Good Morning, Chickens!


The chickens are up with the sun! Or, actually, way before the sun. Chickens are early risers. They start crowing the day in around, oh, 4 AM. They crow till I let them out of the chicken house, then they crow some more. And some more after that. What is up with all that crowing? But I like it. Nothing like a rooster crowing to make you feel like you live on a farm.

I live on a farm. I like that, too.

But before I let the chickens out, I stop on the way to feed the goats, let them out into their goat yard, and release Coco from her all-night confinement on guard duty with Clover and the babies. Coco’s always eager to see me. I think Clover tells her scary stories at night or something.

Or just simply spending the night with Clover is scary.

Coco bursts with energy when she comes out of the goat pen, and she loves to get the chickens up with me! She’ll return to the goat yard later, but for now, she has to get up chickens and eat her own breakfast while Clover and the babies eat theirs.

The chickens love to get up. I say, “Good morning, chickens!” and lift the door. They charge out of the chicken house, crowing and cooing and generally making a big ruckus.

The ducks hang back, afraid to get involved in this chicken ruckus. They wait till all the chickens are out then they will gingerly peek their heads out and decide if it’s safe to emerge.

They tumble off the walkway from the house to the yard, working to avoid tangling with that scary rooster, completely graceless.

I love my ducks.

While Coco pants at the fence, watching the chickens and ducks come out, I go inside….

….to see what’s new. There’s usually something waiting for me on the floor.

And in the nesting boxes. At least somebody’s behaving and laying in the right place.

I gather up eggs and go back to the chickens, who are waiting, waiting, waiting, hoping I have brought them a treat.

I bring them cracked corn, or leftovers from the kitchen, and sometimes cracked eggshells. Eating eggshells helps them make strong shells on the eggs they lay. I pile up eggshells as I use eggs, then when I have a good batch, I bake them in the oven to dry them out. (You don’t want the chickens to get a taste of raw egg. It might tempt them to eat their own eggs!) I crumble them up after they’re dried out.

I toss them on the ground of the chicken yard and they fall upon it like ravening wolves. Okay, ravening chickens.

I put some in their feed box, too. Don’t you just love big fluffy chicken butts?

Coco loves big fluffy chicken butts.

Sorry, Coco, they are not your breakfast!

So I feed Coco her real breakfast and I take my eggs inside. I’ve been saving egg cartons for months, waiting for the day that I would have eggs. Think I have enough egg cartons?

In my defense, egg cartons will wear out and I’ll need new ones and I won’t be buying eggs, so it seemed like a good idea to store up lots of cartons. Plus, when I have too many eggs, I will be giving away cartonfuls to Georgia. So I need extra. I’m not obsessive and compulsive, I’m not!

I love my pretty cartons of colorful eggs.

I could stare at them all day, but that would be weird. Like, obsessive and compulsive.

But aren’t my eggs pretty? I made eggs!!!!! (Well, the chickens helped…..)


  1. Kalin says:

    I can’t believe how grown-up Coco looks these days!

    Congrats on the eggs!

  2. Lexi Connor says:

    LOL, Suzanne! You ARE crazy, but I love reading about your adventures!

  3. Lola-Dawn says:

    Okay now I really miss mornings on the farm …

  4. Carolyn A. says:

    Very nice carton of eggs. Farm fresh eggs are the best! I can just smell them cooking. Scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon and biscuits. Now that’s a breakfast. xxoo

  5. Heidi says:

    Its a GREAT idea to let them eat the shells!! We do that to, I take a rolling pin – put the shells in it and roll over them till they are crumbled well. The chickens seem to digest them faster, or its just me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. The Jillybean says:

    My chickens are psychotic I believe. I got 11 eggs, one per day…then over a month with NO EGGS. I had changed nothing. Then I was told to put a light out on them for a couple of hours a day and I started getting 3 eggs per day, for about a month. Now, we are back to one egg per day. They are crazy I tell ya!

  7. Diane says:

    Why do you make living on a farm sound like so much fun?? Makes me want to get chickens, goats and a big dog. lol.

  8. hayseed says:

    Look at all of your bounty! Coco, the goats, ducks chickens, and most importantly, eggs! I love mornings, and mornings on your farm look wonderful!

  9. Shari C says:

    Great eggs and I believe you have enough cartons to last quite a while. By reading your posts each day I can truly tell you absolutely love living on the farm and enjoy each and every day. I think Coco likes it a lot too put would be happier if she could help with the chickens.

  10. MissyinWV says:

    Suzanne, all of animals are too cute. I love to see that people can really get back to living outside the box. Is there a big difference in the average monthly grocery bill, from before farm to after? It is so great that you don’t have to go to town to get eggs.. SOOO COOL!

  11. Sarah in Sanford says:

    Hey Suzanne! I haven’t commented in a while, but I read daily. I am so glad to see YOU HAVE EGGS! Your farm has come a long way. You are surely making your dreams come true.

  12. Cece says:

    I look forward to your posts each day. I am living through you, you just need to get a horse and a donkey and I can totally be happy. LOL I love your stories and the way you talk about your life. Coco is growing so fast, what a beautiful pupster. Does she snuggle with Clover and the babies at night? LOL

    Thanks for sharing.


  13. Lisa says:

    Suzanne, have you ever used the Romance Writer’s convention in any of your books? I was re-reading one of the Nora’s books this weekend and she referenced the convention being held at a specific hotel in California. Just wondered if you had used it as well.

    I have puppy-itis. Someone here in Michigan has listed their 14 wk old Pyr puppy for rehoming. I really have to tell myself I don’t need an 8th dog!

  14. Suzette says:

    You’re really doing a good job of convincing me that when I win the lottery, I should buy a farm instead of touring France! This looks like a lot more fun!

    I never thought of chicken butts before. They do look amazing.

    I remember my uncle’s chickens from my childhood. It was the kids’ duty to feed ’em. I remember they were pretty smelly. I suspect that was largely because my uncle was a kind of smelly sort himself. He kept them across the creek away from the house, and boy! Once you crossed the creek, you started taking shorter breaths! LOL! Do your chickens stink up the place? Enquiring minds want to know. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Jen ( says:

    I’m so jealous! We live in the town limits and can’t have chickens.

    Can I move in with you?

  16. Becky says:

    Nothing like the sound of a rooster crowing in the morning to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s just calming for some reason. The Captain never wanted chickens. But recently has begun to take an interest. Yippee!!
    And I like the fluffy chicken butts, too.
    Soon I’ll be making eggs, too. Gotta get the chickens first.

  17. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Missy, I haven’t done any figuring on savings, really, but we are still just getting started with the farm. We didn’t have a huge fabulous haul from our garden this year and we’ve just started getting eggs (and sometimes milk!). I’ve started making more and more things from scratch. It’s a gradual process, but I know that every single thing I learn to make from scratch, or that we can create ourselves on the farm, saves money–though startup to get things done costs money, so right now, probably everything we’re saving has been plowed back in to build the chicken house, build the goat house (we’re working on that), etc.

    Suzette–I don’t smell them. Well, if I walk right into the chicken yard, I do, but I don’t smell them from the porch or just walking around the yard. It helps that they have adequate space, and cleaning out pens helps, too! (The goats don’t smell even though their night pen is under our porch–we keep it cleaned out regularly.)

  18. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    Suzanne, you’ve come a long way from the days when you despaired of ever finding even one egg! And now at least one of your girls is laying them IN THE NEST! Amazing progress. Congrats! :catmeow:

  19. Claudia W. says:

    I have to get me a farm. I just have to. Maybe that is the cure I need to get rid of some of my aches and pains. I just KNOW I would be more willing to get up in the morning and go do my “job” if it meant I had to go and take care of my chickens, goats, and giant puppies!

  20. Maureen says:

    Great eggs! It must be exciting to find them each day.

  21. TeresaH says:

    As long as you don’t cackle while you gather eggs! Or do you? :chicken:

  22. earth heart says:

    Love this post, love the pics, love your non-obsessive compulsive tendencies :rotfl: but most of all I love the big fluffy chicken butts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. jan-n'-tn says:

    What a great haul of eggs, especially for this time of year :bananadance: . The weather is getting cooler and even though the chickens don’t look like they are in molt, they are! It’s not like an assembly line, when one has to take a break, the others have to pitch in, to help keep up production :whip: . It’s more like ‘follow the leader’ when one is on break—they all go on break :clock: .In the past 30 days our 13 girls have dropped from 7 eggs a day, to 1. I’m proud that she is still producing. After many years of gathering egg cartons, either bought, donated, or returned for refill, I have found that if you open them up and stack them according to size and shape…they take up less space. I was doing this before we had to actually buy cartons from a manufacturer guess what, that’s how they ship them (who would have thought..).LOL.

  24. Gail says:

    We are getting 7 large eggs a day, which really add up. Our Pyrenees dogs (2) get treats of scrambled eggs often with their food as “payment” from the chickens from keeping them safe from the coyotes hanging around. I save the egg shells too. I read that they are great to add to garden soil as a natural mineral replacement. I rinse mine out, let them air dry and when I have enough to cover a cookie sheet or two, bake them at 350 degrees for ten minutes. Then they go in a ziplock bag and get crushed with a rolling pin. When the bag is full, they go in the blender to be pulverized. I have a huge jar of powder already to be added to the garden soil along with our composted goat and rabbit manure. Our hens make lots of noise when laying eggs… anything from a melodic cackle to a wild whoop ! whoop! sound to a downright scream. It’s hysterical to listen to and goes on all day. I also have a cabinet full of saved egg cartons! We give eggs to our neighbors, and they return the empty egg cartons in our mailbox. Can’t run out of egg cartons!

  25. jean says:

    You and the chickens are making wonderful eggs together! Those first few were, sorry, pretty ugly but these are gorgeous.

  26. Doris says:

    Our hens have slacked off laying now also. My hubby says they are eating them, but I think not. It is the time of year and the weather. My son-in-law has lights on a timer in his hen house. He says it really helps with production in the fall and winter.I used to save my shells and crush them too, then I got lazy. lol ๐Ÿ˜†

  27. Amy Addison says:

    Ravening chickens with big fluffy butts. :rotfl: You crack me up.

    Your eggs, and shells are so pretty. You did a good job (even if you had a little help from the chickens. I won’t tell….)

  28. Jean says:

    Your eggs look terrific! So do the chickens, Coco and the goats. Your farm just looks wonderful, all of it. You have done such a great job. Congratulations!

  29. Christine says:

    Whoa! I swear I was about to write my own post about big fluffy chicken butts. They make me smile.

    We have the same morning routine minus the goats. Clover has convinced me I don’t really need goats. LOL Maybe I’ll get a few turkeys instead.

  30. Donna says:

    Suzanne, that was the CUTEST story of how your life begins each morning…PRECIOUS farm animals…that Coco!!! How I love that big giant puppy!!!!! The Duckers sound so cute..waiting to come out…
    Wow, you have SEVERAL eggs now…that is so cool. Very informative. I LOVE a Rooster crowing in the am…I have only had that experience once but loved it!!!! LOVED all the pictures and your story! Thank you!!!

    Sixteen…what a character…she is just a CUTIE bug!!!!

  31. Donna says:

    P.S. – I wish I had Coco’s energy!!!!! :sheepjump:

  32. Susan says:

    With all of the different colors of your eggs you won’t have to dye any when Easter rolls around! ๐Ÿ˜†

  33. Brandy says:

    Nah, nothing obsessive about saving lots and LOTS of egg cartons. *G*

  34. Estella says:

    Fresh eggs are the best kind!

  35. Kacey says:

    Hm, Not sure about the rooster crowing at 4am, but the rest of it sounds like fun. Love all the colors of the eggs too!

  36. cindy smith says:

    hello ya know years ago when we were in school we took a dozen of eggs and this was for art. we took the egg and made a small hole on the top and the bottom of the egg and blew the egg out and then we would painted the shells. let them dry. after they were dry we smashed them keeping all the colors separate. then drew a picture on post board and glued the shells on where ever we wanted the colors. we made chicken, flowers & trees . on my that brings back memories. tell you the truth. after that we my mother never threw any part of that egg out.

  37. Sooz in NV says:

    :cattail: Hi I have a couple of questions for you:
    Whatever happened to Blue?
    If Clover and the younguns are locked up in a shed at night, does Coco need to be there? Are you concerned about thieves or varmints?

  38. The Tile Lady-Marie says:

    It’s so wonderful to have chickens, and I am so looking forward to it! I had never heard about feeding them the eggshells to make their own eggs stronger. I guess it has lots of calcium in in. I will remember that! If you open the egg cartons and stack them one inside the other, they will take up a lot less room. We were saving cartons to take to a local supplier who used them to fill when people came to buy his eggs. I used to have a rooster as a pet, and named him Lonesome George because I didn’t have any hens. Loved reading about your chickens…and Coco!

  39. Candice says:

    I have heard about giving chickens their smashed up shells, but I thought the shells should be mixed with their food. I didn’t know they’d just eat it plain. I was told that you had to smash the shells really good so the chickens wouldn’t know what they were eating and so they didn’t later peck at their own eggs.
    I don’t know if you answer your readers questions, but I was wondering what kind of dog is Coco? He looks lab, but I wasn’t sure. Does he kill the chickens? or are they fenced off? I have a Westie terrier and she gets along fine with the chickens. I”d like to get a big dog to protect the property, (there are lots of coyotes near us) but I”m afraid a big dog would kill the chickens. Any advice or experience on that one?

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