Up with the Chickens (and the Goats)


I’m up with the chickens every day. I hear them clucking and crowing and jostling each other at the door to the chicken yard, eager to burst outside for the day.

Our chicken house security has been expanded to a double-lock system on the little door between the chicken yard and house.

The little peg pulls out, but for fear that might be simple enough for raccoon-thinking, a more difficult lock was added. It takes some manipulation and some strength to open this second lock.

Once both locks are off, the latch on the door releases. The door is lifted up using a pulley.

The pulley is tied to hold the door open. I love this little system because I can do it all from outside the chicken yard.

More security updating was done this weekend after I discovered this hole torn in the chicken wire that goes around the top of the chicken house (for ventilation). Something had been trying to break in and get my chickens!

As you can see, new and stronger hardware cloth has been nailed over the chicken wire all around the chicken house.

Nothing’s gonna get my chickens! Even if they are kinda scary lookin’.

I don’t want anything getting my goats, either. Coco did her part, uncovering several security flaws in the goat enclosure.

Okay, actually, she went AWOL and as a result, we discovered the security flaws.

And discovered Coco napping under my car.

Coco: “I don’t wanna work. I wanna nap. And watch QVC. I’m only three months old. Can’t I do that? WHAT ABOUT MY CHILDHOOD? Aren’t there child labor laws?”


Dookie stretched out on the porch, delighting in his perpetual unemployment. “That’s why you get all the attention,” he told Coco. “Go ahead. ENJOY YOUR ATTENTION. WHILE YOU WORK.”

Not that he’s bitter or anything.

In spite of the farm shih tsu, Coco got all embarrassed and sorry about her own behavior.

And back she came to her goats. She may be a livestock guardian dog, but she’s only a giant puppy, too.

Clover said, “Don’t worry, Coco. I like babies. I’ll help you. Come on.”

What about me, Clover? Can I touch your udder? I have cookies.

I’ll take that as a no.


  1. Stephanie says:

    Good Morning… I’m also up with the chickens, even though we live in the suburbs and I don’t have chickens.

  2. Heidi says:

    That was a coon!!!!! They ripped the wire off of mine coop and got my chickens. They are strong little buggers and need to be delt with… prepare to die!! LOL Glad CoCo got her stuff back together and is going to be cooperative. 🙂

  3. Michelle Willingham says:

    I hope Clover makes the milking easy for you. :guitar:

  4. heidi says:

    Cookies? Like Chocolate chip? I had no idea! If you give a goat a cookie…will she give You a cup of milk?
    I want goats. We’re looking for a small farm to perhaps make into a compound or community of family. Whatever- I Want Goats!

  5. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Heidi, no, not like chocolate chip, LOL. Though she’d probably like that! I’m talking about animal cracker cookies. The kind that come in the giant-size bags.

  6. Kim says:

    Oh my Suzanne, your chicken kind of resembles the Skeksis. For anyone that doesn’t know or remember, from the movie The Dark Crystal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeksis I love that movie! Some varmint tried to get your chickens! The nerve. Maybe you need to set up some kind of live feed cam, then we could all help you watch your chickens till Coco gets over her QVC stage. LOL! :sheepjump:

  7. Karen Moorhead says:

    I am thrilled to see your addition to the family. My pup is a herding dog, English shepherd and has no important job. Cocoa should realize how darn lucky he is to have the goats. You can tell him I said so!

  8. Cheryl says:

    I SO love reading about your animal adventures and I love all the additions…….the chickens with attitude, Mama Clover and her babies! But I gotta admit….Coco has stolen my heart!!!!!!

  9. Shari C says:

    I believe it was a coon also…we just caught one this morning in our live trap…they are very destructive and mean. Save your chickens!

    I like Coco’s idea…I will watch QVC with her as I like to shop from home while enjoying my morning cup of coffee. Maybe Coco thinks she is on vacation already or maybe she just enjoys being a puppy yet…eternal childhood.

  10. hawkswench says:

    Well she did find the security flaw in the fencing, so maybe she was just on as extended lunch break?? Power napping thats it! lol Her legs have gotten so long.

  11. Norma says:

    What a nice blog!! I love Coco. Suzanne, I ran across this blog this morning and you have got to check out todays writing!!!!! It concerns a chicken problem that I hope you never run into with your chickens. Check it out.


  12. brenda taylor says:

    Iam back online and email working. hope to get your address and be able to get your book.if still possible.
    thanks Brenda

  13. Doris says:

    Hubby caught a huge coon a few nights ago at the horse barn. It kept tearing open feed sacks and strewing it. Something ? has been getting into our neighbours shed and eating chicken feed. We hope the coon we caught was the only one. Something also killed three of his chickens. He had six, he gave up and gave us the three he had left. This was one bad ass mean coon .lol

  14. Razor Family Farms says:

    I just discovered your site and LOVE it!

    Your captions are so witty and refreshing!


  15. SuzieQ says:

    Coco was just taking a break from job training…how would you like to be put on your first job 24/7?? You would need a break too…Love Clover and the babies..before long Coco won’t want to leave them either.

  16. Donna says:

    :mrgreen: Ohhh, sweetest critters ever! They are alll so cute, but of course Coco is my fav fluff puff. :mrgreen:

  17. laney says:

    Dear goodness, that Coco is still the cutest dog EVER. But the baby goats, well, they seem to have cornered the market on cute too.
    No worries, Clover will come around soon.

    Just keep those chickens safe and keep the running dialog going. I love the updates!!

  18. Alison says:

    Did you ever find out what type of little bird nest you had in the corner of your chicken coop? Your goats are very cute. :yes:

  19. Jodie says:

    Coco is obviously on strike for higher wages and a dog house so she can relax in the shade!

  20. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Alison, we think it was a wren!

  21. sunnid755 says:

    :wave: awww, poor coco,she’ll get the hang of it soon. I love the chickens and goats and pics, kinda glad I don’t have smellavision sometimes, tho

  22. Shimmy Mom says:

    Good luck keeping out the other critters. I don’t know of many worse feeling than loosing your animals to one that shouldn’t have been around in the first place.

  23. Susan says:

    I agree with Heidi, it was coons. Coco must think girls just wanna have fun! :shimmy:

  24. wkf says:

    That goat is gonna run out of milk if you don’t get to it!!!! :whip:

  25. Egghead says:

    Oh I hope you don’t have any losses like mine. You should go here and see what I did to solve my problems with weasels. I now have alien chickens.


  26. Estella says:

    I love this blog. It is always a treat to come and see your chickens, goats and Coco!

  27. rebecca says:

    Feeling major urge to run to the pound and rescue a puppy… :woof:

    You’re killing me with your cutness, Coco!!!!!! :snoopy:

  28. catslady says:

    Just catching up after being away – wonderful pics and it’s all so very exciting!!!

  29. Brandy says:

    I’m enjoying all these pictures! Poor Coco, she just wants to be a baby a little longer.

  30. margiesbooboo says:

    i’m wondering if you could increase the goat enclosure to include the chicken coop. that way coco could also keep a eye out on the chickens. just a thought, i worry about the chickens. bye the way, any signs of eggs yet?


  31. Treasia says:

    Suzanne I wanted to let you know I passed on a blog award to you. Pick it up at my blog anytime.

  32. Pam says:

    My Niece has chickens here in our city below the foothills. A black fox got one of them. We even saw the fox in the golf course by their house. It was cute and scammpering around. Guess it has a double personality.

  33. KathyB. says:

    I agree with others who submitted comments…you have prowling coons ! We have lost chickens, ducks, and turkeys to raccoons. I once found some of my poor chickens in what looked like a scene from an X-Files…..the chicken was headless, with the neck stuck in the wire of the pen, and ALL the flesh had been picked off leaving a headless skeleton stuck to the wire! This happened several nights in a row…you can just imagine, every morning seemed to be a horror show. Anyway, I realized ( a bit late ) the coons were only taking advantage of my poor decision to put things in the chicken pen that allowed the chickens to roost close to the outer wire. So I changed that. But the raccoons are very strong and cunning. They actually pulled a poor chicken through regular chicken wire and it looked like they munched on the poor chicken while they pulled it out.

    I used to dream about the ideal farm, where my poultry could roam our property, and roost in peace..but we have lost way too much poultry to raccoons..and those cute buggers are very determined and cunning, and unnervingly bold in their blood lust for my home raised birds ! KathyB.

  34. Crystal B. says:

    Great pics. I hope your chickens stay safe.

  35. Gizmo says:

    Glad to see you were able to keep your flock safe – before a tragedy happened.
    Bless Coco’s heart. She’ll come around…one day that light bulb will turn on, and you’ll be looking back at the pictures wondering what happened to your carefree giant puppy.
    Clover will come around too..(sigh)…it might take a little convincing though. LOL Remember, those babies will take all “your” milk. So if you notice her udder is really full, that’s the time to try. She’ll appreciate having the pressure relieved.

  36. Maureen says:

    I love all your pictures of your animals. They are all so adorable.

  37. TeresaH says:

    just think, the more cookies Clover eats before you milk her, the sweeter the milk will be :rotfl:

  38. jean says:

    I am in love with Coco. She is just so darn adorable.

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