Yep, our first two chickens came to live with us about a week ago. We got them from a neighbor who was wanting to thin her flock a little. One very cocky rooster (no pun intended) and a sweet shy little hen. They’re bantams, so smaller than standard-size chickens – her eggs will be about 2/3 the size of a “normal” supermarket egg.

The rooster’s name is Atom, and his job is to protect his flock. He’s very good at his job – crows all morning but barks threateningly and raises a racket if the dog wanders too close to the coop, or one of us makes too fast of a movement while we’re in there. Atom came to us with his name, but our little hen didn’t have one yet, so we got to name her. We’ve decided to call her Molly, short for Molecule (Atom and Molecule, get it?)

For now, the chickens are spending the day fenced in next to their coop. Once they’ve acclimated and know this is their home, we’ll let them out to “free range” during the day. At night, they’ll naturally return to their safe and familiar roost (the coop), where we’ll close them in until morning to protect them from predators.

We may be getting a couple more banty hens from the same neighbor within the next couple of days, bringing our fledgling flock up to four. Once spring arrives, we should hopefully be getting about a dozen eggs a week from the three girls. Eventually, we’ll probably add a few more hens in order to have enough eggs to share with friends or possibly sell.

And on another note, here’s part of why we love Oregon so much: it’s mid-February, and the crocuses are blooming. How crazy is that? In fact, it’s not just the crocuses – today we found some pretty little white flowers (as yet unidentified), and the Iris leaves have sprouted as well.

Even the Indian Plum has buds already.

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