Country Chicks


As spring approaches, and the hatchery catalogs start to appear in the mail I get so excited, Why? Because spring means one thing, CHICKS!!!

I originally purchased my flock from a breeder. As we built the coop we were expectant parents in every sense of the word. It was almost like building a nursery and waiting for the baby to arrive. Instead of being pregnant with a tiny human I was awaiting a stork (mail) with my little peeps.

When they arrived, they were a total of 17 all huddled in a small box for warmth. They were the cutest things, and so helpless. I feel in love with them at first sight.


I placed them in a brooder and thus the adventure began. They had the best care and were looked after day and night. We also had two volunteer brooder supervisors who happily watched over the chicks for us.  Indy and Tabby my cats did an excellent job of keeping watch. Don’t worry, the cats could not get to the chicks and only served at overseers of their care. There were so enamored by the brooder, bird watching at its best.


So as any excited and proud mommy does I took baby pictures of my flock. I will share a few of them with you.

Who can resist a basket full of chicks, not me!


Then you have the all american approach.


However, I had the most fun with the few chicks that posed well. I had a few naturals when it came to posing for the camera. You have no idea how hard it is to take pictures of chicks that are scurrying in all directions. But I had a few hams that made the process easy and fun. Here are some of the pics that I took during that fun fluff filled photo session.


“I think this is the place”.


“Best buds”.

I had a good time taking pics of my girls. I am so glad that I did because they are only cute like this for a few days. After that they enter what I call the “ugly duckling phase”. This is when they start to loose their cute fluffy yellow down feathers and start to grow their mature feathers. The are actually kind of cute during that phase too, it is almost like they cannot decide if they want to be a chick or a chicken. All the stages of a chicken life are precious, just like the stages our human children go through as they mature.

The adventures of keeping chickens are both fun and exciting.

Till next time take care and keep on crowing. The girls and I will be back soon!!

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~



“But Mom,…it’s COLD Outside”.

Well, winter has finally hit. We here at the Kuntry Klucker are experiencing the coldest air so far this year. Snow flurries are in the air and the girls are not impressed. I am sure everyone has heard the phrase “all cooped up” at one point or another, well the ladies are demonstrating the meaning of that phrase. They are all cooped up today because they refuse to come out of their coop. I let them out this morning, they got their morning eats and sips. Then it was back up into the coop where it is warm and the bitter winter winds are at bay. I am glad that they find their coop comfortable on these cold winter days. I have done all that I can to make it comfortable for them and a haven on the coldest of days.


Not much action is happening in the pen or the chicken yard/playground today. I allowed them access to their playground (outdoor enclosed run) earlier today, but there were no takers. I don’t blame them. After a while I closed up that door to their coop because they preferred to stay where it was warm and dry. It is amazing how funny chickens can be. You know its cold when the chickens refuse to come out of the coop. I make sure I check on them often to fill their feeders and keep their water fresh and unfrozen. They eat a lot more on these cold days, so the feeders empty faster than on a day when they are out hunting and pecking in the yard. When free ranging they find some of their own food anyway, but today when they have confined themselves to their coop they are taking down the feed.


Many people ask me if I heat my coop. This is a subject that I think most chicken owners take one side or the other on. For me I choose no. My reasons are this. Whenever you introduce heat to the coop your introduce the risk of fire and injury to your birds. No matter how well you mount a heat lamp there is always the risk of one of the girls flapping or a group of them flapping in the coop and knocking it off. With all the wood shaving in the coop that is a recipe for a definite coop fire. Additionally, when heat is introduced to the coop it puts the birds at greater risk for illness. Chickens do much better when they are allowed to regulate their own body temperature by fluffing their feathers and trapping body heat against their body. If the coop is heated they are at greater risk of getting chilled as they go into he unheated run to get food and water creating the possibility for illness and death. I make sure I provide a shelter that is dry, draft free, and warm due to the deep layers of shaving and of course the girls themselves. Most of the time on cold winter night they will huddle together for warmth and keep each other warm and healthy naturally.

Many other chicken keepers feel differently about heating the coop. If done safely it can be accomplished, I however choose to reduce the risk of fire, injury, and death by allowing the girls to use their natural abilities to beat the cold. For 5 years they have done a great job. I do all I can to help them but allow them to take the wheel and do the rest.

One cold winter mornings I will treat them to a warm plate of oatmeal and raisins which they thoroughly appreciate and enjoy. They look forward to their warm breakfasts, but then again who would’t.

In a few days we are forecasted to get a bit of a warm up and better days for letting the girls out into the yard and their playground. But for today it is an all cooped up day.

Thanks for reading and following our adventures. Till next time, keep on crowing.

~The Kuntry Klucker Crew

Kuntry Klucker xmas lights


Gardening with the “Girls”!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!! I know that I did. The girls had a bit of a hard time with all the fireworks, but we made it through to 2016. Now that Christmas is over and I am beginning to get flower and gardening catalogs in the mail for the upcoming planting season. I thought I would take this time and dedicate a post to my little garden helpers, the girls. The girls get excited as I start getting the backyard ready for planting. Not only do they get to forage in the newly tilled soil for worms, but they know that it means lots of good things to snack on as they spend their day hunting and pecking.


Ok, so I guess many of you may be wondering how I turn my girls into little gardeners. As I stated in my first post, the reason that I got my girls is because I wanted to use their natural abilities to help me on my little hobby farm. Most people get chickens because they want a fresh supply of eggs from their backyard. I will have to say I also enjoy the fruits of their labor in that sense. But honestly, chickens can provide for you in more ways than just eggs. I will show you how I put my girls to work all the while keeping them happy and healthy.


First the coop, I have a penthouse coop, this means that it is raised off the ground by at least 2 feet. This discourages rodents from making a home under the coop. It also keep moisture from the heavy rains that soak the ground from seaping into the coop and growing mold and other nasty things. I have an attached covered pen where the girls stay when I am away from home or when the weather is extremely bad. On stormy days I keep them in their covered pen for protection. They will stay nice and dry under the roof of their pen. A few of my smaller girls are flight risks so I have to make sure they are secured in the pen on windy days.


Next to the coop and pen I have something that I call the chicken yard. This is an attached outdoor run (not covered) that resides under a large shade tree which aids in protection. I use this outdoor enclosure mostly in the summer time. This allows me to let the girls out of the coop but also keep them close to the coop where their water and food is. This also insures that they remain cool and comfortable under the large shade tree during the hottest part of the day. I also use this outdoor enclosure when I plant seeds in my gardens. I love their help in tilling the dirt but after I plant the seeds I have to keep them out of the gardens till the seedlings are mature enough to handle a flock of chickens scratching in the gardens.

After the seeds have sprouted and can handle the flock I release the girls and allow them to roam the backyard. When we designed our coop we designed a little “chicken door” in the big door that allows us to enter the pen. This way, we can let them out into the backyard without leaving the large human sized door open. This allows us to let the chickens out but keep the wild birds and other animals from getting in their pen.

They get very excited when I open their little chicken door. They know that fun and bugs await them.

Ok, so after I let the girls out, they get to work doing what chickens do best, hunting and pecking. They are great assets in my garden, they eat all the bugs that would otherwise damage my crops. They only things that they will not eat are squash bugs. I really wish they would eat them but I guess even they are discussing to them. They must not taste all that I good I suppose.

Pea in the garden

I have several gardens for them to work in. They make their rounds but have their favorite gardens to tend. Roy likes to hang out in the spice garden. I have a few berry bushes planted there that he likes to pick at. Some of the  girls like the veggie garden, they gets lots of bugs off the plants and a few of the veggies too. But I think their favorite garden is the corn and pumpkin garden. They love corn! Occasionally I will pick an ear of and throw it on the ground for them to devour. If you have never seen chicken eat an ear of corn, I will tell you that it is a side splitter. They will peck the cob clean, literally nothing will be left. They take their corn eating very seriousally.

People ask me if I loose a lot of my crops to the chickens. The answer is yes and no. Yes they do get their share of the spoil, I will find a ripe tomato with a chicken peck out of it. I just pick it off the plant and throw it on the ground for the girls to finish off.  No, because the bugs they keep off the plants are such help and worth them pecking at a tomato or two.

However, The hardest thing to keep them out of are my blueberry bushes. They will eat the berries green before I even get a change to pick a ripe one. One year, they ate all my green berries and I had little to no yield. So I have to make previsions to keep the gang out of my berry rows. After I get what I need off the bushes I let them have at the rest. My blackberries are a bit more chicken proof. They are much taller, the girls can only eat what is near the ground. We share the blackberries much better, I pick from the top of the bushes and they pick from the bottom. I will have to say there is noting funnier than a chicken going berry picking.

But all in all they are more help than not. With my chickens I can pretty much grow organic produce. They serve as pest exterminators on two legs. I do loose some of my yield to the girls but I consider it pay off for all their help and assistance. Additionally, they will eat weeds, weed seeds, and lots of other plants that I find annoying. In particular they will devour clover patches, they absolutely love clover. During the spring when the clover starts to emerges they are busy at work getting rid of it for me. They even weed my gardens for me. As they till in the dirt looking for bugs, worms, and whatever they deem delicious, they also do some weeding for me.


Here is Miss Betsy and Miss Sweet Pea hard at work. They are snacking in my wildflower garden.

I guess the best part of putting them to work in my gardens is that they fertilize as they go. In addition to the shavings from the coop that I use to fertilize my gardens, they leave fresh supplies as they tend. I have hardy plants that give me great yields in return.

Gardening with my girls is both rewarding and fun. I always have company in my backyard when I work. They are always eager to help me till, weed, and keep my plants pest free. Chickens give so much more than eggs. They are agriculture geniuses that allow me to grow organic, pest free, and chemical free food for my family.

For this reason my ladies will live out their lives here on my hobby farm after they no longer lay eggs. You see, just because they are not laying eggs does not make them worthless. They will enter a phase in their lives that I affectionally call “Hen-tirement”. Basically, instead of providing for me in terms of eggs they will assist me in other ways. Tilling, composting, providing fertilizer, and companionship. Chickens are truly a wonderful pet to have. If you take gardening seriously, adding a few chickens will only make the hobby more enjoyable and rewarding.

As the season wanes and fall begins to take my gardens over, they are still hard at work. After I harvest all that I can before frost, they spend the rest of the season and the winter tilling the soil and getting all the leftover that they can. By spring, my soil is well fertilized, tilled, and primed for the next seasons growth. They are always at work for me, doing what chickens do best, hunting and pecking with glee.


Thanks for visiting our farm. Till next time, keep on crowing. The girls and I will be back soon!!

The Kuntry Klucker Crew