19 February 2014

Six beautiful chickens

We are the very happy owners of six new chickens. Kate from Beautiful Chickens brought them to us yesterday afternoon. We had the new wing of the chicken palace open for the first time with the red carpet down. The band played Waltzing Matilda. Ahem, I think I got a bit carried away there. They are such a beautiful bunch of girls. So healthy looking and not too flighty, I think that's always a good sign. If they're calm, it tells me that they were relaxed and comfy where they came from.  Kate has a beautiful setup of coops and runs on her property. The chickens have a lot of room to wander around, they have free access to fresh water and food. Everything is clean and the chooks are vaccinated. If you're thinking of buying some chickens, I recommend Beautiful Chickens to you. You can contact Kate on 0414550302. If you're looking for beautiful looking chickens that are excellent layers, ask Kate about her Isa X Faverolles. 

Don't you love all the chook furniture Hanno made. It's all from recycled materials. I hope it makes our girls very comfortable while they settle in.

I decorated the coop with bunting and hung a half curtain over the front of the nesting boxes. Chooks like privacy when they lay eggs. I've also hung a print of chooks and a rooster in the coop next to this one, I'll take photos of that today. I was going to put up some fairy lights too but the person who took down the lights after Christmas (and that person shall not be named here) lost the lights. He doesn't remember where he put them after Christmas and all attempts at finding them failed. We will get some lights in there soon. I wanted to have a set of battery operated lights so that if we have to go to the coop when it's dark, we'll have more than a torch.

In this photo you can see the difference between the two red Frizzles - Kathleen has a blonde chest and top knot and Tricia is red all over with a blonde topknot.

This is Lucy, our blind girl. We keep her away from the others. Hanno lets her stand on top of the feed bucket so she can feel the seeds and just has to bob her head down to eat.

In the new flock, we have two red frizzles - one with a blonde chest, one with a red chest. Two Australorps - one blue, one blackish blue. A barred Plymouth Rock and a magnificent silver-laced Wyandotte. All of them are young, the two Frizzles have just started laying. The Frizzles will be called Tricia (red chest) and Kathleen (blonde chest). The Australorps will be included in my bell series of names - the blue will be Jezebel and the black will be Annabelle. We already have two bell girls - Bluebell and Lulubell. The Wyandotte will be called Tammy but probably only the older folk or those who love country and western music will know why. :- )  The Plymouth Rock is Martha.

Nora (above) and Annie (below) were outside and they knew something was going on. 

We'll keep them safe and sound in their new home with the door closed until later today. That will teach them that this is where they live from now on. Usually we'd leave them locked in a bit longer to familiarise themselves with the smells and sounds of our backyard, but it's hot and we want them to get out into the fresh air. So about lunchtime, we'll let them out to meet their sisters, although they can see each other through a wire door in the coop. At the moment, they're drinking water and eating seeds and seem to be happily scratching through the straw. We checked them when Kate left and looked in on them again when it started getting dark and the older girls had gone to bed. They seem to be quite settled.

Kate had afternoon tea with us before her trip home and we talked about her doing a post or two about chickens here on Down to Earth. I am hoping the first one will be up fairly soon. It will be on how to prepare for your first flock of chickens and what you need to have in place when you bring your first chooks home.

It's a good feeling having a new flock of good quality chickens in the backyard. They've come at just the right time. We'll start planting seeds and seedlings in the next few days and it won't be long until we have a fully productive backyard again. It makes me feel very secure knowing we'll soon be able to pick fresh vegetables and collect many more golden yolked eggs every day. That, my friends, gives a feeling a satisfaction like no other.

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