To catch you up on the chicken saga…After waiting for my much-anticipated chickens and receiving the crushing news that there would be a two- or three-week delay in the delivery of my chickens, I giddily came up with a Plan B: I would get baby chicks from the local Amish market!

Plan B had two distinct advantages aside from the obvious advantage of instant gratification. One, I would get a chance to bond with the chicks from a very early age, getting them accustomed to my voice, hands and constant companions, two yappy little dogs, as they grew into their full chicken-hood. Two, I could get them settled into their new home before I was distracted with a period of enforced quiet due to personal circumstances.

I found three wonderful little chicks at the market and subsequently asked the Omlet people to hold off on sending any other chickens until I gave the word that I was prepared–perhaps even as late as early spring. “A-okay” was the word from them.

Apparently, they forgot to pass the word along to the hatchery.

Yesterday, I received a surprise phone call from the local post office that I had some chickens waiting for pickup. What? I didn’t ask for any chickens right now!

To add to the surprise, I did not receive three white leghorn chickens that the Omlet people assured me would be just right for me, but three very large brown chickens that I believe are chestnut rangers.

These three ladies arrived full of attitude. These were not the cute little chicks that I had grown accustomed to in the past three weeks. These are chickens. Nearly full-grown BIG chickens. They look ready to start laying eggs any minute now!

After I pried them out of their box, they had many chicken stories to tell of their travels. Mostly, they wanted lunch.

The poor babies Minnie Ruth and Olivia, who I was not able to catch prior to releasing the three new hens due to the configuration of the chicken run, quickly retreated to a corner where I was able to capture them. They are back in their playpen for now where they wouldn’t be pecked to death.

Now, you may be wondering, what am I going to do with three big chickens and two baby chicks? Answer: I don’t know.

You may also be wondering what I am going to name the new chickens since two of the three names I had previously chosen are now in use? Answer: I don’t know. I suspect one will be named Maxine 2 or Too Maxine or some much in memory of my lost Polish chick.

My husband and son seem enamored of the idea of naming one of the chickens for Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers. Silly men. That won’t happen.

In the meantime, we are just settling in for a good heavy rain and a big blow. The chickens put themselves to bed early in anticipation of the storm–even before the clouds started rolling up. I managed to entice them outside with some plump tomatoes and lettuce for a quick photo shoot. They are now looking warily at the sky as they have their evening salads.

And so the chicken saga continues…

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  • Congratulations on the delivery of more chickens! Their Eglu thing is pretty neat looking. I can’t imagine how those chickens felt being shipped through the mail. They don’t look traumatized by their ordeal.

  • Wow, those are indeed chickens. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had fresh eggs tomorrow.

    Why not have your readers help you name the new chickens? We’ve got some great ideas! For example, if you are going to name them after football players, one of them should be Peytonia Manning (Peytonia being the feminine version of Peyton).

  • Darn it, Carol stole my answer… *wink* I was going to suggest that you name one Brettina or Aerin to appease the boys! 🙂 But I think that it’s often hard to tell the sex of the baby chicks, so you might end up with a Brett or Aaron after all, no?

    Btw I can’t believe that the Omlet people didn’t let you know that they had already shipped. But I bet you do get eggs a lot more quickly!

  • nichole says:

    Oh no!! This is sounding strangely familiar. I recently purchased an eglu and chickens. The chickens were backordered, so I found a place to order baby chicks and cancelled the chickens. I received 4 and 1 passed away. I hope the eglu people don’t send me any chickens. I’m going to call them first thing in the morning. Good Luck!!!

  • Gail says:


    You tell a wonderful story. Do you mind that I laughed a few times! Good luck with the Little Ladies!

  • Loving the chicken saga. I’m not sure I could handle the complicated adventures of owning chickens. Goldfish are about my speed. At this point, I prefer to watch your adventures from afar…all the adventure but none of the worry.

    For some reason, I’m getting the impulse to go watch “Chicken Run” again.

  • gina says:

    I’m afraid of those bad ass lookin chickens!

  • Kathleen says:

    What a fun surprise! 🙂

    May I suggest Ernestine and Rita?

    Good luck!

  • I agree with Gina…Those chickens look a little scary! I hope they bond with you quickly.

    I love the chicken run! Is that actually a cat run or is it made for chickens? Very cool.

  • I think they’re beautiful with their lovely red color. They will blend in nicely in the landscape. You’re right about the size. I bet they start laying very, very soon.

    Keeping them separate from the babies is very wise.~~Dee

  • RuthieJ says:

    Hi Robin,
    Sorry I’ve been away too long….and now I see you’ve got chickens in your backyard! Congratulations!
    I really like their little enclosure too. Is it on wheels & easy to move around? What will you do with them in the winter when it snows?
    (now I’m wondering what would be easier for me to convince Mr. Johnson we need in the backyard–bees or chickens?)

    I think one of the design flaws of the Eglu is that it isn’t on wheels. You just pick it up and drag it. It’s not THAT difficult, but wheels would be much better.

    There are various solutions people have rigged to providing heating for the chickens in the winter. I don’t think the Eglu will be that warm, so am looking into better solutions for the winter. There’s not much time left.

    As for Mr. J., I would guess the advantages of chickens outweigh those of bees, which would be a good selling point.

    Good to hear from you, Ruthie!


  • Joy says:

    Robin .. I have always suspected that most chickens have ATTITUDE ! LOL
    You are one brave woman .. I have a fear of chickens .. the pecking thing really bothers me .. but some how I manage to eat eggs and chickens .. I figure those are safe ? LOL
    Loved the story !

    No one has pecked at me yet. I expect they’ll get used to me and that won’t be a problem.

    As for the eggs…yes, they’re perfectly safe. They’re safer than the ones at the store, for heaven’s sake!


  • Sue says:

    Keeping chickens is one of the things on my list of things I want to do. you’re so lucky to have the space.

  • Rick says:

    I would think the logical and obvious names for the new three would be
    Bar &
    B &
    Because that is how they would end up if they were living at my home. After of course they provided several months of eggs.

  • Kateri says:

    LOL. I wouldn’t know quite what to do if three mostly grown chickens showed up on my doorstep. Sounds like you handled the situation quite well. Hopefully they will learn to get along with the babies! They are beautiful hens.

  • […] These extraordinary chickens just arrived on our doorstep on Thursday and already they have gifted me with not one, but TWO eggs! […]

  • jgh says:

    Those are purty!

    I would like to get chickens too, but I’m afraid my miniature poodle will go crazy over them. I’d love to hear how your dogs are dealing with them!

    So far, so good with the dogs. It helps that the dogs are very small.

    Sarah is the one I will need to watch when I let the chickens out of their run. I expect she’ll chase and then be frightened. I’ll report in.