We’ve got chicken problems….here’s some great advice!


So I told y’all last week that the boys got six new baby chicks.

They are the cutest things ever, and the boys have been in awe of them.


Currently, the boys have made a set up for the chicks in their bedroom.  The plan is to move them to the chicken coop once it is made.

Hence the problem.

We don’t really have the time to build a chicken coop right now.

Not smart.

We got all wrapped up in the cuteness of the chicks, and didn’t really plan out the rest very well.

And let me just tell you, those chicks grow up quickly!

Look at them!



They have beautiful feathers growing, and they are getting taller.  Anabelle is the big white one.   She’s really starting to look like a big chicken.

One chicken, Autumn, has flown out of the plastic tub we are keeping them in right now.


How do we know?


Well, Autumn left a little “evidence” around the boys’ room while they were at school.  All over Jonathan’s guitar case and on the floor.

chicken poop

Did I mention these chicks stink?  Yep.  They poop a LOT!  You can smell them as you begin walking up the steps.   Ew.

I am seriously thinking that I am living in a zoo.  We have 6 chickens, 2 leopard geckos, 1 turtle, 1 baby snake {that we are giving away}, and a dog.


Somebody help me!

I’m really trying to be a good boy mom, but man, what I wouldn’t do for some princess dresses, finger nail polish, tutus, ribbons and bows!

But that ain’t gonna happen.  Smile


So here is my advice to anyone considering getting chickens…





I know, I know…that should be a no brainer.

Just call us brainless.

BirdBrainCrazyMan Stock Photo


Stay tuned for more chicken adventures…



  1. They are adorable and they WILL go so fast. We quickly transferred our chicks to a REALLY big cardboard box – like a refrigerator box cut in half. You need something with high sides so they don’t get out. You can still suspend their little lamp over it, but it might be hard for the boys to lean in to see them…. I remember I had to always lean in for them. When it was time for a coop we went to the unfinished furniture place and got a wooden thing with two doors on it that is supposed to keep your garbage cans outside and safe from predators. The lid also swung open. We cut a little chicken door in one of the doors, hinged it and put a little rod inside so they could roost. They LOVED their little home and were safe an sound forever more! Good luck with them! Hope one of them doesn’t turn out to be a rooster! xo Maggie

  2. haha…well, I can relate the boys and a zoo! I fed a pregnant mother cat two years ago…she was at my back door, starving and thirsty, and I took pity on her. She had a litter…left it with us and sent another pregnant mom to us, who has had two litters! 17 cats later, we have had them all fixed, but boy oh boy, add them to a rabbit and two parakeets and we have a zoo for sure! So fun but certainly not planned upon.! hahaha.

    Your chicks are adorable~ a coop will be so fun. Do you have a rooster in the group? Eggs would be wonderful!

  3. Forgive me but I have to chuckle at your ‘chicken situation’. They are awfully cute, but they seem to change overnight into full grown chickens. Hope you are able to give them their own home soon.
    Pieced Pastimes

  4. I had to share your story with my husband (he often wonders what I do on the computer and who am I writing to!!). To keep the chicks in the container, try putting a window screen on top! Get that coop built soon because they are really going to grow and take up space and the smell will reach way past those stairs!!! Cute names by the way!

  5. We also have chickens…16 of them. We went through the same thing last year. Our hens were laying eggs daily. Went on a trip over Thanksgiving and had a friend taking care of our animals. We got a call that our Lab had gotten into the chicken coop and eaten ALL 16 chickens. We have gotten 16 more chicks and they are currently living in our unfinished basement until we they are old enough for the coop we built last year. We get boxes from Sam’s. They are the large cardboard boxes that they keep watermelon, large bags of oranges, etc.. in. The sides are very strong. We usually have to take another flattened box and put it in the bottom. They work great! Something else we have done is put a dog kennel around the chicken coop for them to have a nice sized yard area to run around in. The dog keenel did not keep the dog out though. Haha. She literally mangled the chain link fencing until she had a whole big enough to get into it. We are working on a solution for that problem now. It is never easy, but boy is it fun.


  6. oh Traci, you can be the one to paint your nails, wear a tutu with bows in your hair! grins. A princess dress can be substituted with a princess t-shirt. That’s the ticket. haha.
    The best to you.

    Enjoy those boys, they grow up super fast as well.


  7. We watched four chicks and two ducklings for a three day weekend. They were SO cute, but we ended up changing the “bedding” twice a day. I still think there is an odd smell in our living room!

  8. Jesseca is right about the lingering smell. it is as if it permeates the drywall and when does it move out?? not with the chicks.

  9. Are you sure they’re all “girls”. We had one that grew up to be a rooster…!!!!! He was a real cutie…. All of a sudden one moring he began to..CROW…!!!!!! He would FAITHFULLY crow at EVERY MORNING at daybreak….!!! We did not live in the country at the time and our neighbors were not tooooooo happy hearing “cockle-doodle-do” at 5AM on a Sunday morning…….!!!!! Yikes… =:O

  10. So…first off, it’s “coop”. Not “coup”. Although, it does appear that they’re overthrowing your house ;) I think it’s interesting that, in an attempt to teach your boys some responsibility, you’re learning a little something along the way.

    Maybe a little research before you jump into something this major next time? See if you can find someone on Craigslist who already has chickens to take those off your hands.

    1. Meredith,
      Thank you for helping me with my spelling. :) I went in my post and corrected my errors.

      I don’t think I needed to do research before I bought the chickens. I knew they need a place to live. I just should’ve built the coop first.

      But I love my boys, and they were so excited about those chicks, it just melted my heart. Haven’t you ever made a somewhat irresponsible decision for those you love?

      I am not worried about my boys not learning to be responsible one bit. Ask anyone who knows my boys, they are some of the most responsible kids they have ever met! I think they have learned something from me through this…how to laugh at your mistakes and how to fix them.

      We went to Lowe’s together as a family today and bought some supplies to start building our coop. I watched Jonathan dig 18 inch post holes and Luke carry 50 lb bags of concrete up the driveway. Adam and Eli even got into the digging.

      They said it was the best day of their life, and I was counting my blessings for the fun we were having together.

      So it’s all good.

      We are keeping those cute chickens, and we are going to have a blast making this coop together!

  11. Traci – I can’t help but laugh at you and your chickens. I know it’s cute but not funny, but those of us sitting far away reading get a real giggle out of it. Our son had a chicken my sister got him one year for Easter. He would get it down in the floor and spend hours with it. One day, it pecked him in the eye! We rushed him to the eye doctor and thank goodness no damage was done, but the little chick who had grown into a chicken went to a friend’s farm.

    Enjoy the boys and the chickens!


  12. You are a good mom!! My boys have added an African Dwarf Frog and a Betta Fish to home, but with 2 old golden retrievers, I feel like I live in a zoo. My oldest begs for the lizards and snakes, but I don’t think I can go there. I would love to do chickens, and LOVE some of the gorgeous chicken coops… can’t wait to hear more about your adventures with yours. Maybe it will give me the courage to go for it! -Holly

  13. Cy will have to build you an amazing chicken coop and mass produce to sell on the internet – so anyone can put them together. I’ve got all of the ideas huh?! :)

  14. Just started reading your blog, and oh, I pray I never get talked into chickens, lol! My son is an only child and we just adopted a dog for him, since he doesn’t have any siblings. He spread it on pretty thick, and now that he’s 11, he is able to do a lot of the care with us. So our zoo holds a dog, a cat, a fish and two hermit crabs. Good luck with your chicks … see, you aren’t the only “chick” there, but I doubt you’ll get princess dresses on those girls!

  15. Traci you crack me up!!! I love hearing your chicken stories. God bless your heart!
    2 of my 3 kids are boys so I get it!! We’ve had fish, hermit crabs, turtles and now 2 dogs.
    It’s ok to make decisions sometimes without planning ahead…. We all do it :) learning
    From these experiences is the key… And having fun along the way while doing it. :)
    You are a good momma to those boys!! Can’t wait to hear more about this adventure !!
    ( I would want them out of the house too once the smell got bad ) lol!!
    Bless you sweet lady. Keep us posted!

  16. After we got chicks 2 years ago, I swore we wouldn’t ever keep them in the house again. The dust is horrendous (the smell can be handled). Yet right at this moment, I’ve got 16 of them in my concrete bathroom again. The unpredictable spring weather makes it unwise to put them out in the coop just yet.

  17. We are in the same boat! We bought a coop off Craigslist for our seven girls. They are now 7 weeks old. My requirement was that coop had to be aesthetically pleasing and not look like a homeless person was camping in our yard!

  18. Don’t feel bad we did the same thing. We built a chicken tractor, so we could get them outsi de. It worked pretty good, you can move it all over the yard and could lock them up in the evening . That gave us time to work on the coop. Were still not done with the coop, but they were safe and warm all winter. ‘Were changing things we don’t like and adding another window. So hang in there things will work out.

  19. Our son had to keep his chicks in the garage in a large wooden box (3′ X 4′). I didn’t appreciate the smell in there either!!! When they were a month old they had to be moved to the coop. By the end of this time we had a thin dusty white coating over the whole garage! I would encourage you to move them elsewhere as soon as possible.

  20. I so badly wanted to post a comment when you wrote about getting the chicks and warn you about the smell, but I figured you wouldn’t want a total stranger spouting off stuff like that. Fresh eggs are awesome, but the taking care of grown chickens is dirty and smelly. I look forward to your future posts about life with chickens. =)

  21. Please never question your being a good mom. Anyone reading your blog for a while knows you are a great mom. My parents always said if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all! Everyone is different and live differently and all I’ve read and seen (in pictures) that you go 1 step beyond most moms to see that your boys grow to be ready for this busy world and I admire you greatly. I can’t wait to see the chicks grow into beautiful chickens. You go girl!

    1. I agree, Shirley. I just had to chime in here once more, as I was about to shut off my computer for the night, but felt convicted to respond in total agreement with you. Traci is good enough to open her heart and family and home to her readers. It is a shame when judgment and criticism occur instead of encouragement. This is why we, as Christians, must continue to lift one another up in all facets of our life–great or small–chicken coops and all. ;) We love you, Traci! I thank God for you and for your openness and honesty and your ability to do what’s right, even when it is hard. The easy thing would be to give them away; the “responsible” thing to do is to stay the course–now that is honorable, THAT is what makes a “teachable” moment regarding responsibility! Hey, life’s mishaps make the best stories!!! God Bless!!!

  22. Oh my, what a chuckle I got from reading your post! We can so relate! Although we don’t have chickens, we have dogs, who all went through their puppy phase, and we all know how that goes!

    Having animals is a lot of work, but so much fun and soooo rewarding (even though the poop situation sure can be stinky, lol). Sounds like the chicken coop is coming along, and will turn out great just like all of your beautiful projects! No worries, it’s all going to work itself out, and yes I have to agree with your other readers, you are a terrific mom for sure!!!

  23. The first time we got chickens we hatched them in an incubator. It was really neat! Once they had feathered out well we put them outside in a dog pen. We went out of town and had a friend watch them. Unfortunately, something (probably a coyote) dug under the pen and ate them all. I hated it. We have since bought more hens and have had no problems. We weren’t smart enough to put them in a coop the first time. This time we had one ready. Good luck!

  24. We got 3 chicks last year. We realized pretty quickly one was a lil’ roo and dumped him at the chicken swap. Then ended up with two ADORABLE, lil’ silkies. Who also turnes into roosters :( Traded for a for sure silkie hen. We’re almost at a year with our “backyard chickens”, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t say “I love my chickens!”.
    I also have four boys :) The older three didn’t care much about them, but my 8 yr old was and still is a HUGE helper!! He collects the eggs every day, waters and feeds them, and lets them out for their evening romp around the back yard. I’ve literally sat out in my backyard watching these silly girls for hours!! I’m at my computer in my room right now, starting out my window..watching them make a HUGE mess out of my flower beds :) :) And I love it!
    They poop bigger then my 3 dogs. Seriously, who knew it could get that big!?! I just finished “shoveling” chicken poop from in front of the back door.
    We live in town, and we have chickens! I say that to myself all the time. I love the experience my kids are having, even if they’re not THAT into it. Sure, I do most of the work. But, as moms…I think we know we’re going to when we take these things on. I just spent 30 mins raking out bedding, hosing down coop and refilling everything with hay and sand. And it doesn’t bother me one bit. I’d rather do that then laundry or dishes!! And every move I make..I have 3 chickens following me around. Begging for me to pet their little heads, give them a meal worm..or pick them up.
    So, enjoy!!!!!! And can’t wait to see what you build!! We have a cute, lil’ coop and planning our run next week. They need more room when I can’t let them free range!

  25. Oh, Traci! I got talked into chickens just over a year ago, so I hear you loud and clear! Mine lived in the breakfast nook, just off the kitchen, for over a month. Nasty little mess those rascals made.

    We also live in town with a smaller yard and they have taken over! Is it pathetic that we’re hoping to sell and move to the “country” so that our chickens can have more room? Forget the rest of us… its all about those crazy chickens now. Thankfully, our girls are learning valuable lessons about caring for others as well as biology, chemistry, earth science, math, nutrition, etc.

    While you might be shaking your head now, I imagine it will be a fun adventure, smiled upon for years!

    1. Too funny, Jen! Yes, those chickens need some more room, girl! Go buy them a bigger house! :)

      Cy and the boys were working on the coop tonight and Luke said, “Dad I will remember this the rest of my life!” They are loving this time with their dad building the coop.

      I’m so glad we got those darn little chickens!

  26. Oh my…Hilarious, sounds like something I would do! I cannot wait to hear more and eggs would be good!

  27. We get baby chicks every year. Both meat ones & also layers. This is what we do when they’re young. We put a kiddie pool in our garage with small wood chips or shavings. We have a heat lamp overhead so they will stay warm till their feathers really come in well & they are able to adapt to temperatures (it’s cold here in Michigan). Make sure they always have plenty of water because they will drink like crazy. We have the same feeder bin thing as you do too. The garage will stink till the chicks eventually go to the coop but its better if you put new bedding down every few days. You can put that right in the compost area. Good luck on your chicks!

    1. Thank you for your advice, Liz! Those chicks sure do grow fast! :)

      Cy has been working on the chicken coop the past two days. I think we should have it finished by the end of the week.


  28. Traci,

    Its all trail in error, and these are the times the boys will remember. I recall the time we had a duck. Needless to say the duck did not stay that long. We lived near the city, the duck went to relatives farm after a few days. The duck was very messy n camped out in our bath tub for a while. I can picture him to this day walking into the bathroom and a duck swimming in the tub! My mother did not realize how messy they where either! LOL I was 7 or 8 which you can tack on over 30 years and still can laugh about that duck n my mom. Never did find out what compelled my mom to bring a duck home, besides that she had a thing for them. I think for mothers day my dad picked up a ceramic white duck like the one we had for a few days. I still have that duck till this day.

  29. Thanks for sharing your chicken story with those who follow you! Boys plus chickens equal…….messes. Many happy messes!!! Such a fun time at your place I’m sure. I would love to be a little fly on your wall watching all the fun. Giving kids responsibility is NEVER a bad idea! You keep being the awesome “momma” you are!

  30. Hi Tracy,
    I love your blog!!! My husband and i have a large farm in GA. We have Hen houses actually. So my advice is if you have a tractor supply store near by or go online they have chicken coops that you can buy that are reasonably priced. Good luck!

  31. We did the same thing. I have 3 children and bought 4 new born chicks for Easter. I put them in the lanudry room sick using paper underneath until they were ready for the coop. My husband built a make shift one and then added to it. Eventually we’d let them out every day. They eat ticks, bugs, fleas and they love cat food. We have a cat who sleeps and feeds in the garage and who would get annoyed. They grow up to be loving and somewhat intelligent animals. They stay close by (free range) and at night they always head into the coop. On rainy afternoon while I was indoors hosting a ladies’s Silpadia party, a fox came and got all five of them. Who knew a fox could be that destructive, but she had a den with cubs close by and she was just taking babies. For years, we enjoyed the best brown eggs ever, every morning. I don’t regret it one bit! Also, the kids will remember. Our son is training to be a naval aviator (pilot) in the Marines and our daughter graduates from college this year and our youngest leaves for college next year. Enjoy the chicks and the children. Best!

  32. We’re in the same boat! Lots of boys, a bunch of chicks. I love how cute the boys are with our little chicks – who would have thunk! We moved our chicks (after they outgrew the laundry room sink and the Rubbermaid tub) into a plastic kiddie pool that we wrapped chicken wire around. Now they have a larger pen, and it’s much taller, too. Oh yeah, and we’re building the coop. Dad is taking care of the foundation, but the boys (I have three teens plus the small fry) will be learning how to frame and put up a building. I think I’m tired!

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