Crazy Chicken Lady

Remember last spring when I told you I wanted chickens? Since then I’ve taken a class on chicken keeping, read everything on the whole internet about backyard chickens (almost), and Daniel reluctantly gave me the go ahead! This spring I’m working with my dad to build a coop and run. Five little chicks will be arriving in June! I’m kind of obsessing over the whole thing. Daniel is worried that I’m going to be a crazy chicken lady for the rest of my life, but I keep reassuring him that it’s just the thrill of the chase, and once the chickens are mine I’ll calm down about the whole thing. This is how much I’m over-planning…

I carefully chose the chicken breeds I want, making sure to incorporate a variety of feather colors and patterns and an assortment of egg colors and shapes. Hen names are in the works.

backyard chicken keeping plan

I cut card stock into miniature sheets of plywood and two-by-fours…

backyard chicken keeping plan

…and made a scale model of the coop and run I’m hoping to make.

backyard chicken keeping plan

(complete with functioning egg collection door)

backyard chicken keeping plan

Also, I drew this while watching TV the other night, probably because I am totally bonkers.

backyard chicken keeping plan


  1. Renée

    This is awesome.

    And I’m jealous – my city doesn’t yet allow residential chicken coops. Please keep updating and I’ll live vicariously through you.

  2. Carlee

    My mom actually took the plug and got chickens last spring. She made her own chicken coop and everything and it turned out really awesome. She gets eggs everyday now, one of the chicks turned out to be a rooster and he is so mean. Other than that it is good. I love your sketch at the beginning!
    Little Sloth

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Your Mom is sweet for keeping the mean rooster! If I end up with a rooster it will have to go to a new home since they aren’t allowed in the city here.

  3. Rebecca

    How exciting! From what I’ve heard, it’s amazing to be able to raise chickens. All I can think about is fresh eggs! When I move away from the city, I’m definitely looking into it. Totally random, my uncle actually invented something called the Chicken Fountain. You can Google it– it’s supposed to help “water” your chickens and keep their water safe for them to drink. Not exactly sure about much beyond that, but feel free to shoot me an email and I can connect you!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Daniel got me something similar to the chicken fountain for Christmas—awesome that your uncle invented that! The things I have are called “chicken nipples”. Who could resist a product with that name? ;) Same basic thing as the chicken fountain. Hopefully they work!

  4. Mel

    Haha this is amazing!! I keep daydreaming about having chickens one day, which worries my boyfriend. We’re just renting now, so he’s safe for the time being… I can’t wait to hear about your experience (and their names)!

  5. Samantha Broderick

    This is absolutely amazing! Ironically, the roles are reversed in my house. My husband has finally convinced me on adding chickens to the family and this post totally solidified it!
    PS- Your doodles are amazing!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Yes, they look awesome! Sadly we don’t have enough room for one, since the have to be moved often if you don’t want the chickens to eat all your grass.

  6. Holly

    I love this! Once I have a yard I totally want chickens and I’m sure my fiance will think I’m just as crazy ;) Have fun when your chicks arrive!!

  7. Lara

    You will LOVE it! I’ve had chickens for 3 years now & I am convinced that they are the most hilarious creatures on earth. I have chicken coop pics if you’d like me to share them with you! Actually, you can just go to my etsy shop & click on the “About” section. We are weirdly alike. And yes, I’m well aware how creepy I sound. haha. If you need a Chicken 101, let me know. I can answer any crazy chicken questions :) GOOD LUCK!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Oh my gosh, your coop is gorgeous! I just pinned it. :) I’m in love with little window box. Freaking adorable. I’ll definitely let you know if I have any chicken questions! Thanks Lara!

  8. nicola

    You’re finally getting them! The coop looks awesome! You should make other mini things just because they’re so cute. You’ll have to keep us posted on how the chicken maintenance is… fresh eggs sound amazing!

  9. Crista

    Looks fantastic – from personal experience make sure you have a latch on the egg door! Raccoons, cats, and other animals will easily get into the hen house and kill your chickens if you do not have latched doors! – Also make sure they have a roost off of the floor – a 2X4 will work if it is turned so that the 2” side is up. Best of luck to you raising chickens is really fun!

  10. Kristin W

    Love this! We have had chickens for almost two years now and they’re so fun. With all the research you’ve done, you probably know that Silkies are not very smart. Ours could never figure out how to get into the coop (and was the only one we had to get killed). We have Americaunas (tan & blue eggs!) & a Brahma (grey eggs). They all lay pretty well. Beware that some of the “trendy” breeds don’t lay as often. Good luck! Your coop looks amazing!!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Thanks for the advice Kristin! I didn’t realize Brahma’s laid grey eggs—so cool. I’m glad to hear you’ve enjoyed keeping chickens. I am a little nervous about the silkies! I debated whether or not to get them for a while. I mostly want them because I’ve heard they are generally pretty friendly and obviously they are cute, but I have heard they are quite stupid. :) Did yours go broody often?

  11. Jenna

    Obviously Gus for a name, and I am cracking up thinking about the letters you had to write as a kid to get pets. Did your dad make you write one to help make the coop?

  12. nicole neesby

    soooo i just found your blog via a recipe on pinterest and i must say that your talent inspires me so so much! it makes me want to start drawing!! kudos for being so amazing!!


  13. Meghan

    This is HILARIOUS. I went through the exact same thing last year. I designed the coop (after researching for months) and my dad built it. I set out to get 6 chickens, which turned into 8 because there are just SOOOO many beautiful, fun chicken breeds to choose from. This is how crazy I am…this Spring my dad is building an addition onto the coop so I can get 4 more babies in March. Let’s be honest though, I’ll probably end up with 6 ;)

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