Coffee Chat Episode 17 | Baby Chicks!

In today’s episode of Coffee Chat, you get to meet a special guest (about 1 minute in), hear about my current can’t-stop-wearing obsession, and get a little glimpse into why I love doing what I do.

So grab a cup of coffee/tea/water/kombucha and let’s chat!


  • We got chickens!

We chose 5 different varieties (Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Barred Plymouth Rock, Ameraucana, and Ancona) and had the best time naming them: Darla, Lola, Batman, Nugget, Edna + Marcella. They will live in this metal bin in the garage for around 6 weeks and then we’ll move them outdoors to a soon-to-be-built chicken coop. I’m sort of grossed out by chickens, but the kids are so excited and I have to say that the chicks are pretty adorable. We still have much to learn, but have found this site to be helpful.

Thanks for watching!

50 Responses to Coffee Chat Episode 17 | Baby Chicks!

  1. Kate May 6, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    Hope you are enjoying your chickens still, also hope they are past the awkward stage. I have raised chickens for fifteen years and adore hearing their contented little clucks and seeing them move about the yard during the day. They especially love when I give them my watermelon, musk melon and pumpkins. When they do start laying, I would suggest not washing the eggs until right before you are going to use them. I typically take a fine grit sanding pad and sand any manure off of them. It’s not as gross as it sounds. Enjoy them, there is nothing like a fresh egg. If nothing else, take loads of pics of the beautiful bright orange yolks!

  2. Cathy Smallwood April 19, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

    Watch Appalachian Homestead with Patera! And Justin Rhodes…both on YouTube ❤️

  3. pamela March 15, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    Congratulations on your newest additions, they are adorable. Here is a reading suggestion for you, which my husband passed me a few years back. The book is called, “Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally”. Good luck!

  4. Missy March 15, 2017 at 4:26 am #

    We have watched every single season of Survivor! We love it and now our girls do too! They are 15 and 12 years old. We look forward to watching this family friendly show every week. We TiVo it and save it for the weekend. Amazing Race is another one we love and the new show Hunted is really good too! We love these shows to watch as a family!!

  5. Andree March 14, 2017 at 11:31 am #

    I was wondering if the towels can be washed and dried without wrinkling? Do the tassels stay separate?

    Thank you!

  6. Tammy March 14, 2017 at 10:01 am #

    Have urban chickens here too. They were so cute as babies but I too am in the same boat as you. They are now a bit gross and odd looking. And I am finally getting a little bit over eating their eggs by themselves and not just in a baked dish too. Ugh. We also didn’t find out the sex of our chicks so we have two hens and three roosters that let everyone know when THEY think the AM is. We do not let them roam freely in the backyard though because other birds of prey will get them in a second (and others have said snakes too-we live in SC). We have them in a large chained dog kennel with a concrete block floor (which my husband keeps covered with soft bedding) and covered with a heavy tarp. He also built them a hen hutch off the ground inside which they sleep in (and on) at night. They seem to have two seasons of laying eggs and then they go dormant for a while. We get one egg from each hen a day. We’ve had them for two years now. Have fun. That towel looks so lush too!!!

  7. LauraC March 13, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    That is so awesome you got chickens! I was in the same camp as you – I liked the theoretical idea of chickens, but was pretty wary of actually getting them. But my husband said he’d be responsible for them so I agreed and it took very little time for me to be quite happy we have them. That was four years ago. (I do help out now of course.) Lots of good info in the previous comments. It’s fun to see what people’s favorite breeds are. We’ve tried four different breeds and currently have a mix. Rhode Island Reds are our favorite though. The kids love the chickens, and they really are fun to watch. When we’ve gotten chicks in March, they’ve started laying in August, so that’s a ballpark figure to keep in the back of your mind. They grow SO fast!!! It’s fun to watch, and during their ugly adolescent stage they really do look like dinosaurs. Hilarious. You will learn so much in the next few months. Third and fourth the rain rain go away. I’m a native, and do love the rain, but even I’m ready for a few weeks of dry sunshine!

  8. Kelly March 13, 2017 at 10:56 am #

    I love the little chicks you guys got. That would be fun to have the fresh eggs.

    This is a random question, but it made me think of it with the mention of Survivor….Have you and Ryan ever watched Chef’s Table or The Mind of a Chef? I’m not a foodie or all that interested in cooking (my husband is), but we have loved watching those shows as a family. They are so interesting and so much more than just food. I think you both might like them (for the off season of Survivor, of course! ;)

  9. Sara Breeggemann March 13, 2017 at 9:24 am #

    Hi Emily! I have never commented, I don’t think, but love reading you. I felt I should comment today on the chicks though. We have had chickens for about 8 years. Currently we have 14. We tend to get babies every other spring, so that we have a good mix of young & older. We LOVE them & I can’t even eat a store-bought egg anymore! Here are some things to know:

    1. It will take about 20 weeks (5 months) for them to start laying. Make sure they have plenty of water, especially when they start laying.

    2. Many of your friends, and kids friends, will freak out about you eating possible babies. Here’s where a little health/science lesson comes in. Just like humans & every other animal, you cannot have babies unless you have a male (rooster). If you don’t the eggs will not be fertilized & will not turn into a baby chick.

    3. When they start to loose their baby fluff (around 3 weeks) they will be the ugliest things you’ve ever seen. Nothing is wrong with them, they will grown in their adult feathers & be just fine. Again, they are using lots of energy then, so plenty of feed & water.

    4. On feed: I’m sure the place you got them gave you this, but make sure they are eating something call “Start & Grow” or similar naming. They should not eat “Layer” feed until after they start laying eggs.

    5. If you & the kids handle them frequently, they will grow up more docile & also listen to you better. Ours are trained to come when called & they put themselves to bed (in their coop) if they have been out in the yard & we forget before dark.

    6. You will start to notice they each have their own personality. We really love to just watch ours move about the yard & interact with each other & our dog. She doesn’t hardly pay them any attention. We let her sniff them many times when they were babies, and as they got older, they put her in her place! She is a border collie/sheltie mix & wonderful around them.

    If you have any other questions, or if something comes up that you are wondering about, please don’t hesitate to email me!

  10. Samantha March 12, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

    My dad got chickens a few years ago and all of the grandchildren love them. This year for Christmas they got him “chicken bracelets” (from Amazon). They are basically colorful zipties that have little gems on them to help you tell your chickens apart! They are silly to be sure, but the kids love knowing which of our ladies is which! Also, be careful which compost you feed them; there are lots of human foods that are toxic/very unhealthy for chickens.

  11. Ann March 11, 2017 at 2:35 pm #

    We have been raising chickens for about 4 years and we love them. At first I was not sure what to expect. but for us watching them free range through the yard is actually theraputic for my family. Our girls love watermelon and during the summer we cut one open and leave it out for them to nibble at. They are in heaven and leave just a small part of the rind. We have had some predator issues from owls, hawks, raccoons and cats so we keep them in a coop at night. They actually go in there by themselves. Our RI Reds have been the friendliest of the different kinds. If you are looking for an excellent source of information – FreshEggsDaily has been our go to source. .

  12. Lynn March 11, 2017 at 11:43 am #

    You can go to pbs.Com to watch the Great Brtish Baking Show. Or you can down load the PBS app.

  13. Karen March 11, 2017 at 10:33 am #

    Hi Emily – I live in Washington also and am so so tired of the rain! On a happier note – chickens :)! I started with 14 and now 2 years later have 8. Mine are free range so the biggest problem is predators. Hawks, coyotes and our dog:(. I know raccoons can be a huge problem also. They are easy to care for and so entertaining to watch! Since we live in the same climate I know the chicken house does not need insulation and does need good ventilation. Love your blog and coffee chats! PS – fresh eggs are the best !!

  14. Ellen March 11, 2017 at 7:41 am #

    Hi Emily,
    Aren’t chicks adorable! This is what I heard though: when you have chickens you will have mice…..I’m not sure if this is true. People who already have chickens will know for sure. Maybe you guys should also look into getting a cat…:) Have a great Saturday!

    • emily March 11, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

      That’s one of the things I think are gross about them – they attract rodents. I’m not a fan.

    • Lara May 3, 2017 at 1:15 am #

      I suppose it’s because most people feed them grains, amongst other things, which mice also like as an easy way to get food! We had to change where we fed them because we got mice in the house. It just comes with the bundle, there’s no need to freak out. Just be careful about it, that’s all, and if you do have to get rid of them, there are several humane and non-toxic ways to do so. It think they’re so darn cute, I’d ten times rather drive them away than kill them.

      I simply cannot fathom why anyone would be “grossed out” by chickens or by fresh eggs! It’s what people all over the place have always done!

      As to their life span, they do live for a rather long time, but many varieties (at least mine) stop or really slow down their production after around three years. Since chickens are an expense (it can be a really small expense, but they are an expense nevertheless), it won’t do for them to be scratching around and eating and doing nothing, so then (GROSSNESS ALERT) they’re headed for the soup pot.

      As an anecdote, I noticed this happened with Clotilda, my oldest hen. Then I stuck her in a cage for 24 hours to purge her intestines (no need for chicken poo contaminating good meat after the kill). She laid! For the first time in weeks. Fast forward a few months, the exact same thing happened again. And then for the third time, months later. As of now, she hasn’t laid in months again, but she’s enjoying unconditional pardon until I stress out again about the chicken eating and not producing.

  15. Denise March 11, 2017 at 7:22 am #

    Darcie Isabella on You Tube has 10 children and also raises chickens. Her kids pet them, feed them, love them. The family is fun to watch.

  16. Cindy B March 11, 2017 at 7:22 am #

    Hi, Emily,

    1. The chicks are adorable! I believe you and Ashley Ann Campbell are friends? I think that I remember you visiting with her on your road trip. She has had chickens for several years, and has written a lot about the chickens, building the coop, on her blog Under the Sycamore.

    2. I live in Pittsburgh (you know, that great city you didn’t visit in your road trip 😉) and people here, including my very stylish 20-something daughter, wear Uggs all the time, and not as slippers! I have several different ones and she has at least half a dozen pair, including the mocassin-type slippers. I like the tall boots with warm, fleece-lined leggings or skinny jeans tucked in and an over-sized cozy sweater for cold days.

    3. I bought 3 sets of the number pushpins from your site for a bulletin board. Love the way they look, but they are not functional as push pins. The wire pin part is blunt-ended, not pointed. And when trying to push the pin into the board -a regular store-bought, wood-framed cork board, the wire broke. I thought maybe the cork was too fine-grained and hard, so I covered a piece of homasote with fabric, but couldn’t get the backs to go into that without bending. My sweet husband offered to file the pins into points, but that seems like a lot of work, especially on 12 pins! I will cut off the backs and use these for something else (magnets? Embellishments on picture frames?) but wanted you to know that they didn’t work well for me as pushpins.

  17. Emily Roach March 11, 2017 at 6:51 am #

    I’ve missed a few coffee chats and I forgot how much I enjoyed them! Thank you.
    I love your slippers too and may get myself a pair. I suggest just using them at home so you don’t track in those yucky school germs/toxins from floor cleaners into your beautiful home.

    And the new home page is amazing. Congrats!

  18. Lindsey March 11, 2017 at 5:04 am #

    Yay 🐔 !!
    First, I love your cute coffee chats! I get excited when there’s a new one in my email. 😁
    Second, chickens… we’ve had chickens for 5 or so years. They’re not as gross as you may think. I love sitting outside and just watching them peck the ground, and when they’re run it’s hilarious! We’ve had several different varieties, but our favorites are the Americaunas. We’ve found them to be the friendliest, and they lay blue/green eggs. They were great layers all winter. In face we had so many extras from our 9 chickens that I had to sell some, and everyone will be lining up to buy delicious eggs if you have extras. 😉 Be sure to check what food scraps chickens can eat, if you haven’t already. Have fun with them! And I’ll be waiting for your next coffee chat 😍

  19. Chelsea Rotunno March 10, 2017 at 11:55 pm #

    Always love your coffee chats, Emily!!! ❤️

  20. Justina March 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

    This was the first coffee chat I watched as it mentioned chickens and that got me curious. Been following your blog for a while now.

    I live on 7 acres just outside Brisbane Australia and within a year of living at our home we bought chickens (about 5-6 years ago now). I am not really a bird person so we thought chicks was a good way to start. It was fun watching them grow. We knew little about raising chicks at the time and unfortunately they all got fowl pox. Over the years we have had other threats that have resulted in deaths but I still have 2 of the originals left (one bantam and one standard Plymouth Rock, Henrietta and Harriet). Since then we have had many more chickens added to our coops and every chick is named once I know its sex. We currently have 3 coops as we have roosters. We also have a range of breeds in our main coop. Hubby wanted to breed blue leghorns, so we have a coop for them separate to the others. We have raised chicks using a clucky hen and also in an incubator. My third coop has five 7 week old chicks (we bought these as were after full breed hens) – we think 2 are roosters and the other 3 hens. From this you can see they really do grow on you. They all have there own personalities and can be very entertaining to watch. I’m sure your family will very much enjoy them.

    You will love the eggs (point of lay is about 6 months of age). They taste better and the yolks are usually much yellower than what you get in a supermarket. When I have excess I sell them at work and they are in great demand. Everyone that has used my eggs comments on the yellowness of the yolks and even when I bake you can see the difference.

    All our chickens roam free when we are at home – I have 2 areas so the roosters can’t fight – so they get a lot of insects and nutrients. They will love kitchen scraps, just check online to make sure what you are giving them is OK as there are some things (eg onions) they shouldn’t have. All our chickens and chicks get “greens” (scrap vegetables/fruit) – for the little ones I cut up small amounts of what we eat into tiny bits for them. No harm has ever come from that – they also get chick feed as it has everything they need in it for growth etc.

    Enjoy the new family members. Feel free to email if you have any questions. We are in a subtropical climate so the only difference would be keeping them warm during your winter.

  21. Kelly March 10, 2017 at 7:50 pm #

    Never raised chickens, but we did live in Scotland for awhile and never refrigerated our eggs. Something with the process of how eggs are cleaned in the US makes them need to be refrigerated. With fresh eggs you can leave them on the counter! Would love to do that again!

  22. Michelle March 10, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

    Hi Emily,

    Congratulations on your chicks:) I absolutely love seeing chickens in yards just scattered around and enjoying their little lives. God is so good and clearly has a sense of humour:) I have always wanted them and now I shall live vicariously through you and your family with hopefully updates on the coop making, egg gathering etc…how fun.

    Enjoy it all Emily and family and thank you for sharing it is really appreciated and gave me such a big smile:)

    Have a great day with kindest regards,

  23. Kristin S March 10, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

    Survivor! I’ve watched every single season except Japan. I just couldn’t get in to it. I still watch with friends. This year I’m even in a fantasy league. Crazy town. Seventeen years with one show and Probst’s dimples!

  24. Kate Teodoro March 10, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    Hi from the desert! Sorry the weather is so crummy. You’re welcome to visit anytime!!

    I in the Lex clan and love survivor too! I’ve seen a lot of the seasons too and love when new ones come on especially when it’s with old contestants.

  25. Laura Kirch March 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

    Loving your new office! Can you please share where you got your chambray shirt? Looks like a nice quality one. I, too wear slippers everyday! I splurged on some Uggs slipper style and am so glad I did. Having the real wool vs. the synthetic material from a knock off makes a huge difference.

  26. Meredith March 10, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

    This coffee chat was great as always. What color is your nail polish? It’s so pretty.

    • emily March 11, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

      I use gel polish and they are just numbered at the salon, so I don’t actually know the color. Just a fun, springy orangy pink.

  27. Angela March 10, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

    Hey Emily!

    I have chickens too! They are wonderful, you will really enjoy them later. I add apple cider vinegar to their water. Here is a good link to read up on the benefits.
    Our favorite part of having chickens is that they ear all of our left overs, they coming running to me when they see I am carrying a bowl. I’ve always considered it our composting and recycling program. There are a few things they shouldn’t have, for example, onions, apple seeds, avocado peel and pit…I went to our local library once for a seminar for caring for back yard chickens. There are many good books for reference too.

  28. Marissa March 10, 2017 at 11:43 am #

    I thought I saw you at the HOA training and then when said you wore those Uggs, I was like “Yup, that was her!” You are probably the only grown person I know that looks cute wearing Uggs! I totally wanted to come up and say hi to you but didn’t know if that would be weird. Here’s hoping we get some sunshine soon!

    • emily March 11, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

      Next time, please do!

  29. Shelby Anderson March 10, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    I have never watched your Coffee chat before, but I can tell you I loved it! Survivor – family fave in our house! Our daughter is a huge fan and is loving seeing all her favories – Ozzy, Malcom, Cierra – she is in heaven this season!
    I have been exploring the idea of chickens as well, and like you can get grossed out if I think to much about it. haha
    I just received a turkish towel as a gift this year and so in love! I need to check out the hand towel size.
    Excited to see the next chat! :)

  30. Beth Himschoot March 10, 2017 at 11:07 am #

    I’m so glad someone else wears slippers EVERY SINGLE DAY. May feet are cold all the time, so I invested in a pair of UGG slippers this winter. Money well spent for warm feet.

    The Great British Bakeoff is such a great show. PBS used to air them about a year after they were on in the U.K. I’m hoping they continue the tradition. They also air a little “extra” show that has Paul and Mary demonstrate how to make some of their challenges from the show.

    Enjoy the chickens!

  31. Amy March 10, 2017 at 10:49 am #

    Love your chambray top!! Mind telling us the brand or where to buy?!? Thanks!!

    • emily March 11, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

      Sure! It is linked at the bottom of the post :)

  32. April March 10, 2017 at 10:48 am #

    ❤️ Survivor! Also, I’m dying to get some marble salt bowls with the mini spoons for myself and some sweet friends. When will they be restocked?!?

  33. Kate March 10, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    Hi Emily!

    How exciting!! We got baby chicks last year and I am so thankful we did. They are a joy to watch grow and interact with each other. My children learned simple responsibilities when “taking care” of them and love finding three eggs a day! (One per chicken). You’ll start seeing eggs towards the end of the summer. Funny, we find ourselves talking about the chickens and how we’ve become farmers with our friends…and it quickly becomes quite the topic of interest. You’ll find yourself explaining that you don’t have to have a rooster to have eggs and no, they will not hatch if you leave them long enough for the hens to sit on. here are a few tips I can share: they love to roost, so give them something to sit up on. We have a wooden bar running across the coop. They need extra light in the winter months to keep laying. We added one in the coop and it also helps to keep the water from freezing. You’ll need to wait to give them compost from your food (only chick feed for the first few months then layer feed). Your local feed store will have more details on this. They need water and lots of it. Hens can find their own food (bugs, plants etc, but they will rely on you for water.) I think that’s it. Enjoy!!

  34. Rachel C March 10, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    We have had chickens for a couple of years and I don’t find them gross at all. They are actually so cute and have such awesome personalities. Our nieces and nephews love coming out and playing with them (basically throwing scraps around their run and watching them chase after them). I’m sure you will come to love them and their fresh eggs as they really are so much better than regular grocery store eggs!

  35. Erin March 10, 2017 at 10:40 am #

    I became completely obsessed with the Great British Baking Show last week and have rapidly made my way through the first 2 seasons. Happily, you can find at least the first 3 on Netflix. Of course, now all I want to do is bake cakes!

  36. Cathleen March 10, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    Hi Emily – if you haven’t already, a great read is Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading by Janice Cole. You can get it on Amazon. It’s a super read and will definitely make you laugh! Janice Cole is a food writer who lives in Minnesota. This is her story about deciding to get (and raise) baby chicks. Have fun and keep us updated!

  37. Jesse May Danson March 10, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    As always, I relished your coffee chat! :) I hope you don’t mind, I’ve borrowed the idea for my YouTube channel, and gave you verbal credit for the concept. ;) Your office is looking lovely!

  38. Lynn March 10, 2017 at 10:01 am #

    I see that you haven’t yet styled your new office floating shelves. Can you show us how you choose decorative items and place them with more functional items? I’d love to see you in action with various options. Also, how deep are your kitchen open shelves, in comparison with these Ikea shelves? Love the look!

  39. Chris March 10, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    You will enjoy the chickens, as well as watching your kiddos play with them. Since you’re an avid slipper wearer thought you might like these https://mahabis.com/. Big Survivor fans in our household too. Very much enjoying your blog and watching the process/progress of you making your new home your own. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Katherine March 10, 2017 at 9:48 am #

    My girls have raised chickens for 4H for 2 years, and you will love the chickens. As they grow they really do develop their own personalities, and are so much fun. When my husband works in the yard, his favorite chicken will follow him around… so sweet!

    As they get older, here’s a neat tip, if the kids hold them they can flip them over on their back and they get super relaxed… I’ve even seen them fall alseep. Not kidding!!

    Have fun,


  41. Sandra March 10, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    We too watch survivor! I have seen every season minus the first two. My oldest son and I bond over watching survivor! You are not the only ones.

  42. Shell March 10, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    Hi Emily,
    Love your Coffee Chats!
    Our family enjoys watching Survivor too…and we are also fans of Malcolm and Ozzie: )
    And Spring!!! So looking forward to it.
    Quick question: do you ship to Canada?
    Have a great weekend!

  43. Kinsey March 10, 2017 at 9:40 am #

    I’m also “still” watching Survivor, though I didn’t actually get into the show until a few years ago. But I’ve watched everything that’s available on Hulu, and my husband and I have a draft going for this new season (so far, I’m losing).

  44. Amber March 10, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    Good luck with your chicks! We keep chickens and hatch out chicks pretty regularly. My sister-in-law is a science teacher and every spring we give her a bunch of fertilized eggs to incubate and hatch in her classroom. The students tend to the incubator (for 21 days) and watch the chicks hatch. A few days after they hatch, she gives the chicks back to us. It’s a win-win!

    If you ever have chicken questions, feel free to email me. I enjoy your blog!

    amberlowmiddleton at gmail dot com

  45. rachel March 10, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    1. Totally thought that was a fireplace behind you! It took me a few minutes to realize you were in your office! Lol!
    2. I like the idea of using one of these towels as a beach towel and that they wouldn’t take up as much room as our typical beach towels! I will have to go check those out.
    3. And lastly, your polish color looks pretty! 😊

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