22 March 2008

Names have been chosen

After much thought and help from family and my friends here, I proudly announce the names of our new chooks. We have golden Campine - Beatrice - above, and Faverolles - Heather - below. Look at her blue eyes, she is so pretty.

The other two babies are buff Orpington - Martha - and golden Hamburg - Jewels (yes, for our friend). The older girls are Australorps - Mary and Kylie, buff Sussex - Margaret (Olley), New Hampshire - Anne Shirley, and silver Hamburgs - Lotte and Stella Gladys, my grandma's name.

The littlest chicks were put into a safe area in the vegetable garden yesterday and scratched for the first time. They also jumped onto the top of their box, stood in their water dish and ate - boy can those girls eat!

The older girls are fenced off from the three large chooks but kept flying out of their secure area. Cocobelle, our last remaining black chook, ran off into the jungle down by the creek and sulked all day. The two Rhode Island Reds - May and Nell - are unconcerned by the new arrivals except if there is grain thrown for scratching, then they peck any little chook who comes near. Late yesterday afternoon I found a bush turkey sitting, watching, in the grass and later it came into the chook pen. There are many wild bush turkeys around here so I had Alice gently chase it off as they can devastate a garden (by scratching) in a very short time.

Overall, the new chicks have settled in well and have been accepted by the older ladies. Thanks to everyone who submitted names for my list. I have several Wyandotte bantam chicks coming soon, they are currently under Margaret's broody, and I'll choose more names from the list when they arrive. What a colourful and varied clutch of chooks we'll have in a few months when they've all developed their distinctive plumage and features. They'll be wonderful backyard entertainment.

It seems to me that chickens are in their rightful place in a backyard. They provide eggs and manure and will clean the bugs right out of a vegetable garden better than any human worker. Today I'm going to suggest we make a new garden bed just for chicken food so we always have enough greens for our feathered friends. Feeding spinach, Chinese cabbage and silverbeet to chooks guarantees deep golden yolks and the tastiest of eggs. I also have some open pollinated oats, barley and rye seeds here, so I might try those as well. I would like to supply as much of their food as I can. Not only would that cut our costs but it would also help us close that chicken feeding system, where we would supply everything they needed from our own land and not have to rely on bringing in food from outside. We aim at closing a lot of our systems to become as self sufficient as possible but we often have gaps. Maybe, with these chooks, we'll be able to do it.



  1. Hi,
    I know it isn't personal but you have made my day by picking Lotte. Thanks Cherrie

  2. Rhonda,

    We are in the process of getting chickens. Right now we are building their coop. Do you have a picture of your coop? If so would you direct me there:) We are looking for ideas :)

    Thank you,


  3. I love the names you have chosen! I am counting the days until we can move to the country and have some chickens of our own. We are in the process of a huge remodel so that we can get our city house on the market by summer. Have a blessed Easter weekend!

  4. We are getting chooks too and I would love to see your coop also. Happy Easter Rhonda!

  5. They look a lovely bunch of chooks, nice breeds!

  6. I didn't get a choice in the matter in naming our new chooks :) We got two silkies, one each for the girls, who named them Charlotte (the ten year old) and Fluffy Blue (the three year old). The Australorp is variously Blackie (that would be the three year old again) and Moonlight. Yours have prettier names :)

    Liz aka geneste on ALS

  7. The arrival of the new family, sharing the baby chicken photos, the decisions about names...such a wonderful story to read this morning!


  8. Hello everyone. I'll take some photos of the chook house later today. Hanno is modifying it to accommodate all our girls and it will be about twice the size when he's finished the project.

    We have used all recycled materials in the coop and use various tree branches for roosts. We might make a better and more stable system of roosts in the bigger house.

    I hope you all have a wonderful break over Easter.

  9. They are all such beautiful birds. I'm so glad everyone is settling in and getting along well. I hope one day to have a yard and garden again but until then I can dream through your pictures and writing. Thank you for sharing. :-)

  10. Oh Rhonda,
    I am thrilled you named the New Hampshire Anne Shirley! Thank you for letting us all help - Happy Easter.


  11. I'm sure Margaret Olley would be tickled by having a chicken named after her!

  12. Well, I think Beatrice :) is just gorgeous with all her colors & the other ladies are beautiful as well with their lovely new names.

    Yes, thank you for letting us share in helping you name them. I hope you all have a lovely simple life together.

  13. Cool chooks. Cool names!

    Hopefully they will be inspired by their lovely names to lay lots and lots of eggs


    Anna Marie

  14. I want chickens! Unfortunately while we are living in a tiny apartment that's pretty much impossible but one day we hope to have some. What will you do with the chickens when they no longer produce eggs? Will you eventually eat them? I don't mean to be rude but it's something I have always wondered about.



  15. And don't forget comfrey - chooks love comfrey and it is good for them too. I plant on the edge of my garden beds and it soaks up all the run off nutrient and stops grass etc invading the beds. Your chooks look great - they are so much fun! Take care

  16. Beautiful hens and beautiful names..(yay for Beatrice) :) We loving your progress...thank you so much for sharing the details. Our climate is much the same as yours, with many of the same predators...we're gleaning ideas from your experience for the day when we can have our own flock..thank you again!

  17. Their getting big those girls are. So are ours. I've been thinking a lot about how we're/I'm going to build ou coop for our urban birds. I'd love to see some pictures of yours as well. Do you keep them in a dedicated coop area or free range them?

  18. Hi Rhonda Jean

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and enjoy it immensely i am very envious of your lifestyle and although restricted by geography do lots of the things you do already one day we will do it full time!!!!

    I love your soap recipe just a quick question ...when do you stamp the pattern on?

    Is the soap still soft ?

    Thanks again

    Sharron in the UK

  19. Hello Sharron, thank you. The soap is stamped when it's firmish but still soft. I usually do mine either the day I cut it or the day after.

  20. Oh, I miss Jewels! How lovely of you to use her name! How is she? I dearly miss her blog, but she introduced me to you, and I surely enjoy your blog as well. Thank you for sharing bits of life in your corner of the world :)

  21. N, our chooks generally die of old age. We've had chooks live ten years, sometimes they gave us an egg a year, sometimes not.

    Robbie, we have lots of comfrey for the girls.

    Patrick, I'll post photos of the new coop - inside and out - when it's finished.

    midnightmom, I haven't emailed Jewels for a while now. I will do that in the next day or so. Last time I had an email they'd moved and were settling into their new home. : - )


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