Her name is Cheep3-PO, also known as “Cheep”.  She is one of our new pet chickens.  She and her 6 sisters are one of the things that have kept me so busy of late.

Why chickens?  I have wanted chickens ever since I contracted Lyme disease a few years ago (don’t worry, it was caught very early, and treated with a round of antibiotics – I am fine now).  Our backyard is infested with ticks, and while I was researching safe and natural ways to get rid of ticks, I ran across chickens as a method of pest control.  What could be better than turning yard pests into fresh eggs?  How about also getting free fertilizer from their poo, and a garden clean up crew…

My husband still wasn’t convinced until we visited some friends in Texas, and met their chickens.  Firebeard thought the chickens would be dirty, smelly, and obnoxiously loud.  He found that they were pretty easy to clean up after, and that the girls were quiet and pleasant sounding.  Finally, he was sold.

We got 4 chicks soon after coming home from our trip, Dorothy, Rose, Blanch, and Sophia.  They were all Buff Orpingtons, from our local feed store.  Later, we got 3 more, Cheep3-PO, another Buff Orpington, Chewbraca, a dark Brahma, and Spot, an Ancona (sex still unknown).  Our dog surprised us by being extremely protective of the little birds, herding them together, and keeping other dogs away.  The chickens surprised us by following us around the yard, being extremely tolerant with our kids, and having distinct little personalities.

Have you ever thought about owning a chicken?  If you have, you should check out backyardchickens.com for more information about owning them, and your local feed store or mypetchicken.com (as few a 3 chicks per order) to start your own backyard flock.