The Grandchicks are Here!

A few short weeks ago I gave a dozen hatching eggs to a friend of the family with the hopes she would hatch at least one fluff ball from the batch. So far, two chicks have made their way into the world with a few more starting to break through their shells! It is so fun to know my chickens were responsible for this new generation of feathered babies. Here they are trying to break through their shells!

I’m not experienced when it comes to incubating eggs, but you have to appreciate just how quickly chicks develop and hatch in just a short 21 days. Incubators are meant to mimic the environment a mother hen would create for her developing babes: temperature controlled, humidity controlled, and turning the eggs at least twice a day. You essentially become the mother hen! A close eye is kept on the incubator to be sure everything stays in proper working order so as not to lose your potential hatch to error.

Photo courtesy of

Are you wondering what my grandchicks look like? Here are the first two to hatch!

How stinking adorable are these two? As you can see, one is white and the other black. I was told the white nugget has fluffy feet and the black nugget has a white belly. The exact breed is unknown for now as there are a few roos in with my girls. The little white one could perhaps be an Olive egger, Easter egger, or Brown layer and there is a good chance the black chick could be a Black Copper Maran! Regardless, the tiny lives that came to be after a quick 21 days is entirely fascinating. Not to mention, they made me a chicken grandma!


Three more grandchicks have arrived! Here they are warming up!


Winter Tips For Your Feathered Friends

img_1429Has this winter dragged it’s feet or what? Living in Michigan, all of us have survived our fair share of terrible winters. Some years are a walk in the park and we barely get enough snow for a white Christmas. Other years we make sure the cellar is stocked in case we need to survive off of canned meat for 3 months. No matter how terrible or how long winter decides to grace us with its presence, we Michiganders trudge through it the best we can.

The Chickie Babes have never been fond of these Michigan winters. The OG Chickie Babes have survived two years worth of freezing temps, molting, short days and long, cold nights. The younger bunch got a taste of what they’re in for! Much like their older counterparts, they refuse to come out of the coop if they see the blanket of white on the ground. It’s been a long winter for me as well… shoveling their runs out, replacing frozen water sometimes several times a day, and apologizing for all the mumble grumbles I hear when I check on the flocks. Word to the wise…or to the future/new chicken parent- invest in warm clothes for chicken chores! This past year I asked for overalls and a coat so I could do all of my chicken duties without turning into a popsicle. Best Christmas present I could have asked for!


I don’t consider myself a chicken expert by any means. Most everything I have learned has been through my own research and a lot of trial-and-error. If there is anything I could recommend for the new or future chicken parent- it is to prepare yourself as best you can prior to getting your chicks! This way you are in the best position to provide a safe and healthy environment for your chickie babes. For any new chicken mom or chicken dad out there that is wondering what in the heck you’re going to do when cold weather hits, here are my suggestions!

  • IMG_2539Your coop is your flock’s protection from the elements. Ventilation is absolutely necessary, but you also want to be sure the windows and doors close tightly to minimize cold wind drafts blowing through the coop at night.
  • Bedding can help a lot with insulation! Be sure to keep a thick,
    fresh layer of bedding in the coop. If the ground in the run is covered in snow and ice, throwing down some straw or pine shavings in the run can help prevent frost-bitten chicken toes. For my own flock, they seem to recognize pine shavings as “safe” to walk on, so they are more likely to come out of the coop on those cold winter days when there is a layer of pine shavings in their run. (Or maybe my flock is just sassy and ridiculous).
  • img_0557Heat lamp vs. no heat lamp For those full-grown chickens who don’t require a heat lamp for survival anymore, there are mixed opinions about whether a heat lamp is safe or necessary to use during those freezing cold nights/days. I can tell you I don’t have a huge opinion one way or another, and some might tell you absolutely no heat lamp in the coop because it poses a fire risk. I HAVE used a heat lamp on occasion for the OG chickie babes as my guilty conscience made me do it. The OGs were in the thick of their molt and their feathers were essentially non-existent. I stopped using the heat lamp once they fluffed back up. Chickens are very cold-hardy for the most part and can do just fine through those cold nights without an extra heat source. Let them out, even on those cold days. Keep the bedding fresh, make sure they are well-fed and hydrated and those cold nights will be no problem!
  • IMG_5208Winter dust bathing can be an issue, especially when the ground is frozen! Chickens need dust baths to keep themselves free of mites and lice. I use a large, shallow storage tub filled with play sand (found at Lowe’s) and a cup of food-grade DE (found at TSC). It didn’t take long for my flocks to recognize their make-shift dust baths!
  • img_0569Frozen water is a pain in the butt, but there a several ways to conquer this! I have tried an electric heating base but found this to be more of a hassle with having to drag an extension cord out and have it hooked up to the electricity all day and night. There’s another method of using a salt water solution to help keep the water from freezing that some have found to be successful as well. I settled on using rubber water bowls (found at Tractor Supply near the goat/horse section) and I have liked this method the best. The rubber allows some flexibility to the bowl and when the water freezes solid, I can turn it over and give it a good kick to free the ice. Then I just refill the bowls with fresh water from a 5 gallon bucket I keep by the house and fill up before I head out to the coops.
  • img_0582Frozen eggs are no fun! Collect your eggs a few times throughout the day to be sure you get them before they freeze and crack open!

I hope some or all of these tips helped you plan ahead! Thank goodness warmer days are ahead of us. Spring is slowly creeping back in and my chickens are so looking forward to the sunshine and warm days. If you have questions or comments, please contact me using the contact button below. Good luck- Wishing you a happy, healthy flock!

Just Call me, “Granny Chickie Babe”

EGG-citing news here on the Chickie Babes homestead! Did the title give it away? Fingers and toes crossed because I might be a chicken grandma!

IMG_4417I sound ridiculous, I know. I am totally okay with being the crazy chicken lady because as I’ve found out, there are many other crazy chicken ladies just like me! Some I am fortunate enough to call friends and others I have met because we share a love and passion for all things chicken. Believe it or not, there is a whole community of us out there whose day revolves around opening and closing up the coop. Who give their hens motivational speeches through the dead of winter so they know warmer days are coming. A community that has to walk the outer edges of Tractor Supply during chick days to avoid making eye contact with the baby chicks. Who see sheds, shacks, and even old outhouses and think, “Man, that would make a good chicken coop.”

IMG_4340We save leftovers for our flocks, watch them scratch and peck around for cheap entertainment, and always do a headcount before bed. If anything seems the slightest bit “off,” we have already researched every chicken ailment imaginable so we can do what is necessary to keep our feathered babies healthy. Need to know how to perform a bumblefoot surgery? I can help you. How to treat potential respiratory illness? I have a few suggestions. Possible Marek’s disease? Well, let’s hope it’s not. Lice, mites, worms? Sounds disgusting, but it’s a reality, and prevention is important! Egg bound? The kitchen sink turns into a chicken sitz-bath. Pasty butt? Mom will clean your bottom. Our flock has become in one way or another a reflection of ourselves, and we want happy, healthy chickens!

cropped-img_4074.jpgSo let’s talk about me becoming Granny Chickie Babe! As I’ve mentioned, becoming a chicken mom has put me in contact with so many wonderful chicken-people. If this blog or perhaps my Instagram  haven’t done anything else for me, they have at least given me a platform to hopefully inspire one person to start a hobby of their own! Today was one of those days where I had the chance to meet a fellow chicken lover, gardener, and hopeful-homesteader. She has followed my blog (how cool!!) and happened to be pointed in my direction by a family friend for potential Black Copper Maran hatching eggs. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I have not ventured down the path of incubating my own eggs quite yet, so I wasn’t quite sure how to respond when she contacted me about hatching eggs! Long story short, I saved up a dozen of my darkest BCM eggs for her to incubate… Thus making me a (fingers crossed) CHICKEN GRANDMA!


Meeting others who share similar passions and interests in homesteading makes my heart smile. I love to hear about other’s dreams and hobbies and share my own, too. I have only recently ventured into the whole “eat what you grow, grow what you eat” thing, so I welcome with open arms any opportunity to pick someone else’s brain about their own homesteading adventures! The most wonderful thing with homesteading is it can be as big or as small as you make it. IMG_5123It can be a few chickens or hundreds. It can be a small garden or several acres of green houses. It can be goats, ducks, cows, or whatever else you raise whether you have two or twenty. You can be a stay-at-home mom or work a full-time job and enjoy being a “homesteader.” It is a way of life that is fueled by self-sufficiency, getting your hands dirty, and enjoying what nature can provide us if we nurture the environment and have a little patience. With that being said, I will patiently wait to hear news on my future chickie-grandbabies as their new chicken mom begins her journey with incubating those eggs!

Mysterious Olive Egg

IMG_5088Magic has happened on the Chickie Babes homestead! A mysterious olive egg has started showing up in the hatch box, and I honestly couldn’t tell you who is laying it! I had lost all hope for an olive egg layer when my shipment of 19 chicks (all the way from Florida) turned out to be darn near 50/50 split between roos and hens. From what I could tell, the small amount of olive eggers (OEs) I received all appeared to be roos… as my good friend, Jackie would say– RATS!! I was a little bummed out as I had high hopes for my future egg rainbow. But like any “normal” chicken mom/chicken lover/crazy chicken lady, a light bulb went off in my head: Keep a few roosters, and eventually hatch my own OEs! Sometimes I really blow my own mind with the ideas I get. HATCH my own chicks… It was common sense, really.

IMG_5099IMG_5104Before all of you think I’m taking this blog post in a whole different direction, let me just put it out there I am not quite ready to hatch my own chicks! As little will power as I have when it comes to those sweet little peepers, I am holding myself back with every ounce of my being to not buy an incubator this spring. I’m the type of chicken mom that will start off incubating a handful of eggs knowing darn well I wouldn’t be able to resist incubating more and more. I am blessed with chicken math and 5 chicks will turn into 50 and then 150 and, well, you get the picture. I’m not sure my coops would accommodate hundreds of chickens and hubby would shut down my entire operation if I attempted to do so. This spring will be the first with my young hens laying and I am going to enjoy seeing the beautiful colors they produce! They have already amazed me with the their chocolates, freckles, greens, pinks, blues, and now olive!

You might be wondering how an olive egger lays an olive-green egg. OEs are not actually a specific “breed” of chicken but rather a cross between a dark brown egg-layer (like my black copper marans) and a blue or green egg-layer (like my easter eggers). Not quite rocket science, but genetics really. Interestingly enough, all eggs start out as white and depending on the hen’s genetics, the color gets deposited as the egg travels through the oviduct. Because of the genetics of an OE, the shell itself has a blue tint to it from the easter egger genetics with a brown overlay from the black copper maran genetics- resulting in the olive color! Viola! Chicken magic at its finest!




Spring is Coming!

Who else is excited for Spring?! I know I certainly am. Every year winter seems to start a month earlier and end a month or two later. I’m convinced this is some sort of reverse global warming and pretty soon we will be seeing mammoths and sabertooth tigers roaming the back fields.

I personally wouldn’t mind going a few years back to the Jurassic period- except the dinosaurs would live in harmony with us humans, and chickens would actually be a thing. I’d farm chickens and have a pasture full of triceratops… Trust me, I’ve already put a lot of thought into this!

I used to think I’d grow up to be a archaeologist and dig up dinosaur bones deep in the desert. I actually reconsidered visiting that childhood dream when farmers dug up an entire mammoth just down the road a few years back! I begged hubby to bring home an excavator to dig through our corn field, but no such luck. A girl can dream….

The reality is, my chickens want nothing to do with the snow. They remind me everyday their ancestors were not from the ice age and they did NOT sign up for this sh*t. I have a solid understanding of “chicken talk” now and pretty sure half of the things they say to me are not very nice. I shovel the snow out of their run and make little paths for them to follow around the yard, but my efforts are never good enough. They desperately want Spring to get here, and so do I.

The young chickie babes started to lay right before winter hit. I got a few green eggs and chocolate eggs from my black copper maran ladies, but egg production came to a halt once the cold weather was here to stay. The OG chickie babes went into full-fledged molting mode for the second year in a row right in the dead of winter. They looked pitiful! But after a month or so they grew new feathers and are back to laying big, beautiful, tasty fresh eggs.

I am so excited for Spring and all the beautiful colors the girls will lay! If you are interested in fresh chickie babes eggs, don’t hesitate to contact me, I would love to share with you! IMG_5040.jpg

Chicken Motherhood & Rooster Grief

Where have I been?!

Good news: I have 14 days off before I begin the LAST semester of my Nurse Practitioner program! I went MIA on this blog as school, clinical, and work completely owned my life the past couple months. It was hard to gather my thoughts with such a full schedule! I will say I finished the semester off strong and I am ready to power through these next 4 months!

Let’s catch up on my chickie babes! They are SO big now! I’d like to think they love me as much as I love them, but I believe most of their interest in me is largely because I’m always giving them treats. I’m fairly certain they correlate my high pitched “hellos” with left over garden vegetables and bread.

I have ONE new chicken that has began to lay a beautiful light green egg. I have opened up the hatch boxes but she still insists on laying her egg in the corner of the coop. I am in the midst of painting the hatch boxes bright, cheerful colors in hopes the girls will appreciate my efforts and lay big, beautiful, colorful eggs. Add some curtains in the mix and they will basically have the Ritz Carlton of all hatch boxes to lay in. Spoiled girls…

My roosters began to crow a few weeks ago. Their first efforts at crowing were so comical! It was hard not to laugh at the pitiful squawks but they quickly perfected their talents and let the whole neighborhood know it. Like typical men, competition was inevitable and each afternoon there was a crow-off in my back yard. Big Red and Fiona took home the prize most often, but the Black Copper Marans certainly gave it their all.

As any chicken owner would tell you, keeping the peace with roosters when you have 15 in one coop is basically impossible. I have dreaded the day where I had to re-home my roos as I knew they would more than likely end up in someone’s chicken soup. Today was the day I had to say goodbye to 11 of my handsome roos. To say it was a sad day is an understatement. I am almost willing to say today was traumatizing. I did not like the feeling of watching my roosters leave my possession. They were my sweet little chicks just a few months ago. I nurtured and raised them into what they are now, and I feel I failed them by having to give them away.

I truly enjoy every one of my chickens whether they be sweet, silly, shy, cranky, bossy, or feisty. But keeping that many roos was proving to be difficult and very stressful for the hens. My roosters were becoming possessive of their certain favorite hens and were not too fond of their male counterparts. I hated having to gather them up. I hated knowing they were scared. I felt and still feel guilty, sad, and quite frankly sick to my stomach. I have a small amount of comfort knowing the farmer they went to is going to get good use from them. I really did enjoy my roosters. I wish I could have kept them all.

It will be an adjustment period these next few days, but I am hopeful the grief I am experiencing will get better. I am going to cherish my dear chickie babes and work through the many new emotions and experiences I am having as a chicken mom. As for tonight though, I think I will enjoy a large glass of wine, watch the many videos I took of my roosters, and cry myself to sleep to lessen the heartbreak!

Until I write again my dear friends!

Life, veggies, and chicken poop.

The countdown is on. Only 177 days until I graduate from my Nurse Practitioner program and boy am I feeling the jaws of grad school clamping down! We have somehow managed to squeeze in enough time to get the new chicken run up and running, plant some flowers and get my vegetable garden going inbetween clinical days, class days, work days, and volunteer days. Oh, and as if hubby and I weren’t crazy busy (or just crazy) enough, we started renovating our downstairs!

It will all be ok. Woo-sah. (*Rubs ear lobe).

I won’t bore all of you with the details regarding grad school. I’m sure a lot of you have experienced this first-hand and just those two simple words, “grad school,” makes your stomach turn over and you get a little acid reflux. Long story short, I’m what they call an “adult learner” now, meaning you don’t get to live at home with mom and pops and have your dinner cooked for you and no bills to pay while you go to school. Oh no. You get to navigate a marriage, a mortgage, fur babies, feather babies and a career while sacrificing free time, friends, family, and basically- your sanity. For those of you who are conquering or have conquered “adult learning” while having kiddos- YOU are the real MVPs. I don’t know how you do it.

The new Chickie Babes are young adults now and they are quite the spectacle. They are delighted to have their run built so they can dust bathe and scratch around in the soil. I have even heard my silkie rooster, Fiona crow a few times! Yes, his name is Fiona, and it suits him well. He’s confident and sassy, and is every bit of a Fiona now as he was when I thought he was a hen. The other roosters have not begun to crow yet, but I imagine it will be quite entertaining when they achieve this milestone. A new roo crowing sounds quite pitiful. It’s more of a squawk than it is a crow. I’ve had to reassure Fiona that I am laughing WITH him, not AT him when he attempts to crow…

Ok, let’s talk veggies. Fresh, home grown, garden veggies. I was all amped up to start my veggies from seeds for my first go-around with this whole gardening thing. However, because I tend to obsess over homestead-related projects, I decided to wait it out and get veggies that were ready to plant. Even though I feel like I am somehow cheating the system, I am glad I went this route. 

Mom and hubby were rock stars when it came to helping me get my veggies planted. Mom, as you know from previous posts, is a green thumb when it comes to all things garden related. She spent the afternoon with me teaching me about each veggie and what their preferences are. Hubby scored me a truck bed full of horse manure to till into the soil, and also shoveled all of it out of the truck bed for me. All of this help and hard work with tilling the soil, planting, watering, and weeding has paid off! I now have a few yellow squash, zucchinis, lettuce and tomatoes sprouting with beans, peas, cucumbers, and peppers not too far behind. It’s rewarding to watch something you have planted and nourished begin to grow. My only hope is to have an abundance of veggies to share with family and friends!

As bummed out as I was from not starting my veggies from seeds, I have recently discovered a better alternative… chicken poop. Yup. Chicken poop! Would you believe I stumbled upon more than 10 tomato plants in the OG chicken run? After calling my mom in total disbelief, she helped me figure out how these got there. I feed the OGs cherry tomatoes as treats all the time, they absolutely love them. Well, a combination of their chicken poop and tilling the soil in their run this spring led to planting the tomato seeds from their poop and sprouting some tomato plants! This is true organic gardening if you ask me… Ha!

Finally, a brief mention of our home renovation… We have waited two years to begin renovating the downstairs of our home. Our old farm house came fully equipped with all of the bright red carpet, plaster, and ceiling fans you could ever hope for. Can’t say I’m going to miss any of these things! Each room was also conveniently separated by a wall so as not to confuse the mud room from the kitchen from the dining from the living room. All of these walls are going! Hello, open floor plan! I can not wait to see the end result, even if it takes us half a light year to finish!

So now I am just trying to power through these clinical hours, continue to grow my veggies and admire my flower garden, and tip toe around my home so as not to step on a nail. Life is busy, but life is good. I have a hubby who means more to me than words could ever explain, a happy home, and hopefully more cherry tomatoes than anyone could ever need. 

Coop Palace Progress, Let There Be Light!

Boy do I love my husband.

I’m reporting to you live from my Coop Palace where hubby is currently up in the rafters wiring five new lights. He’s no electrician but he is a go-getter when it comes to DIY projects. In his own words, “Either it’s going to work or I’ll get electrocuted.” Touché, young grasshopper. Touché.

So here I sit, handing him tools, staples, and wire nuts when he needs them and admiring his hard work. Over the past couple weeks he has framed in the roost area, built a beautiful door mostly out of recycled wood, and finished two hatch boxes. Of course these things didn’t come without a few miscalculations and more than a handful of swear words. We even dodged a trip to the ER. (I’ll save that story for last). I will say compared to previous mishaps, hubby handled himself with such grace and poise this time around! (If you can imagine what that looked like…)

It all started with the door. In a perfect world, the door should have fit nicely into the door frame, but of course this old *rather cute* barn is living on a slant and nothing is level. We carried this whopper of a door over to the coop and put it in its place… *Shoot.* The door wouldn’t close. Hubby tried muscling it a few times… nope. Wasn’t fitting. A few hard hits with the sledge hammer to the door frame and still no luck. I ain’t a builder but I know when something ain’t fittin’…

So to solve the door problem, we are going to go straight hillbilly-builder on ya’ll and shave off some wood with a planer to make it fit. Problem solved.

Next comes the hatch boxes. Aren’t they the best hatch boxes you ever did see?! I love them, and they are exactly how I asked hubby to build them. I love when he brings my ideas to life!

Anyways, the darn hatch boxes… Hubby got all excited to build, build, build and he didn’t take into account how they would fit into the wall. He had to take down the frame and wall he put up on one side of the coop and reframe it to accommodate my hatch boxes. A pain in the butt, but I’d say he handled himself with class. Crisis averted on my end of things. Whew.

HOWEVER. This was also the portion of the project where I dodged a bullet (or should I say NAIL… TWICE).

Let me preface this by saying hubby is fearless. He gets his power tools fired up and there will be saw blades flying, staples flinging, nails shooting and zero shits given. He works quickly and he gets into a groove. Sometimes he asks me to help him by holding things while he saws, or staples, or nails and I quickly jump in so I don’t ruin his mojo. And today that meant my hand was almost nailed to my chicken coop not once, but twice.

If you’re picturing a hammer and a nail, you are sadly mistaken. I was almost nailed to my coop with a framing nailer. In my opinion you should be required an 8 hour framing-nailer safety course and be licensed to use one of these things. They are powerful and shed no mercy on whatever body part may be in its way should it accidentally be aimed inappropriately. Knowing as little as I do about framing-nailers, I knew enough to tell hubby had missed his marked when I felt the nail graze my hand…

I let out a high-pitched squeal, as I had every right to do, and his eyes got as big as softballs. I shook it off and trusted hubby to hit his mark the second time around. I bravely held the 2×4 in place again….

WHAT THE HECK, KYLE?! I felt another scrape and heard the nail hit the ceiling as he missed his mark a second time.

I quit my wifely 2×4 holding duties after that attempt. He proceeded to hold the 2×4 himself and shot off a third nail which stuck him in the side of his hand far enough to draw blood. He’s tough, though. He laughed about it and continued on…

My Coop Palace is just a few odds and ends shy of being finished and I can’t help but smile… everything about it is more perfect than I could have ever imagined! Hubby doesn’t half-ass anything, and that’s another thing I admire about him.

And now I can proudly say hubby is a self-proclaimed electrician! My coop has 5 new working lights! (Nobody was electrocuted).

I’ll end this post with what hubby just said, because it sums up his hard work perfectly. “Today was a good day.”


Let what you love be what you do. 


“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

This cliche has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I decided to sit back and think about WHAT it is I LOVE to do, and how can I turn this into WHAT I do…

Squirt. Seriously, how cute is she?!

As many of you know, I am a nurse. I make a living out of caring for complete strangers and their families. I see people when they are vulnerable and often times feeling defeated. I have listened to people contemplate life, wonder what they could have done differently, who they could have spent more time with, and what they wish they could go back and change. I’ve rejoiced in good news, held hands in prayer, hugged-it-out, danced-it-out, and cried-it-out. Nursing has opened my eyes to the miracles and sometimes harsh realities of life. It is a profession I have come to love, and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to continue my education within this profession and become a future Nurse Practitioner.

What else do I love?

Chickens. (Bet you saw that coming.)


I also love my dogs, I love my yard, I love my back deck, and I love our front porch. I love how the sun sets over our field, and when the sandhill cranes show up in the backyard every spring. I love the rumble of tractors driving up and down our road, and I even love the occasional scent of cow manure that lingers down from the Howe’s farm. I love just being HOME. I’m content here. I’m happy, and relaxed. It’s where I love to be.

Here’s my DREAM…

“Samantha Sherwood, homesteader.”

When you’re done laughing, hear me out. If you pictured me falling off the grid and regressing back to no electricity, pumping my own water from a well, and washing my clothes in the mill pond down the road, I’m going to need to you to relax a little. Homesteading can look quite differently to many people. To some it’s having a large farm with cows and baling hay…. Others may have a few plants on their back deck to can their own vegetables. To me, it’s all about learning to live more simply, to the best of my ability. Chickens have represented a small part of the self-sustainability I’m working towards. There are so many areas of life to be made more “simple,” and I think chickens were a darn good start.


I felt settled in to my chicken mom role this year and was ready to take on my next self-sustainability project. I planted my very first vegetable garden! Thanks largely in part to my fabulous parents, I learned how to man the Rota-Tiller, how to organize my vegetables based off of how they grow, and even planted them in fairly straight rows. Hubby scored me some horse manure to help fertilize the soil. I have to say, there’s nothing sexier than my hunky-hubby shoveling manure out of our 99′ Ford pick-up truck. (I digress…)

With any luck, one of my veggie plants will survive and I will get a cucumber or zucchini out of it! I may have been a tad over-zealous with how many I planted for a first-timer, but this will only increase my odds of getting a veggie or two!

This is what I love about the idea of homesteading. Taking on different tasks as you are comfortable. Learning new ways to increase your abilities to be self-sufficient. Celebrating your successes, and learning from your mistakes. This vegetable garden represents one step in the direction I hope to continue going. I may even learn how to can my own vegetables by the end of this summer! Check that box off my self-sustainability list! (That’s IF my garden turns out to be a success. My fingers and toes are crossed!)

Slowly but surely I will continue to learn the “old-fashioned” ways of living. There are no deadlines and I can take on new (exciting) challenges at my own pace. I like the progress I am making and I have to say I am learning a heck of a lot along the way. (Such as peppers don’t like to be buried deep in the soil, but tomatoes do. Thanks, Mom).

So there you have it. That is WHAT I love to do. I love to be home. I love the idea of self-sustainability. So I want to make this WHAT I do.

Perhaps you will be inspired to think about what it is YOU love to do. Small changes add up. Before you know it, your dream will have become your reality! My dream began with chickens.

Oh, and if you took time from your day to read my last blog, you’ll be happy to know my hostas are growing back!

Until next time, my dear chickie babe followers. Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Spring Blooms and Little Chickie Babes

My mother has a green thumb.

Actually, I think all of my mother’s fingers are green. Perhaps her toes, too. She’s THAT good with flowers and anything gardening related. She knows every type of flower I could ever think of, as well as when to plant it, how much sunlight it needs, if it is an annual or perennial, and other tidbits only an experienced gardener would know. She loves lillies. And poppies. And I want to say zennias, too. Or maybe that is my dad. Dad doesn’t like lilacs, but mom does. I like lilacs, also. They smell nice. At least better than fresh cow manure that ripens the air around these parts. And boy let me tell you, it gets pretty RIPE at times.


When I think of my mom, I think of tulips and irises, moon flowers and tall grasses, hostas (that are always getting ate by the deer and rabbits), lillies of course, sunflowers and cosmos… petunias and daisies. Flowers are kind-of my mom’s thing and she does a darn good job at it.

Then there’s me.


I planted hostas around the chicken coop last summer. I got them half dead and super cheap from Meijer. The guy working the outdoor area asked me if I was sure I wanted to purchase them “in that condition.” Yes, buddy. You think those withering, brown leaves scare me? No. Because regardless, that’s likely how they’ll end up. I have zero expectations when it comes to gardening. Zero. No expectations equals no hurt feelings.


I absolutely love watching spring unfold around our new home. This will be our second spring here and I forgot how lovely everything looks when it’s not covered in three feet of snow! I also forgot how much dog-poo accumulates in the yard throughout winter. And how annoying those helicopter things are that fall from our maple tree and cover our deck. Hubby begins his seemingly never-ending cycle of picking up sticks and mowing the lawn with equal parts of complaining about picking up sticks and mowing the lawn. Boxelder bugs are sneaking in through our windows and Boomer won’t stop eating them. Two trees in our back yard randomly fell a few days ago. The chickens occasionally poop on the concrete patio. BUT, as for the half-dead hostas I got last summer? They GREW BACK!

Then my chickens ate them.




Don’t get me wrong, I really do love everything about spring-time and being a homeowner… yard work, dog-poo, and hosta-eatin’ chickens included. I am thankful for longer days and warmer weather. For being able to study on the back deck in the fresh air. To watch the sandhill cranes arrive in our back field and spend the spring/summer hanging around the yard. I love watching the OG chickie babes scratch and hunt for bugs and dust bathe beneath the trees out back. The dogs run full speed chasing each other in the field and I swear they have smiles on their faces. Our crimson king we planted last year for our one year “house-iversary” has buds on it and I couldn’t be more excited to watch it grow as we live here! And, my most favorite thing about spring? BABY CHICKS!


The newest little chickie babes are growing, growing, growing! All 19 of them… They are still fairly small and I can fit two of them in one of my palms. It is such a fulfilling, delightful feeling. Two little fuzzy peepers sitting in your palm, staring at you. Their warm little bodies and soft down feathers paired with those adorable little chirps makes my heart melt every time.


The light chickie babe is one of my olive eggers. I am hoping she will grow to lay beautiful olive-colored eggs to add a unique pop of color to the browns and whites. The black chickie babe is one of my black copper marans. She will grow to lay a “chocolate” egg… a deep, dark brown color that is almost too pretty to crack open! I love watching these happy chicks grow and gain their own personalities. They put a smile on my face and give me something to look forward to each and every day! I am one happy chickie mom!