June 6, 2013

Lucy, Scarlett, Chiquita, and Bandita [Birthday Chickens]

Mitch brought home our first chickens about 13 years ago, along with Craig the Duck.
I remember having an assortment of chickens when I was pregnant with Johnathan (11 yeas ago.) 
And we had Pete the Rooster and a nice handful of Rhode Island Red hens for quite a few years, pictured here with Lilly when she was almost two, 7 years ago.  

We raised broiler chicks one year.  (We decided once was enough of that.)
We also raised pigs for five or six years earlier in the millennium. 
We've had guinea hens.   And many ducks.
For her fifth birthday, Lilly got four ducklings. 
(that story and more photos here)

But for some years now, our chicken coop has been empty.
I've sometimes thought that it's a shame to have a nice coop not being used. 
But there's this complex I have.. and it has to do with trends.
You see, when we had chickens before, it was still far from trendy.  (Mentioned here, handy if you're interested in getting to know a bit about our family.)
Chickens were just a rural thing, found on farms mostly.  People laughed at us.
Then it got popular..  like an actual urban and suburban trend.  Which are things I shy from. 
Did you know there are more chickens in the world than there are humans?  A complex, I tell you.
While I debated this conundrum- the waste of an empty coop and the rebellion of trends- my sister's family had jumped into hobby farming, and have been supplying us with farm fresh eggs by the dozens for the past year (a wonderful source!)  They also incubated & hatched out a boatload of chicks this spring. 
Lilly's birthday was this past week, and over the weekend they asked if she would be interested in some chicks for her birthday.
Boy, was she ever!

So - here it is, our same garden shed & coop, a little more weathered & in need of some upkeep.  (We built ours about a decade before Pinterest and all the super cute coop ideas became readily available.   It needs some freshening up.)

And nine-year-old Lilly, with her chickens.

Here is Lucy.

And Scarlett.   They are both sweet Buff Orpingtons.

Then we have two chicks that came from my nephew's little banty hen, Gracias.
They are Chiquita, the littlest one.

And little Bandita..  She's a beauty!  

The kids have parked their camp stools in the chicken coop and have been spending HOURS doting on these little chickens, from sun up to sun down.  They might end up the most socialized chickens ever.  When Lilly sits down, they all four hop on her lap.  And even on her head.  She has started wearing a hat.
They are entirely smitten with having critters in the old coop once again.
Trend or no trend, it's all good.


  1. Of course they are! We too had chickens and bunnies, sucks and geese, I just love geese but the calisi virus wiped out the bunnies, the chooks died of old age and ducks are not fox proof, nor are ducklings cat proof.
    Now I just feed two wild pigs,two kids,1 lamb and 5 cats while the are away for a few weeks. All the above are my married granddaughter's pets except the cats, only one of them is.
    We have one goose and her I love, also the elder of the pigs who gets lonely without human company and follows me about when I go down to feed the animals.
    Children and grownups need animal, they are cuddly and don't answer back.

    1. We have a fair amount of predators around, and have found too, that domestic ducks and guinea hens (who make a lot of noise, attracting attention) are not fox proof, or skunk, coyote, weasel, raccoon proof! Slowly we would lose one by one late in summer, finding just some feathers left.
      We're hoping our dog leaves these chickens alone. They haven't been let out of their run to free range yet. We'll wait until they're bigger.

  2. Wonderful story. I love the photo of Lilly kissing the duckling - such a pretty little dress too! Your chicken coop and garden shed look like a garden palace.

  3. Lilly looked just like herself as early as two. She is a wonderful and very lovely person. I am a little smitten with HER, thanks to you pictures and narration. I laughed out loud to think of her chicken hat. :-)

  4. Ha. I have to laugh. Amanda another contrarion like myself. For example I never know what to say when people go on and on about things like "reality" TV. Etc. By the way my grandchildren are raising chickens in the middle of the millions of people who comprise the Phoenix metropolis. Speaking of "trendy." I'm glad they were able to join 4H though and demonstrate...:)

  5. oh, that's awesome! really love that the kids love them (and vice versa). :)

  6. The pictures of Lilly when she was a little girl sure are cute, but she's a pretty girl now was well. It sounds as if all the children are happy to have the chickens, and it also sounds as if the chickens are happy to have company in the coop.

  7. Glad the old coop is being used again. Lilly looks happy to have chickens again. Cute photos!

  8. The new chicks are sooooo cute! Gosh, Lilly has really grown up! She looks so tall now. I love your chicken coop area and it seems like it will be the perfect home for your new additions.

  9. Oh My Goodness, As much as your kids LOVE the chickens, it is a good thing that you got them... Those will be the most spoiled chickens in the world. I love it!!!!!

    Cute chickens and cute names. Hope you can keep them safe.

  10. Oh how I smiled to your "socialized chicken" - they're a lucky & happy crowd, giving such a joy to you children :) So nostalgic to see Lilly as a toddler, and now being tall and responsible, caring for her chickens! Those races with dark feathers are new to me, very pretty indeed.
    Do post more photos of them and Lilly :)

  11. Oh my goodness, they are so so cute!! Especially that last one, I have had several like her and they were always my favorites (shh, don't tell the others!)because while yes they are beautiful they were also always really nice and social able and that usually makes the perfect chicken :) I loved these and I can't wait to see more!

  12. The attention the kids are giving these chicks is so sweet! I have always rebelled against the trendy flow...I get really defensive, almost, at the people who think they just discovered recycling or "re-purposing" (I even dislike the terms given to some things!!) We set up a recycling system when you kids were small, early '80s...and we taught you all to care for the world around you...& the payback is wonderful in that you are passing this on to your kids! As for "re-purposing"...well, we, along with a host of people who don't like to waste, have been thinking up new uses for old things all our lives! Not necessarily a new thought. Anyway, enough of that...the pictures of Lilly are wonderful and she is an excellent keeper of the chickies!

  13. I'm a trend rebeller also. If everyone is doing it, you can pretty much count on me running in the opposite direction. The chickens are awfully darn cute though!

  14. They're beautiful and I just love how socialized they're becoming! : )