Backyard Chickens: 4 Days In

About two years ago, my almost six year old decided she wanted a pig.  Not like a teacup pig to love and treat like a pet.  No, she wanted a legit pig to name “Bacon” and to sell for meat.  Yeah, I thought it was a little weird too.

Also, obviously we’re not vegetarian.

Please remember that our kiddos have quite a bit of Mid-Western farm blood in their veins.  They both love their Great Grandpa’s farm in Missouri but my youngest daughter especially has a love for all things farm-related.  Alas, however, we live in a neighborhood right outside of a southern college town so pigs are not a viable option.  (At least not the type of pig she wanted).

As a consolation for us not letting her have a pig, my husband and I (or maybe I finally convinced my husband) decided the girls could keep a small number of chickens in the backyard.  We have a decent sized backyard and live outside the city limits, so there are few if any limits on keeping chickens.

We toyed with the idea of chicks but finally found a small family owned hatchery a few hours away that would sell us six 5 and 1/2 week old pullets that were ready for their coop.  Last Friday, we brought home one Rhode Island Red, one Black Australorp, and four Buff Orpingtons.

Disclaimer:  I am NOT a chicken person.  Any information I have learned is from other people I know who have chickens and/or the Internet.

In the last four days I’ve figured out quite a few things that my friends/the Internet didn’t prepare me for. 🙂

They stink.

Seriously.  There’s only six of them.  How is there that much chicken poop and that much stink from only six tiny birds?

They’re sassy.

I knew hens could have quite an attitude but I wasn’t expected the sassiness to happen quite so early.  Although as the parent of an 8 year old, I’m not sure why this surprises me. 🙂

I’m becoming increasingly impatient about when they’re going to lay eggs.

I’m just going to have to get over this one because we’re not going to have any eggs until late summer at least.

Owning chickens makes you want to buy ALL the chickens things from Etsy.

I did not account for this in planning my chicken “budget”.

They’re oddly entertaining.

My lawn chairs have now migrated to the chicken coop area of the yard.  When your neighbors notice you’re sitting in the yard and just watching the chickens, you may have a problem.

My 31 Cent Breadsticks

A couple of week ago I scored this discounted French bread at Walmart. Not a thing wrong with it except it was expiring the next day. So I grabbed a few loaves and put them in my freezer. Even at full price, Walmart’s French bread is always a good deal at $1 (and they’ll even slice it for you). I usually pretty much always have at least a few loaves on hand.

Tonight I used the French bread to make some cheesy garlic breadsticks. Here’s my cast of characters:

The whole process is easy as pie- mix room temperature butter, some garlic powder, and shredded cheese together until soft. Then spread on the sliced bread. (I usually cut mine in fourths).

You’ll notice there’s no measurements for the garlic, cheese, and butter. That’s all personal preference on how cheesy and much garlic taste you’d prefer. I tend to put a pretty large amount of all ingredients. I never want to end a meal wishing I had put more butter and cheese in something. 🙂

Depending on how brown I want the bread, I’ll either bake at 350 or broil it. Tonight I’m cooking it with my lasagna so I went for 350 until sufficiently melted. Yummy!

Eat from the Freezer Challenge Update #1

*This post contains affiliate links*

The other day, I posted about all the food I found in my freezer and how many meals I could make from it.  And that night I stuck with the plan and made a really yummy beef vegetable soup using this soup mix (which we LOVE!).

And THEN we ate out for two nights in a row. #fail

At the dentist office after school. While our trip to the dentist was fine, her attitude was shared by us all. Hence, going to Chick Fil A. Because it’s our happy place.

Obviously, I can’t seem to commit to this whole “eat from the freezer” thing for more than 24 hours.  Maybe it’s just because it’s January and I’m still trying to find my post-Christmas break teacher mojo or maybe it’s because our school schedule was all wonky this week, or maybe I’m just lazy.  Truthfully, it’s probably a combination of all three.

So, I’m on a quest for some accountability.  Like I mentioned before, I don’t assign meals to certain days of the week during the off season.  Football season meal planning is a whole different beast for another day.  Right now in my bullet journal, I have 8 different meals that I can easily make this week from what’s in my freezer.  I pick one either the night before or that morning and thaw any needed ingredients.

Obviously, we eat very simple “meat and potatoes” meals and they can all be prepared quickly after I get home from work.

Tonight’s “eat from the freezer” meal was supposed to be a baked chicken alfredo, salad, and French bread. We ending up eating out tonight because we ran later than expected after visiting with my sweet grandpa after school so my husband offered to meet us at one of our favorite pizza places (major husband points!)

Instead of making it for dinner tonight, I decided to go ahead and make the chicken Alfredo (since the chicken was already thawed) and portion into lunch sized containers for the rest of the week.

My recipe for the chicken alfredo is basically the same as this link, but I didn’t make my own alfredo sauce.

*Note: I cook large amounts of chicken, shred it, and put into two cup freezer portions.*

This recipe is also very freezer friendly.  I didn’t freeze any today because I don’t like to cook, thaw, and then refreeze meat. However, if I did freeze this, I’d put it in a foil pan like this one, cover in several layers of foil, label with the food and date, and throw that thing in the deep freezer!

My goal for the next few weeks is to post every few days about what we’re eating from the pantry and freezer and how well I’m staying on track.  Hopefully, this will also encourage you to meal plan and maybe even have a freezer/pantry challenge of your own!

(And hopefully keep me out of Chick FilA!)


Welcome to!  I’m Heidi- a full time special education teacher, wife to a high school social studies teacher/football coach, and mom to two daughters!  Within my circle of friends, I’m known as the one who always has a plan (to a fault sometimes), loves to pack her freezer full of food, and loves enjoying Friday night football with the family.  Welcome to my new little corner of the internet!