Sunday, July 10, 2011


I should be in bed, but I'm not. I'm too hyped up on caffeine and inspiration. Chicken inspiration. Chickspiration? Okay, so that's a word now.

Anyway, guess who is totally chickspired, especially after participating in Seattle Tilth's Urban Farm and Coop Tour today? This gal!

One of the highlights for me was this little New Orleans styled coop:

And the inside, complete with cocoa husk bedding. This coop smelled like a brownie! I was skeptical when the owner urged me to stick my head in there and breathe, but was pleasantly surprised!

And after hanging out with nearly every chicken breed imaginable, I've discovered that I'm a huge fan of ear tufts (apparently they're called 'muffs') and toe feathers. Who would have known?

I think I may just end up with a flock of salmon faverolles ladies. Adorable, gentle, great layers even in the winter months- I think we might have found a winner.

And seriously, those muffs? Priceless.

Photo from Faverolles Fanciers of America,
as I'm not awesome enough to have any of my own... yet.

And in other, none chicken news, my garden is growing and growing and growing. When I'm at the house I could swear that I hear the plants grow.

And speaking of the house, our new plumbing and electrical has been inspected. Drywall will be going in on Wednesday! New gutters on Thursday. Things are moving along. I can't wait to live in our new home. Patience. Patience. Patience.

This is what our front yard has looked like for the past week or so:

I should really just be thankful that the Grand Canyon in our front yard is gone as of Friday. Not having to leap to my garden over a 4 foot deep chasm with 4 gallons of water? Priceless.


  1. Congrats on the construction progress! Your patience will be rewarded...

    As for your chicken obsession, that chicken is downright scary! I've never seen a chicken look less like a chicken. Make sure you do your research on the breed to make sure it's what you want. I admit I went popular breeds, especially since I wasn't buying 25 of them which is the minimum order for online hatcheries. Bothell Feed Store is the closest place that stocks chicks in spring so I was at the mercy of their buyers. Of course, everything I wanted they carried. However, we went through several iterations of "they don't have this one" before we settled on the winners that they carried and we wanted.

    As for the coops, those folks had more creativity than we did, but our design is totally functional, which is my specialty. Best of luck with your chickinspiration and getting to sleep. I too have been up for way too long and look longlingly at my bed. Night!

  2. Thanks, Sinfonian!

    As for the Salmon Faverolles, I really think I'm going to end up with them. Both the husband and I really love how they look (although we both agree they're not the most majestic of creatures... haha!), and their dispositions are supposed to be incredibly gentle. Plus I wouldn't mind supporting the few breeders out there who are struggling to keep this breed alive. :) And wouldn't you want to come over and laugh at my ugly chickens??

    Your coop is lovely! Function always trumps form, but I think your coop has both! You've got some lucky hens. :)

    Isn't it great, M?? I'm kind of daydreaming about making a San Francisco style coop (half the fun is figuring out what that even means... lol) as I absolutely LOVE that city.. all the cute little houses with their brilliant colors and charming details. And if I get Salmon Faverolles chickens, we'll have SF chickens living in a SF style coop.. it'd be too much.

  3. That coop is adorable!!! I love my Salmon Fav, but there are a few issues with them that I've discovered... so I figure best to mention them, right? They're a bit wimpy. When it comes to chicks, I've heard from several sources that they have a much higher mortality rate. My SFs were also constantly the small ones in the bunch. They'll always put themselves at the bottom of the flock, which is sweet, but also means they'll be lighter and the first to go. When we moved, one SF just suddenly died. I was so sad... and there was no cause. No mites, no trauma, no bad weather. But, she was always the lightest one, following the flock.

    Those muffs are one of my favorite qualities about the nutty SFs... but if they get wet (we're both in the Pac NW), they look miserable and their heads stay wet and cold longer because the feathers are wetter. The pretty perfect fluff is in the summertime (unless they're like mine and like to dunk their little heads in their water bucket)... and in cage-only show birds. SIGH, right?

    BUT, their personalities? Hilarious! SO cute. I swear I love my SF. I'm not trying to be a pessimist, but there are positives and negatives.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss, that must have been heartbreaking for you!

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with your SFs! This is fantastic information, and I appreciate knowing the good and the bad with these birds.

    I'm particularly grateful for you sharing how they can remain soaked.. I've seen some pictures of them a little soggy, but I had never considered that it would take them an extended time to dry off. I'm sketching out what I want our coop and run(s) to look like, and having that info will ensure that at least one of the runs will be covered for foul (fowl?) weather.

  5. Mine just looks like she has dreadlocks. She'll get her cowl neck feathers wet, and then she'll dunk her head in feed or whatever and walk around with gross cowl feathers. Eventually, whatever she got into will dry and flake off, but it's still ridiculous!

    Have you thought about tenting your coop in the rainy months? My neighbor's was probably the most successful--- essentially a hoop house over the chicken coop. Allowed sunlight (to encourage egg production) and kept the birdies dry! I haven't decided what to do this fall/winter. I think I should hop on that!

  6. (and PS: Your random Mark Twain parrot quote? Has been my family's quote for me since I was small. I've never heard anyone else even utter it. CRAZY!!!)

  7. Jessika, are we somehow long lost sisters?? I've been perusing your blog and this is what I've noticed:

    We both have Polish grandmothers.
    My childhood dog was also named Maggie,
    You have a Cluck Norris, I have a gnome named Chunk Gnorris.
    And of course, the love of faverolles.

    And you also had ground cherries... which is weird because I've spent weekends roaming the nurseries around here trying to find some to plant, and everyone looks at me like I'm asking them for a rare mythical creature.

    So, when you mention that we share the Mark Twain quote... I guess I should be more surprised, but it seems fitting as we're cut from a similar cloth. :)

  8. I've got my heart set on a structure that is about 6' high, so I'm not sure how much of a pain that will be to cover and uncover. I think what I might end up doing is using clear pvc or suntuf roofing for the run- they'd get plenty of light that way and hopefully won't end up soggy during our more soggily delightful seasons.

  9. :) Gotta love like-minded folks.

    Since our hens became more free-range, I'm actually revamping their coop and making it smaller. Not sure how this will work in the winter.... Hoping they stay inside when it's pouring, but they may have to be locked up.


    Something like this so when I do have to lock them up, they can still poke around the bottom of the coop and stay dry.