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The other day, a strange package arrived in the mail.

This was inside



It was addressed to my husband. Over the years, a lot of strange things have come for my husband in the mail. Crates of sneakers, cheese-making kits, soap fat, special pinball machine parts and the like. So I figured there was something afoot. At least it wasn’t bees — those I had to pick up from the post office.

It turned out, the Coyote Pee was for keeping predators away from our newest arrivals, who peeped their way into our hearts a few days later:


So we now have two Dominiques (Oreo and Speckles) and two Buff Orpingtons (I don’t think they really need more name than that, but they’ve been dubbed Lemon and a camera shy Sunshine).

We had chickens once before, but the last of those three died in the fall thanks to a raccoon (hence the coyote pee). It was a great experience, and this time around I’d like to share it with you. The Ill-Prepared Housewife’s Guide to Backyard Chickens officially begins on Monday. As a preview, I can share we’ve already dealt with ill-timed deliveries, worthy chicken sitters and the dreaded pasty butt.