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What is a nest egg?

A nest egg, or fake egg, left in each nesting box, shows the pullet the place to lay eggs. When she sees the “egg” she thinks to herself “This must be a safe place to lay an egg.”

Fun Chick Stuff

If you are making spaghetti for the family, think about your chicks. Toss one of the wet (just cooked) noodles amongst the baby chicks in your brooder and watch the chase begin. It is just like the chase between adult chickens when one gets its beak tightened on a slug or a mouse. One will grab it and run and the others are attracted and give into the chase!

Our family includes chick
4 chickens in Milwaukee !

In the early summer of 2011, the City of Milwaukee Common Council voted 8-5 in favor of legalizing the raising of live hen chickens in the yards of private homes. With a $35 permit, Milwaukee has allowed my family to have up to four chickens in our yard. And so we bought a coop plan, modified it to the needs of the city's rules and began our backyard adventure. The permits are managed by Milwaukee's Department of Neighborhood Services Environmental Section.

Amelia & Josie
Pictured above at one-month and two-days old, are (left to right) Josie and Amelia enjoying their brooder. Check out Amelia's Cleopatra eye makup look.

So, there are 4 chickens living in Milwaukee, WI at our home! They are the adopted side of the family.

4 Girls Growing Up in Milwaukee

Since Milwaukee has cold and snowy winters, we needed to select hens that would tolerate the climate without risk. We also wanted a variety of looks, so we picked four breeds that were larger, have small combs and waddles and heavy feather coats.

We “adopted” them through a poultry supply company located in Fremont, Wisconsin, called Purely Poultry. As their web site indicated, they provide baby chicks for sale and poultry books and DVDs at great prices.

After reading, talking over, and studying many breeds, repeatedly, we came down to what the four-girl addition to our family would be. Each chick would be a unique breed and produce non-white eggs as well as tolerate our winter weather.

Several sources recommended having chicks protected with Mareks vaccine and so that was included in our chick order. (Standard sized chickens, like these, are inoculated on their first day out of the egg.) In our chicks' case, they would be inoculated and then packaged for shipment on day-one of their life outside of the shell.

The breeds we decided on where:

  • Buff Orpington
  • Light Brahma
  • Easter Egger
  • Silver Laced Wyandotte
My name is Josephine (they call me Josie for short) and I am a Buff Orpington hen. I am calm and patient and weigh between 7 and 7 1/2 pounds. I lay 3 large brown eggs per week. I like to wear a nice thick feather coat, a wonderful asset for Wisconsin's winter weather. Isn't my coat beautiful? I like asking that because I know it is. Cluck!
Buff Orpington
My name is Fluffy and I am a Light Brahma hen. I lay 3 medium sized brown eggs per week and everyone is as cute as a button. I am quiet and tame and have a high hug-ability personality. That might be because I am the only one in the family with slippers and, like a princess, they match my outfit. I weigh a little over 8 pounds, but who is counting?
My name is Amelia, and I really am a Buff Ameraucana, but they are calling me the Easter Egger. I lay 3 medium sized blue eggs a week. As my awsome eggs indicate, I am the fun personality in the hen house and weigh about 6 1/2 pounds. By the way, I was the first of my brooder group to fly, since my wings are very stong. Amelia Earhart is my hero, since she was one of the first women (that wasn't a hen) to fly.
Easter Egger

My name is Elizabeth and I am the Silver Laced Wyandotte in the family. I am very proud to cluck (say) that I lay 4 large beautiful brown eggs each week. The kids love me the most due to my easy-going ways but I am told by others in the coup that I have a tendancy toward dominating the hen house. I can't belive that. Can you? I weigh about 7 1/2 pounds but I simply refuse to stand still on the scale. (I know my rights!)