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Meet the Girls!

1/31/20

We have some catching up to do! Last spring, we welcomed the youngest-ever members of the Pollen team.  In May, our crew grew by four…baby chicks! Here they are at just a couple of days old. They quickly won our hearts, and have provided the most enjoyable breaks from work. (volume on, trust me!)


We got these adorable chicks in May from Belmont Feed and Seed, and the clock started ticking to build their home. As babies, they need to stay warm under a heat lamp, so they lived in a cardboard box in the studio. Below, they’re about 6 weeks old and eager to move out of their box!

I was inspired to take the plunge into backyard chickens after seen other people’s set-ups in the neighborhood through the Avondale Gardening Alliance. But since the chicks were a wee bit of an impulsive decision, I didn’t have a coop for them when I got them. I didn’t like the prefab coops (too boring or too expensive), so I designed and built my own. I woke up early most mornings in May and June to work on the coop before going in to work.

chicken coop under construction

I built a 4’x5′ coop with 10’x4′ run (including the part under the coop). I made a green roof for the coop and planted it with plants meant for rock gardens (thanks, Adams and Sons!), figuring they wouldn’t need much soil. Below, after countless trips to Menard’s, the coop is 90% done. On hot days, I put a mister in front of a fan for them.

And once colder weather hit, I wrapped the run with plastic sheeting and dressed it up, because, well, now it seems I’m a crazy chicken lady.

Diana put it well: With the new chickens, productivity may be down, but morale is way up! When they were little chicks, we took long breaks watching them do their chicken thing. We still enjoy our daily “chicken breaks” almost as much as they do. Below, they are about three months old and still in a bit of an awkward stage.

A typical chicken break involves Diana and I enjoying some sunshine and treating the girls to mealworms. They’re about six months old here.

Myrtle, shown below on the left, was the first to lay eggs, starting in late September. Magnolia started next, then Violet. We’re still waiting on little Daphne, on the right below, to to start paying rent!

And here they are all grown up, with their red combs and wattles and poofy chicken butts! Daphne must have been off doing her own thing (as she often does) when I took this picture.

I’ll be introducing each of them individually over a series of posts, because what you’ve heard is true! They truly do have unique personalities. Stay tuned to learn more about each of these beautiful ladies!

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