DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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16 October 2013

Four new arrivals

I didn't tell you when it happened, but a couple of weeks back, our strange hen-rooster died. She was the black chook that over the course of a year, grew one white feather, rooster tail feathers and a red collar. I don't think she ever laid an egg during her six years with us. When she died we were left with two New Hampshires, one Rhode Island Red, one black Australorp, one lavender Araucana, one Old English Game hen and a Plymouth Rock. We needed to build up our flock again.

Chickens are a vital part of our setup here. They supply us with more than enough fresh eggs, high nitrogen manure for the garden and compost heap and they're the best form of backyard entertainment going. I can't imagine us ever being without chickens.

Introducing our new girls: two blue Australorps and two blue laced Barnevelders. They're gangly pre-teens right now, although one looks like she might be laying, but they'll grow into beautiful birds that we'll enjoy watching for many years.








This last photo is of our older girls as they watched the new arrivals carefully.

Early yesterday morning Hanno put some big boxes in the boot of our car and we set off towards Brisbane. We picked up our girls at Samford (there will be more on that later), put four little chickens in the boxes and travelled back home again. I was hoping for a couple of silver laced Wyandottes as well, but they're still small chicks and at the moment they'd make a tasty meal for the pythons that live here. We'll pick them up when they're a bit bigger. Now we have the happy task of getting to know these little ladies who will spend their lives with us eating lots of grain and fresh vegetables in our backyard.


25 comments:

  1. We're brand spankin' new to raising chickens this year - our girls started laying a few weeks ago and I'm currently preserving as many of our overage eggs as I can. Exciting times indeed!

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

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  2. They are so pretty. I have sworn that one day I will have chickens.

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  3. Oh they are adorable! I love hens too. We have a lovely little flock of 15 red hens and as you say Rhonda, they are the best entertainment going and make such great pets. Ours lay very well too so we always have plenty of beautiful, fresh eggs. They live out their days here too, till they die of old age, whether they lay or not. I could really rave about how much I love hens all day long!

    I really enjoy looking at your gorgeous hens too Rhonda and shall enjoy following the new girls on the block.

    You and Hanno have a lot of new names to think of! Have a great day.

    Wendy, NZ

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  4. They made me smile Rhonda. I'm dying to get some girls of our own. Hubby just needs to finish our backyard excavation/paving/rock wall, build the chook house and we are there....but it could take some time!! But that is our aim, and whats that saying, the journey is more exciting than the arrival!
    Cheers
    Jan
    www.agluttonouswife.blogspot.com

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  5. Cute! I'd love to have chickens but unfortunately there is no room in this little house! We had them when I was a child and gosh they were lovely pets too. Totally tame. We would carry them around in our arms and stroke their silky feathers. We were much more excited about their feather gifts than the eggs and manure in which Mum & Dad were interested.

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  6. Just a side comment to chooks. I bought a new book of stamps here in NSW the other day. I was surprised when I used one to see the whole set of stamps show Australorps on them.

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    1. Oh! I hope they're on sale up here too. We're down to our two last stamps. I'll ask Hanno to enquire about them when he goes over to the PO later. Thanks for telling us, Jan.

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  7. Welcome to your new girls...I hope you enjoy their products as well as their individual personalities...happy chook watching Rhonda.

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  8. Morning Rhonda, what lovely healthy chooks! They really do have their own little personality don't they haha :)

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  9. Good morning, Rhonda. I love the chook photos. Hopefully I will be able to have a couple in our backyard next year. I'll have to do some reading on how to look after them before then though. Have a great day.

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  10. They have pretty feathers! Did you say you have pythons living there? That's creepy.

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  11. Hi Rhonda we have 2 chickens lovely orange brown ones we had 3 I died, we are hoping to get some more but before the other chicken died the other girl pecked her a chased her away we are worried if we get more the same will happen to the new ones

    Linda Ann

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  12. Hooray for more chickens. I wish we had room for some more, so many pretty ones about. I hope yours settle in well.

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  13. Love the photos of the chickens. I am looking at getting chickens but need to protect them from hawks in our area. A friend of mine create a caged in area big enough so the chickens could walk around and still protect them from the hawks. I may need to do the same. Every area has their predators.

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  14. Your new ladies are beautiful. I hope they all settle in well. Apart from eggs and fertiliser, I believe the most value they provide is entertainment. We let ours out for an hour or so each afternoon while I water the veggie patch. I call it chook therapy.

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  15. Pythons! on my word! Hope your new chickens settle in well plus the two you are waiting to grow a little.

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  16. Oh what beauties Rhonda! :) I bet their feathers are stunning when the sunlight touches them. Our Black Rock's feathers have a greeny-blue tint in sunlight, so beautiful. It'll be fun getting to know their quirks as they settle in. I had no idea what characters chookies were until we got our own little flock. They make us laugh every day with their antics. :) And those eggs.....oh is there anything better than a fresh homegrown egg? Bliss. xxx

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  17. Gah! Beautiful Barnevelders! For the first time, we are growing chickens sans rooster, and loving the way the girls act without one!

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  18. Chickens are such great entertainment! We are due for more in the spring...the old ones here, just retire! And stay the rest of their days! Pythons are another story..I couldn't cope with them!.....

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  19. The luckiest chooks in the whole world!

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  20. Oh Rhonda, they are really lovely.....congrats on the new additions!!! Their feathers are amazing. Hope we see more of them in the future!!! Just seeing their pictures makes me happy.....

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  21. Hi Rhonda, We too lost one of our girls 2 weeks ago. She was a Rhode Island Red and one of the original girls we got when we set up the old hen house. We have just built a new bigger run which thankfully she got to enjoy for a few weeks before her passing. I am looking at getting another 2 chickens but having trouble deciding what breed to get. I really like the idea of an Araucana, as I love the idea of different coloured shells, but I have heard their not the most social chickens. I ask, because you mentioned that you have these in your flock. I have a little 2 year old girl, who I am trying to teach to care for animals (and the earth), and she loved the little girl who passed away ('baby buck buck' was her name). This girl used to sit on the ground and let Miss P pat her. So I really want to get at least 1 chicken that might do this. The remaining girl is a Sussex and is very flighty. Have you any recommendations on what breed I should be looking at?? Thanks so much for your advice. xxx

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    1. Hi Kylie, sorry to hear about your girl dying. We've had two araucanas and have one now. She is by far the craziest chook we've ever had, but she's so entertaining. I doubt she'd let a little girl pat her, she won't even let us pick her up, so may be not the best choice for a small child. Silkies seem to be very good with children but not so good with the eggs. If you want a docile chook, you need to look at their upbringing too. These new girls came from beautifulchickens.com and they're quite calm. They were is a big yard with a net covering to completely protect them. Pekins are good with kids - but they're bantams. I think your best bet is to buy a young chicken you like the look of and handle her a lot when you first bring her home. When she's used to being picked up, she'll probably be fine with your daughter.

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  22. Hi Rhonda, your new girls are beautiful! I'd love to have some Branevelders (sp?). We love chickens as well, and can't imagine our lives without them, but we have a serious problem with vaccines here. Some vaccines just can't be obtained in Israel by private chicken-owners, such as Marek's. We lost several birds to Marek's last year, and we know our whole flock are probably carriers, and there's nothing we can do. There are also predators - we have birds of prey, and since we free-range, we pretty much resigned ourselves to future losses. Still, it's all worth it. Just watching our kids enjoy the chickens makes it all pay off.

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    1. Hi Anna, lovely to see you here again. Is Marek's vaccine something you can buy online? We had a young married couple from Israel visiting us this week and it made me think of you. xx

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