About Our Flock

I get tons of questions over the temperment and qualities of the chickens we have in our coop, so I think it is high time that these special ladies get to shine in the spotlight. But before I tell you about them, I need to let you in on a lesser-known term for first time chicken buyers: chicken math. That’s right, math for chickens. This is a phrase that we as first time chicken parents had no clue about, and have had the “pleasure” of learning about through experience.

So, what is “chicken math”?

Chicken math is the term used to describe being sent more chicks than you order, in the case that some do not survive.

With that preface, I want to share our chicken ordering experience, and I bet you can guess what happens. We built our chicken coop with an enclosed run to protect our babies from all the hawks that we have nesting in our trees. Humanely, chickens need approx 8-10 sq ft per chicken in the run area to avoid any agression or health issues. With this knowledge in our back pocket, we decided that we wanted to have 10-12ish chickens total (maybe more if I get brave enough to let them range outside the run as they get older).

We decided to order our chickens from Cackle Hatchery, a hatchery that will ship your selected chick breed/sexes to you as soon as they hatch (one day old chicks). We decided to purchase 15 chicks, 3 of 5 different breeds, and did this because we expected some to not survive the mail/adolesance for whatever issue that can arise in baby chicks. WELL. Apparently the breeder already takes these risks into account, and sent us 5 EXTRA in case any were lost due to the mailing process or sickness.

So now, we have 20, healthy, thriving, RAVENOUS, chickens. Supposedly they are all female, but we are waiting to see if any crow before we start to rehome some of them. There’s just no way we can keep them all. First to go will be any roos, because we live in the city limits and have a couple of neighbors that would probably report them…lame…I know. But that’s okay. We aren’t ready to tackle the whole fertilized egg process just yet. Maybe one day!

With all that being said, I chose my breeds of chickens based on these primary factors: temperment, and egg color, and production output, all paired with how the bird itself would look.

Meet Our Flock Breeds:

We have 5 different breeds- Cuckoo Maran, Buff Orpington, Black Laced Golden Wyandotte, Brown Leghorn, and Easter Egger. Check out the quick facts about each breed below.

Cuckoo Maran

Size: Hens- 7 pounds; Roos- 8 pounds

Temperment: Friendly, Docile, Easily Handled

Egg color: Dark Chocolate Brown

Egg Production: 150/year

These are actually my easiest to catch and best handled chickens. Every single one of them is well-held, and may be my favorite breed in the coop for that reason.

Buff Orpington

Size: Hens- 8 pounds; Roos: 10 pounds

Temperment: Calm, Friendly, Bears Confinement well, Easily Handled, Docile, Quite

Egg color: Light Brown

Egg Production: 200-280/year

These birds are huge, which makes sense that they are great dual purpse birds. They’re extremely calm, howeve, I can’t catch one. These big girls have some speed!

Black Laced Golden Wyandotte

Size: Hens- 7 pounds; Roos: 9 pounds

Temperment: Bears Confinement Well, Calm, Docile, Easily Handled, Friendly, Quiet

Egg color: Brown and Speckled

Egg Production: 200/year

SUCH pretty birds. I love how the black in thier feathers refelcts blue/green in the sun. They have been some of my more difficult birds to catch, but when I do they are well handled and calm.

Brown Leghorn

Size: Hens-6 pounds; Roos: 7 pounds

Temperment: Friendly, Bears Confinement well, Calm, Flighty, Noisy, Shy, Very Active

Egg Color: White

Egg Production: 300-320/year

While I haven’t noticed a major noise issue, these birds are extremely curious, but very flighty. They run at most sudden movements.

Easter Egger

Size: Hens- 4 pounds; Roos-5 pounds

Temperment: Calm, Hardy, Friendly, Docile, Easily Handled, Bears Confinement Well

Egg Color: Blue/Green

Egg Production: 200-280/year

Fun fact: these chickens are named purely for their egg color, and no two birds are guaranteed to look alike! We have 2 fawn colored ones, a white one, and this beautiful grey one!

So as you can see, if we kept all 20 chickens, we would have SO MANY eggs on our hands (I’m talking average 5,000 eggs a year). All of these birds are either medium or high producers, and there is just too many of them.

Rumor is, we can 100% accurately sex anywhere between 4-6 months,we are just waiting for the crows! As a plus, any day now these ladies should start paying their rent! I hope to be able to name them once we rehome and get to our final number, and I will officially introduce the whole flock when that time comes!

Talk soon,

XX, Lanna

Chicken Coop Update:

It’s been a couple of months since we finished the Chicken Coop and shared the final product with the world! And I can honestly say these chickens have already taught me so much. I want to shed some light on the things that we have learned, and changed in our chicken coop so far:

You can always find more updates on my Instagram: @theroostingplace

First off, the plants on the ground did not survive 20 chickens. HAHA. These ladies demolished them within a couple of days, down to the sticks: the poor plants never stood a chance.

But, I was determined to find a solution that would allow me to keep my run beautifully green and that would keep beneficial herbs available to my chickens. Thus, the gallery wall was born. This includes a collage of chicken wall decor, and some hanging planters to put all those yummy herbs-all while keeping them away from hungry, spoiled chickens! I also have found success in planting tree-like shrubs in pots, and plan to add more over time because I love the way it looks.

Secondly, our Omelt automatic door finally made it to us! And let me tell you, as someone who loathes waking up early in the morning, I love it and the shipping wait was totally worth it. It was extremely easy to assemble/set up, and the different setting options make it customizable to your needs. We have ours set to the clock, with timers that will open and shut the doors at specified times (we watched our chickens to determine what time they naturally would go inside the coop for bed and set the time based on thier habits). This door even comes with a safety feature that will stop the door from moving if it detects an obstacle in the way-that right, no injured chickens over here!

Lastly, I started to experiment with methods to reduce the whole chicken poo smell. I’ve tried both diatomeceous earth, and PDZ horse stall refresher, and decided that I really like the PDZ. I’ve been sprinkling it on my pine shavings inside the coop, and over teh wood chips in the run and have found that I can stretch my cleaning out by a week or two, which can be a huge lifesaver!

That’s all on the coop update for now, but I will check back in as we learn and adapt to these crazy chickens!

Talk soon,

xx, Lanna