• kristanhoffman

    LOL I was wondering what the heck that Tweet was about yesterday.

    PS: How many times do we think Jon is going to comment “NO CHICKENS”?

  • Janice

    Y’all are gonna live your lives and it’s none of my business, but Jon, I remember a graph you posted once on your web site that showed your stress levels for various life events. I remember a particularly tall stress line for Coco. So tossing in my two cents:


  • CraftyCrab

    I have the same disagreement with my husband. All I want is to have two chickens. TWO. He says, “We can have a kid, or we can have the chickens.” What a farce! But, I’m pregnant now, so you know where that so-called “choice” led. I’ll break his will eventually.

    BTW – I had a similar series of experiences with penises (small…..BIG!), and yet I really love those funny-looking things. It’s so weird that we share these things on the Internet.

  • HDC

    Here Jon, I’ll help.

    Heather, you know how gross it was when either of your four legged high chair washers lost bowel control in the house? Yeah, well fowl also shed feathers and walk through their poo all day long, dragging that stuff everywhere. Along with chicken feed. Everywhere.

    Instead, you ought to consider a sloth. They only pooh once a month!


    You’re welcome Jon!

  • Ethel Poostain

    I’m in the yay camp. Get chickens! Send me fresh eggs! (they’ll travel ok to the UK, right?)

  • maille_k

    Chickens are assholes, but I can’t deny the greatness of fresh eggs every day. It’s a huge weight off the mind knowing where your food comes from. We recently moved out of the Big City so sourcing free range happy food and growing at least some of our own would be easier. The benefits are apparent almost immediately.

  • Heather G

    I had the same fantasy and got two chickens. Um we gave them away recently. They are cute and homely but… they go off the lay when moulting, when it’s cold (4 months in NZ longer where you are), when they get stressed out ie dogs and children, when they go broody. The process of debrooding hens is kindof cruel too. After all that the per egg cost is huge. Then they can get ill, worms, fly blown, plus you have to clean out their shit regularly and they make the ground into a mud bath in winter and if they get out they eat your plants.

  • robynh

    I have four chickens and they are the most hilarious addition to our household. Not only do they provide endless entertainment, their eggs taste AMAZING. You’ve never eaten eggs like these. Sorry, but I gotta go with YAY.

  • SaltTooth

    I say YAY!!

    My mom brought home a baby chicken from the farmer’s market as a pet for my brother and I in middle school. We named him Antoine. He would sit in your lap like a cat and you could pet him and carry him around. He even hung out with our dog and they shared each other’s food! Of course we had to give him away when we realized he was a rooster and started cockadoodling. He was an awesome pet!

    You have my full support Heather!

  • Brookelyn Bridge

    Heather. Seriously. AWESOME.
    I love the county fair here where all the 4-H kids have the animals they’ve raised on display. I particularly love the chickens and the fancy-over-the-top feathered ones get me laughing every time.
    Personally, I don’t think I would want chickens. They can be mean little fuckers and I have a friend who was tormented by their rooster (I was going to put “cock” but I refrained – or maybe I didn’t).
    I like ducks. And we can have ducks here in our town. Maybe in a few years I’ll get myself a couple ducks.
    (and just to mention, my captcha is “it dickier”)

  • ronnagail

    Perhaps a compromise? See how it goes with the tomato plant first. Just for the sake of your own sanity.

  • Leball

    LMFAO! Seriously. I am laughing out loud at work. So inapporpriate! Penises! So flipping funny. And yeah, come on Blurb! Get the chicken coop! O my, I can just imagine the photos and stories! Do it Dooce! Take away the clogs!

  • KatR

    I can’t believe you are going to deny us pictures of Chuck with a chicken balanced on his head, JON.

  • khadley

    chicken coop in the yard, why not? i’m trying to convince my partner that the backyard would be perfect for a few chickens, but not having much luck. so share your strategies with is will ya? hmmmmm maybe if i some how can create a link between porn and chickens i might get somewhere?

  • tallnoe


    Because I think the stories would be awesome. And the pictures would be awesome.

    Even if I think they’re crazy, and loud. I enjoyed showing my chickens at the county fair. Did I just admit that I was in 4H on the interwebs? Yes, yes I did.

    My captcha is “in summer” – see? In summer Chickens are great.

  • strawberrygoldie

    I want chickens. Bad.

    I want fat, fluffy chickens, with feathers that grow down their legs, and bouffant featherheads, that lay different colored eggs.

    That’s right.


    Chicken porn. Check it. Also. Duck porn. Peacock porn (hehehe…cock)


    Jon. You must know that you are about to be pummelled with comments by Dooce followers. Good luck, man. Good luck.

  • strawberrygoldie

    I want chickens. Bad.

    I want fat, fluffy chickens, with feathers that grow down their legs, and bouffant featherheads, that lay different colored eggs.

    That’s right.


    Chicken porn. Check it. Also. Duck porn. Peacock porn (hehehe…cock)


    Jon. You must know that you are about to be pummelled with comments by Dooce followers. Good luck, man. Good luck.

  • meme0908


    I have friends in Sugarhouse with their own chickens, and it’s the best. thing. ever.

    and their neighbors have chickens… so everybody’s doing it, Jon.

    you (probably) won’t regret it.

  • Chicken

    Maybe I would be a good compromise. I think the weather might be very nice where you are, I don’t smell usually and I don’t eat a lot. I also love penises, so we have that in common. I don’t really lay eggs, but I can drive to the market for you. My neck is very sensitive, so there would need to be some kind of precohabitation agreement in regards to my safety and well being. No axes, no vampires. Let me know.

  • TexasKatie

    You know, I have a garden in my yard and I love it – and I have thought many a times about having some chickens and a rooster. I thought it was so awesome when I was in the Bronx visiting my sister and her neighbor has a rooster that sits out front. Super cool. So, I say YAY!!!!!

  • MichelleD

    Normally I would be all “YAY! Chickens!” but I have one word for you- COCO.

    Chickens need to roam free sometimes and I just can’t see this being a happy situation.

  • JennfromCanada

    Vancouver, BC is adopting a by-law (or something like it) to have chicken coops in the urban areas. People are all over it. My hubby said that if he wasn’t vegan he’d get some chickens. I said, “why don’t we just get a pig too then?” Good grief. he’s all about “knowing where your food came from”. But I think even if he knew where his food came from he still wouldn’t eat meat.

    It’s the slaughtering practices and how they treat the animals that gets him.

  • Starr

    Are we the same couple? Because I told my husband I am taking this class in June: http://www.mccneb.edu/ce/classresults.asp
    And the description:

  • MontanaJen

    Oh – you mean like THESE coops made SPECIFICALLY for the BACKYARD AND URBAN FARMER?!?


    I feel you. I so feel you.

    Coco may kill them, though. Careful, that.

  • Qathii


  • piflower

    YAY for chickens!!!! i soooo want chickens too! and we can have them in town too!!! but alas my husband is like yours and makes a face and says no, one day though, one day.

  • faeth

    We should have our chickens next week. The coop has been done for a couple of weeks now and we should have a plethora of eggs. I’ll drop some by! If you really want to, you can keep a chicken or two at our place. Scott won’t mind!

  • filmlady

    So we moved into our semi-rural neighborhood 20+ years ago and the neighbors had five free-range chickens. Meaning they used to come and sit under the bushes at the front of our house and make chickeny sounds. Loved it loved it loved it, we could always see them coming, marching single-file. Until one day only four came over, then three, then two, then silence. Victims, every one, of our local hawks and coyotes. Sigh. I still miss them.

  • kimb

    No. Seriously, step away from the chickens. I know, all Currier & Ives and stuff, but really… don’t do it. We fell into the chicken trap at one, probably when we were about your age and our kids were Leta & Marlo’s age. Huge mistake. And, beyond the mess they make if they get out of their coop/pen, and the carnage when dogs/weasels/foxes etc. murder them, there’s the problem of what to do with them once they stop laying. Which they do after a few years. Ready to kill and eat them?

  • MN Sukie

    Ohhh go for the chickens! Then you can use the poop in the composter.

    Our block also allows chickens — up to 6 per family. I am still working on my husband — we have three dogs and he is afraid he will get stuck with chicken poo duty too.

  • Lucy mom

    I’m going out tonight with a group of friends and I think I will raise this question with them. Although I think I already know how it will go, they’re all city girls.

    So here’s my two cents although I think I sound wishy-washy. I grew up in a rural area and my grandmother had chickens. When I stayed with her I had the job of feeding them. I remember being pecked and chased a lot. I also remember they were incredibly dirty and their poop seemed to end up every where in the yard. But I also loved those eggs, I’ve never tasted better since. (The chickens themselves were also pretty delicious but it doesn’t sound like you are considering that option in chicken ownership.)

    Maybe you could find a local chicken farmer who would sell you fresh eggs weekly? Because really, there is no other reason to me to have chickens around – they just aren’t that cute and fun.

  • npevey
  • heylucy

    You get a very enthusiastic YAY vote from me!
    I’ve been raising chickens for over three years now, and I hope to never have to live without them, ever!

    What are Jon’s objections? I could give you counter arguments for every possible one. A few hens are not going to be that messy, dogs can be taught to get along with them (we have a golden retriever-hello! bird dog! and a sheepdog, and they hunt squirrels and other cute things, but have never hurt our chickens), hens are not very noisy, it’s the roosters that make all the noise. If you raise your chickens from day-old chicks, they are less likely to be mean and peck at you.

    Chickens are so fun to watch, and fresh eggs are a wonderful luxury and so much better than what you get at the grocery store. I have hens that are 3 1/2 years old and still laying like crazy. Also, there’s this: http://heylucy.typepad.com/heylucy/2009/04/portrait-photography-.html
    Cute, right?

  • imaynotremember

    Jon just think of all the free eggs in the morning? =) Aaannnd, all the harvesting/reproduction of chickens there would be? “Armstrong Chicken Farms”! =D

  • theotherlion

    Chickens STINK, Heather. Literally, STINK. The stank is so damned stanky. You do not want that in your backyard. No. Team Armstrong.

  • Missives From Suburbia

    We have a children’s bookstore here in Minneapolis that has live chickens wandering around. Chickens. Wandering. Clucking. Pecking. Pooping.

    Admittedly, it’s good fun to watch preschoolers chase chickens around a store, but I don’t allow my offspring to touch anything that might have hit the carpeting (CARPETING!) where the white meat has trod.

    The store has cats, too. I don’t really understand why the cats have lost interest in the chickens. Kitty Prozac? We won’t discuss the ferrets. Or the doves. Or the hamsters. Or… suffice to say it’s a menagerie, and they all make poop.

    I’m with Jon. I don’t care if my vote counts.

  • AmberE


    I live in an urban area with two old dogs, less than one mile from downtown Houston. Two years ago, I got two Rhode Island Red juvenile chickens, and I’m so glad I did.

    They each have their own personality, trained (with treats, like a dog) to come when to me when called, will sit in my lab, and are easy, low maintenance pets. I would recommend getting young or baby chickens so they will be tame and friendly.

    During the day they stay in a fenced-in area along the side of the house; at night they are locked in a large dog kennel outside; and during the weekends I hang out with them in the yard and they free range. Watching them is relaxing.

    Hens are very quiet, will eat leftover fruit/veg scraps, and great entertainment for kids. My neighbors love them.

    I really hope Jon changes his mind. If it would help, I have photos of the chickens on flickr, pm me for the link.

  • sonjabean

    Oh, I am so jealous! I wish we could have chickens in our backyard, but the city of Philadelphia forbids it, those bastards! I’m not sure what my partner would really say about us having chickens. She’s been quite noncommittal in her comments, I think because the city laws have already made our choice for us.

  • amandalk

    This reminds me…My Mom decided she wanted ducks when I was growing up. Ducks that just aimlessly wandered around our farm. A neighbor told her that if she kept them in a shed for X amount of time, that when she let them out of the shed, they’d just magically stay. After X amount of time my Mother let those ducks out of the shed and…they flew away never to be seen from again. Priceless!

  • farmreport

    Hooray for chickens!

    (Although I will admit I have a pair of clogs somewhere in my closet, too.)

    A month ago we got five chicks, and have fallen head over heels. If you need more convincing, I can send you the photos where our seven-year-old has them all tucked into doll beds and they’re happily snoozing away, which is essentially a vortex of cute. And has the potential to allow Chuck to retire.


  • Hnreading

    I want chickens too. I have named my future chickens and I have all these grand plans. I email people (ok, my husband) pictures of my friends’ chickens and go “One day I’ll have these too”.
    And my husband just shakes his head and thanks God that we aren’t zoned to have chickens in our current neighborhood.

  • virtualcarly

    I don’t know this from personal experience or anything but I thought chickens were compatible with a yard full of garden…per You Can Farm and Chicken Tractor. Perhaps Kate’s yard is still an option. I think they would fertilize and control pests while providing eggs in her garden in an ideal world.

  • austinmomof7

    I have four chickens in a neighborhood backyard. They don’t make much noise at all and are terrific pets. How is a chicken any different than a parakeet? Except the chicken gives you eggs and the parakeet just craps on newspaper all day and creeps you out with those beady little eyes. Sorry, I digress. I love my chickens and think your husband is being totally unreasonable. Amen.

  • d3 voiceworks

    somewhere in here is a message about eggs and chicks and children and husbands. but i can’t quite elucidate. you get the pic.

    if your dogs have any rank, i guess i’d have to go with armstrong (with the y chromosome).

    what’s your new assistant’s opinion? and does it matter??!

    (my captcha is ‘are mundane’. that. is. sad.)


    I lost this same battle last weekend after I picked up the latest issue of “Organic Gardening” magazine (which I found at Home Depot). Serious porn. On the cover and all.
    Rather than risk my marriage… I’ve now found a lovely nearby farm through local harvest that will deliver fresh eggs to my door each week!
    I do hope Jon changes his mind. Though I will be incredibly jealous!


  • Daily Cup of Jo

    Oh, you have to get chickens. My brother and sis-in-law have them. They call them “the girls”. There’s a ton of fresh eggs and occasionally, when the girls are asleep, they get their toenails painted. No kidding. It’s an endless comedy sketch. And with the ripe tomatoes come August, think of the omelets.

    C’mon, Jon. Don’t be a drag. It is so much better than the indoor pig.

  • The Expatresse

    We have been having the EXACT. SAME. ARGUMENT. chez nous.

    I, too, am a fan of the Eglu. Someone else beat me to the punch and posted a link, but, oh, how I fantasize about that!

  • The Expatresse

    You might like this article in The New Yorker by Susan Orlean about her backyard chickens:


  • Megan Ellen

    My mother was impulsive. She would bring animals home just because, so I had both chickens and ducks as a kid. We would let them run around the backyard eating snails and bugs. Those summers were our most spider-free ever.

    It was a lot of fun.

  • Charm

    Chickens are awesome backyard farm animals! I have two (one which might secretly be a rooster!) and we’re on the cusp of eggs! Free ranging, joyfully entertaining and cat chasing chickens! I go out for 5 minutes in the morning and 15 each night then spend about an hour sorting their house on the weekend… Not too time consuming at all and best if all they really are just fun to sit in the yard and watch! Just make sure you put that tomato plant somewhere the chickens can’t get to! They LOVE tomato plants!