Keep us posted on the progress!

  20. I too blog with Karen at “The Art of Doing Stuff” and she is also on Facebook. She has posted about how she researched and found the chicken coop she ended up building and many other good posts of how to also build the outside enclosure, fence, gate and proper care of chickens and general info about how chickens molt their pin feathers and such. She also posts some wonderful things like how to tap a maple tree and make maple syrup. She is from Canada and was once a host of her own tv show. I think you will enjoy her blog and her funny sense of humor.
    May God’s blessings always be with you.

  21. Oh! Chickens are wonderful. My daughter named hers and got her friends to rock them with her on the swing set. She’s now 25 and dreaming of a city coop of her own!! You’ll be so glad you bought them. I enjoyed them in my yard, they ate bad bugs, and were no problem for they always go ‘ home’ without being told when its bedtime. I’m silly as I pinned a colorful coop and my daughter says, but does the back open so you can easily get the eggs? When I was a little girl I still lived on a farm so they had their own little building…are you up to getting the boys to start building?!

  22. I love love love that you are doing this with your boys. :) I have three boys (not including the hubs) and I can totally see us doing something like this someday. I love it!! I’ve always wanted chickens. :)
    I love your story!

  23. Oh, your boys will love their chicks :). Some of my greatest memories as a child are the coop & the chicks that my grandpa raised. How fun!!!

  24. What a great family project. I’d agree with the others who advised to keep movin’ on that coop. You don’t want them inside long. We had chickens when I was growing up and had a great time with them. My only advice would be to prepare them for the boys for seeing real life visible pecking order. It can get pretty bad for the chicken on the bottom of that order and they can end up in sad shape.

  25. I think it’s wonderful that you and Cy have allowed your boys to make one of their dreams come true! It’s a gift and a blessing that will give them a lifetime of cherished memories.

    My mom had a pet chicken growing up, and she still tells us stories of her fond memories of her pet chicken, who she adored, held, pet and cuddled every day as a young girl.

    Yes they are a lot of work, but so worthwhile! All animals poop, all animals have to be fed, kept clean and safe, and I’m sure your family will do a fantastic job at all of those things, and the rewards far outweigh the responsibilities.

    We have dogs that are our babies, and wish we could have chickens, but we live in the city, and our part of the county doesn’t allow any farm animals :(. We dream of moving to a rurul part of our city where we can have the chickens and goat, lol!

    There’s lots of info online about keeping chickens, and it’s so important to get very educated to avoid potential problems, but other than that, daily handling of them makes them much easier to interact as the chicks become full grown chickens.

    Good luck, and enjoy this wonderful new adventure, not to mention the awesome fresh eggs! :)

  26. How exciting for your family! I hope you enjoy your hens as much as we’ve enjoyed ours.

    We live in a suburb and only have seven ourselves but were going on about 5 years with them now. We love to watch them roam the yard (but yes, they do poop everywhere!). We’ve been putting their “droppings” from their coop into our garden in the off season and we”ve noticed bigger plants and higher produce yields. Plus common garden bugs are practically non-existant!

    And once you’ve had fresh eggs, you’re ruined from eating the ones at the store!

    Have lots of fun!

  27. Cordell has been raising chickens for 2 years as his “project”. We have big laying hens now that he raised and purchased more chicks this year to add to the brood. He loves it and they are just like our pets. They follow us around the yard like little puppies and squat down at your feet for you to pick them up. We only “free-range” them when we are out in the yard with them but they LOVE the grass so I would recommend fencing in a good amount of grassy area for them to roam in and out of their coup. Ours produce really well and Cordell’s egg sales have made him lots of $. Good luck!

  28. We purchased a home that came with a coop and a Barred Rock hen. She was the only one out of 25 to survive an attack by a couple of dogs. The previous owner wanted us to buy her some friends in the spring. We did and this was by far the best thing we have done. We love our girls. Be careful, our few friends led to ducks and turkeys as well…LOL!

  29. I had chickens for a long time. The chicks were so much fun. My only dislike about the whole experience was the rooster. Chickens produce better with a rooster and the roosters that we had (we only had one at a time) were all so mean. They would fly at me with their spurs. I had to feed with a trash can lid between me and the meany rooster.

  30. Traci,

    We’ve raised hens (and roosters!) for many years. We usually try to keep the flock between 50-100 birds. We’ve NEVER had to worry about chicken snakes. We pasture our chickens in portable pens. I highly recommend that you consider not going the route of the traditional coop. They get nasty fast and they are not going to produce the same quality chicken or egg as free-ranging will. We sell our eggs and then butcher older hens for our dogs which eat a raw diet…yes, bones (uncooked only) and all!

    You can check out great resources and info from Joel Salatin’s farm Polyface Farms. I’ve read his books, implemented his practices and visited his farm. He’s not perfect, but there is a reason people travel even internationally to visit him.

  31. We bought them for a couple of years from the farm store, but even when bought sexed chickens, some turn out to be roosters and where we live that’s not the best. But the kids enjoyed them and I husband has always had chickens, so now when we go to PA. we go to an Amish house and purchase a couple of chickens and we have wonderful brown eggs all the time

  32. This is awesome! Wish my husband would do things like this with my kids…they can’t have chicks or a dog because of the inconvenience it may cause him and they can’t have a cat because he’s allergic. You guys are great parents, you should be proud!

  33. We started our chicken journey last year. A great resource for you and the boys is Tons of info on raising chickens, as well as coop information. When planning out your coop, use a poop board with sweet pdz. Makes cleaning a breeze, and the pretty much eliminates any odors. We have a mixed flock of 9, and my boys (8&9) have taken an active part since we brought home our chicks at 1 day old. Wait till you start getting eggs! At about 25-30 weeks. Such fun! The biggest piece of advice (after the poop board) is making a very secure run so the girls are always safe from predators…both ground and air (raptors love to swoop down and grab.) You can check out the story of our coop here if you like:

    Have fun!!

  34. Talk to Daryl, if you need more advice…..But, do be sure to bury some chicken wire at the bottom of your pen…or coons will dig under and your chicks will be no more…..and skunks are sadistic and will simply kill chickens for the apparent joy of killing chickens….by the most distasteful act of decapitating chickens….so not pleasant….Good luck!

  35. I think everyone who has the space should have chickens :) They’re so easy! (And yes, we’ve lost some to coyotes and hawks), but the day to day care is very simple. Once you have fresh eggs you’ll never regret your decision.

    An easy to clean coop is a must. I wouldn’t do a drawer like some have – I think it’s way more difficult. The floor (under where they roost) right at wheelbarrow height is best so the droppings can just be shoveled right out into the wheelbarrow.

    Chicken nipples for water are great! It makes for a much cleaner watering system than the typical bucket type.

    We have a great feeder my husband made out of some 4 inch ABS pipe. Cheap, clean, and it holds a lot of food.

    My other big suggestion is a ramp so that the eggs roll out of the nest. The eggs stay much cleaner that way instead of having the hens sit on the eggs.

    I hope you love having them! They are so much fun!

  36. I had one more thought about the coop :) Build it big enough to handle more than 6 chickens. For 6 people (4 of them growing boys!), 6 really isn’t a lot. I think you might find in the future that you’ll want more and it’s so much easier to build it bigger now. I feed 6 people (2 are small girls) and I usually have 10-12 hens. Some are older and don’t lay as often. And my wise friend who taught me all about chickens said to, “pad your flock”. It’s just a fact that some will die and you want to make sure you have more than enough. If I”m going through the trouble to raise hens, I don’t ever want to buy eggs :) You can always get rid of the extras.

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