This post is a bit of a departure from our everyday content, but I hope you enjoy it! In case you’ve been living under a rock (aka not following my Instagram Stories), we’ve had backyard chickens for almost a year. I regularly share them on Instagram as #chickentv and have really come to love the humor and eggs that they bring to our life here at the tiny bungalow. So many of you have asked for help getting your own flock and which resources worked best for us as we were learning, so I thought it was about time for a blog post about them!
All About Our Backyard Chickens + Our Favorite Resources
The idea of chickens was planted in my mind when Sean gave me The Urban Farm Handbook last year for my birthday. It’s a really good overview to help you get started with any type of farming while living in a Pacific Northwest city, but what stood out to me the most was the chapter about chickens. From there, I started watching SO MANY YOUTUBE VIDEOS. Like, an embarrassing number of them. I found one channel in particular that sort of spoke to me… meet Becky’s Homestead.
I’m not gonna lie, Becky is kooky as all hell, but I learned so much from her as we pondered backyard chickens more and more. She has so many helpful videos about breed suggestions, how to care for chicks, and how to make a coop (here’s the entire playlist). We scored a free coop from a friend who had an extra — it’s the one that gets passed along from house to house as people get set up with chickens. After watching every single one of Becky’s chicken videos, we had our minds made up and decided to go to Portage Bay Grange here in Seattle to get our girls.
Around this time, I also started obsessing over Kate’s blog Drinking With Chickens, especially her Instagram. She has so many fancy chickens that I knew I had to copy her. I thought I’d be able to roll up with a list of the breeds I wanted and they’d have them, but nature doesn’t really work like that. They didn’t have any of the ones I’d researched online, so instead I just picked the chickens that looked cutest and fanciest to me. We decided to get pullets because we don’t have a garage where we could incubate chicks and, honestly, chicks felt like more trouble than we wanted (especially because I had just broken my leg). Pullets are a bit older and can handle being outside in the coop instead of having to be kept indoors with a heat lamp. Oh, and you get eggs sooner!
We started with 3 and have had a few… incidents so now we’re down to two: Nancy Kerrigan the Columbian Wyandotte (the white chicken) and Dorothy Hamill the Easter Egger (the brown chicken). I went with figure skater names just because I thought it would be funny, especially because they are fancy chickens! As we add more to the flock, I’ll keep naming them for skaters. I’m going to be honest with you, Nancy is my favorite chicken. She’s really chatty and nosy, always follows me around the yard, and even lets me hold her like a baby. She’s a unique bird, to say the least.
Dorothy is my consistent egg layer; I know that pretty much every day there will be an egg waiting for me… Nancy on the other hand seems to be on strike for whatever reason. That’s the thing with chickens, they are quirky. I could go on and on about the differences between each chicken. They definitely have their own personalities, which makes it even more fun to have them. Admittedly, Nancy is my favorite, as you can probably tell by the number of photos of her in this post!
The best part is the eggs… I can’t even express to you how good they taste. They are buttery and the yokes are bright orange. I also love how I know which chicken has laid which egg. Plus, it’s always fun to go out to the coop and see how many are waiting for me!
This spring we’re planning to get a new, much bigger coop and to add at least 3 more to our flock. I want wayyy more than 5 total, but Sean has pushed back on my obsession. We’ll see how many we end up with.
So to recap, here are some of my favorite resources for backyard chickens:
- The Urban Farm Handbook
- How to Speak Chicken
- The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens
- Becky’s Homestead
- Portage Bay Grange, if you’re local to Seattle
- Drinking With Chickens and her Instagram
And, honestly, just doing a Google search as questions arise has been super helpful for us. We’ve been pretty relaxed about getting chickens, so trust me when I say they are easy. Oh, and you HAVE to watch this documentary (I found it on Amazon Prime):
By no means am I a chicken expert at all, but I hope this is a good place for you to start! And you can always DM me on Instagram to ask about the girls, too. It’s ridiculous how these funny little creatures make me so happy, but they do. Every day I am delighted by them, even for the silliest reasons, so if you’re even slightly interested in getting your own flock I totally encourage you to do it!
photography by Jojotastic.