Weekend reading

9 March 2018
It's been a busy week here. We started on another home maintenance project, I cleaned the fridge out yesterday and suddenly I have more room after four months of five people in the house. Gracie had a full wash and groom yesterday, I've been sewing and of course the everyday tasks of cleaning, tidying up, shopping and cooking.

I collect rubber bands and corks because you never know when you'll need a cork to plug a bottle or a rubber band to keep something together or in a bag.  These are sitting on my kitchen window sill.

We also collected six new chickens yesterday, making a home flock of 14 hens. The new girls are two Plymouth Rocks, two Barnevelders and two Rhode Island Reds.  They were born on 1 December last year so they have about six or seven weeks to go before the start laying. We always have pure breed chooks, it's our way of helping keep those heirloom breeds alive.  Without us backyarders, they'll die out and we'll all be poorer for it. Heirloom chickens are like heirloom seeds. Those of us who have little farms in our backyards can help the diversity of seeds and chickens survive because governments and business have no interest in it. 

It's feels good welcoming new chickens. We have them in a side apartment next to the chicken coop. It's something Hanno set up years ago so we had a space for this exact reason as well as a place to isolate sick chooks.  We'll keep them in there for two or three days then introduce them to the older chooks in the evening when they're all going to bed. That way there'll be minimal kerfuffle and they can all go about their business when they wake the next morning.

Thanks for all the excellent comments made during the week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I'll see you back here again on Monday when we'll continue the discussion on the management, storage and cooking of food.

The stories that made us smile this week

14 comments

  1. Rhonda, I love that girl's tunic top. If I had a daughter at home still I would make one. No use making any for my granddaughters as they are too far away for a fitting :-) Have a relaxing weekend and give Miss Gracie a hug from me.

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  2. I keep heritage breed chickens as well. Currently I have speckled Sussex, Cochin and Barneveld. I have had Welsummer, Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Rock and because I have a rooster (speckled sussex) I have had crosses of them all. I find the Welsummer and the Barneveld both very aloof chickens but quite able to look after themselves . Neither go broody here. The Cochin are really placid but very prone to going broody, the Sussex go broody quite easily as did my Rhode Island Red and the Plymouth Rock. A mixed flock is also a visual delight. And each breed has different traits-friendly, aloof, individual, flock oriented etc etc . Just like people I guess
    Claire in Melbourne

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    1. Hi Claire. We've had about 20 different old breeds, including several colours of Sussex. My favourites are the Barnevelders and I think they lay the tastiest eggs. You're right, a mixed flock out ranging over the backyard grass is a beautiful sight. At the moment, we have these new girls plus a Wyandotte, Australorps, New Hampshire, Plymouth Rock and a couple of farmyard crosses.

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  3. Interesting to hear about the new chickens. We have a small backyard and had about 4 Barnevelders, but I never knew that it was important to have a seperate "annex" to introduce new chickens in an easy way or to isolate the sick ones. We want to move in a couple of years (your book "Down to earth"helped us see clearer what kind of house we were after, since my husband is a bit older and will be retiring in about 8 years. Your sound advice to have a house that is ready for those years and all big renovations done by that time, really helped us. Sometimes you read something that clicks in, it was the right time for that information). Hopefully with a bigger backyard so we would build a different chickencoop with an annex this time. We have always had Barnevelders, easy too since we live close to Barneveld here in Holland :) Wish you a nice weekend!

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  4. How lovely to be expanding your chicken family, Rhonda. I look forward to seeing and reading about them here. I am intrigued by the banana cowl link, must be off to explore that! Meg:)

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  5. Oops, just realised it says bandana cowl! Ha! I was envision something in a bright yellow. Meg;)

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    1. Haha, maybe if you knit it, yours will be in bright banana yellow. :- )

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  6. I love the look of the bandana cowl but am a bit intimidated by the thought of this project especially when it says circular needles (easy as it may seem to others). I’m new to knitting and am just starting my second knitted dishcloth from your book. The only other thing I’ve dine is a beanie for my son. Anything beyond this seems beyond me to understand at this point!
    Leiani - Perth, WA

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    1. I had been knitting for quite a long time before trying anything on circular needles because I also found it intimidating. The best part is you can give it a try and no one has to know if it turns out badly lol. When you feel a bit more confident have a go and if you muck up just unpick it and try again....no harm done :)

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    2. I made that cowl twice because I liked the pattern so much. It has clear directions so it is a great project for starting circular needles.

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  7. I do love a good news story! Well done to those in the judicial system bringing in evidence-based practices. I hope our shops in Australia can bring in plastic-free areas too.
    Renae from Gold Coast

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  8. Rubberbands and corks are always in use here, too. I prefer rubberbands to close any bag going into the freezer because it stays closed. That sandwich post made me want to go in the kitchen and pile up a delicious sandwich from whatever the fridge holds!

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  9. Thank you for the great crafting hacks. Hope you have a great weekend. Looking forward to your topic on Monday.

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  10. I introduce my chickens the same way, and an old chicken keeper suggested rubbing the new chickens with vinegar to disguise their different smell. I've done it a few times now and it does seem to help. Hard to tell how much.

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