Happy hens come from homesteads!

It’s also been awhile since I posted pictures of our little barnyard menagerie.  Besides, our critters are more popular than the Urban Homesteaders themselves.   Can’t say as I blame them, they are sooooo picture savvy.  Me, not savvy!  When a camera comes out, I skedaddle the other way!

One of my favorite part of the day is going out just as the sun rises (this past week there has been a beautiful full moon in the morn) to open up the chicken coop.  The ducks fall out, all in lined up in a row while making soft quacking sounds.  A good morning to you too, ladies!   Besides we humans, the ducks are the earliest risers here on the homestead and are up at the crack of dawn so they can scrounge around the animal compound for worms and such.   About a hour later, the chickens will hop down off their perches, one by one, to join their compadres in the compound for a day of scratching, preening & eating.  Ahhhh the life!

This coming spring our plan (God willing) is to add to our poultry flock since many of our chickens are heading into retirement at  5 years.    We’ve had many questions about what we do with our non laying hens.   No, they are NOT bound for the stew pot;  instead, they live out their happy little lives – taking dust baths, scratching for bugs. Happy hens!  And for the ducks, the same, though they much rather water baths – thank you very much.

For those of you who are looking for information on starting your own poultry flock,  check out Sis’s sisters site BARNYARDS & BACKYARDS that’s chockablock full of helpful links and information (& Giveaways!)

I can’t tell you enough how much Jordanne knows about raising animals!  She has helped many readers’ sick chickens, rabbits, goats, cats and more!


Silly Sairey



Ducks in a row

Crazy Quackers

And we mustn’t forget….

Cassidy our sweetie

Mr Handsome

I'm rising but I ain't shining!

Care to share your what’s happening in your backyard barnyard?


  1. Jessica says:

    I just started my own food garden, blog and fun collection of silkie chickens this past summer! I live in the suburbs of northern San Diego county. I love your blog and I find so much inspiration from it. Speaking of silkies, my 5 gals are 7 months old and have yet to lay. I’m hoping any day! I find so much enjoyment from them, even in their non-laying status. Here’s to keeping you’re retired animals for the long haul!

  2. Natalie V2 says:

    Happy, healthy, beautiful farm animals.
    Thank you for sharing these lovely images.
    Our backyard barnyard is bustling with growing chicks, and
    our retired hen, and plenty of other happy chooks. A bunny, a rat, one fish, and two cats… still campaigning for a little goat!

  3. Ginger says:

    I’m the laziest rancher around. With somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000 head of bee, I do nothing but wait for harvest. Right now my little ladies are snug in their beds. However, the resident Robins and Northern Flickers sit in the lilac tree waiting to pounce on any bee confused enough to exit the hive on a sunny but cold afternoon.

  4. says:

    Wow, those are some of the most beautiful chickens!

  5. Nebraska Dave says:

    Anais, I was just thinking that we hadn’t seen any photo shoots of the cast of characters lately. It’s kind of sad to think that some of your girls are having trouble adding to the total yearly egg count. I’m kind of with the ducks though. I’d much rather take a water bath than a dust bath. :0) Morning on an Urban Homestead would be the best part of the day, in my humble opinion. I am a morning person so my daughter would disagree with me on that issue. It’s a soothing satisfying time to watch everything wake up. Since I have no animals to wake up, my morning wakes up with wild rabbits, birds, and neighbors dogs.

    Thanks for sharing your morning wake up with us.

  6. Sue says:

    Love this post. Thanks for all the great pictures too. Happy Holidays!!!

  7. Lee Johnson says:

    Looking at your pet photos. Loved the picture of your tabby. We recently rescued a wonderful tabby from our vet @ 1 year old. There is story about tabbies I want to share and thats if you look between their eyes on the forehead you can distinguished the letter “M”. Legend is that when the Christ Child was born a stray tabby crawled into the manger to keep the infant warm. Mary was so taken by the tabby she placed her finger between its eyes and blessed it. I don’t know how true but my family has been blessed by this new wonderful tabby.

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      I forgot to mention that our tabby was a rescue too. Saved when he was a wee thing from being killed. You see some mean folks were killing the litter when one of our neighbors saw them, rescued this guy and ran him down to our house. Poor thing barely had his eyes open and was screaming like the dickens. Sis had to bottle feed him and teach him to go… like a mommy cat would. Wow, I didn’t know that! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. Anais Dervaes says:

    Just make sure you don’t visit other sites like Urban Farm or Urban Farming or Organic Gardening or Bio intensive Gardening because these names are registered too.

  9. Molly says:

    Something about the way they look at you reminds me of my lizard (a bearded dragon), who died last week during brumation. We buried him in the yard and now he’s in the possess of going back to the earth.
    Something about the way Estella is cocking her head and looking reminds me of him. I’m grateful you have yours!

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      Sorry for your loss. Yeah, they do look similar don’t they 🙂

  10. Nancie Mandeville says:

    I am so curious as to how you got permission to keep goats on your property? We have about the same size lot and live in a rural residential area. Keeping our chickens was deemed a *gray* area and because I know the building inspector who monitors and enforces all building codes and zoning laws, we were able to bring our girls home. I used to raise and breed Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goats when I had a farm several years back.. Life changed and now for the moment we are stuck in suburbia. I’m inspired and impressed by your accomplishments and this is something my husband and I have recently begun working on with our home. We have roughly the same size property, however a few more physical subtractions from available gardening space. We are thankfully zoned for front yard vegetable gardens and have plans to utilize our small *wasted* front yard this year. It’s our dream to not be here much more than another year or two at the most…but in the mean time we hope to make as much use of our land as possible. But boy oh boy would I love to squeeze two nigerian does into the backyard.. lol I think my neighbors would seriously complain!! 🙁 Thanks again for the inspiration and the invaluable information you are sharing here!

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