We have four new babies in the house! I have wanted to get chickens for a long time, and I finally got Matt on board. He’s building the ultimate rat/predator-proof chicken coop. For now, the baby chicks will live in the garage in their “nursery” (brooder) until they grow feathers and are big enough to move outside, which will be for about six weeks or so.

Living in Seattle, there are a LOT of options for feed stores and finding chicks. I decided to get ours from Portage Bay Grange. It’s the most convenient, being right in U district and only a few miles from our house, but it also came highly recommended from other backyard chicken farmers in the area. I planned to set up and pick up the chicks on my own, but thanks to a fever and an earache, I had a little farmer helping me today too.

Here’s the brooder set up: a 54-gallon storage tote, lined with puppy pads. I was nervous about the fire risks of a heat lamp, so we’re using this “mother hen” style heater. The chicks can snuggle underneath it the way they naturally would under a hen for warmth, and they have the option to run around and regulate their own temp unlike with a heat lamp glowing on them all the time.


So without further ado, introducing the newest members of the Atomic Homestead!

Clockwise from top left: Belle (Barred Plymouth Rock), Stella (Ameraucana), Henny Penny (Ameraucana), and Jingle HoHo (Buff Orpington).
Tiny fluffy butts wasted no time finding their food.

So mayyybeee our coop is meant for three chickens?…chicken math is a real thing you know. But the feed store guy helped convince me that maybe we needed a spare in case one turned out to be a rooster. And those little Ameraucanas are a small breed. Honestly, it wasn’t that hard, how can you say no to just one more?! Plus, they’ll get some free-range time in the backyard so I think they’ll be happy together.

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