Backyard Chicken Update

We can’t believe the fluffy bits of down I wrote about a few weeks ago are now fully-feathered, chicken-shaped girls.  With the help of my amazing dad Jerry, who worked hard with me here while Tom was in Ethiopia and Senegal, our coop is finished. We think it’s pretty wonderful.  We’ll post a coop tour and plan later, but for now just a few photos, and chick-news:


Above are the two Barred Rock chicks, Esmeralda and Lucy, now nearly six weeks old, along with Chrysanthemum the Rhode Island Red.  As a discerning observer you may perhaps notice that Lucy’s comb looks awfully large and red for such a little girl.  You’d be right.  Lucy turned out to be a rooster, now re-named “Jehosephat” by Claire.  Roosters are illegal in the city, and Lucy/Jehosephat was relocated just this morning to her new home on the rural eastside.

When I started noticing Lucy’s impending rooster-ness, I added two tiny Buff Orpington chicks to our flock.  This is one of my favorite breeds, and I was glad to have space for them.  Here are Buttercup and Marigold, now three weeks old.


All the chicks have moved into the coop, but for now the young Buffs are kept separate in the Chicken Guantanamo area beneath the structure.  The older chicks still peck at them a lot, and they’re a bit small to hold their own.  The big girls sleep in the coop, and I bring the young ones in at night.


We love our coop, and so do the chicks.  Here’s Esmeralda in the chicken-door.


We’re slowly introducing the young Buff Orpingtons to the older girls.


We chose heritage breeds known both for their fine egg-laying and friendly, docile temperaments.  Now that the crazy rooster is gone, all our chicks are super-sweet.  I have every faith that they will soon live in chicken-harmony.

Why are we doing this?  See my recent post on city chicks and chickenomics…


  1. So glad to have found a fellow Seattlelite with a chicken (and urban gardening) blog. What a lovely website you have! Our ‘girls’ are a few weeks behind yours and it’s so nice to see what they will morph into, in just a few short weeks.

    On a slighly different note, I was reading your post about the dive bombing crows and had a similar occurance in our yard a few days ago. Except that it wasn’t us that the crows were bombing. We put the scope on their nest and discovered a raccoon sitting in the nest, licking his chops. He was dining on baby crow. To add insult to injury, he then proceeded to take a nap (for the rest of the day!) in the crow’s nest. What gumption.

  2. Clairissa

    Hi,I’m in the uk.have a blue and a leghorn,limited area for roaming ,does an Orpington need a lot of area to free range? Is it ok to just have one and introduce it?

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