Sunday, September 18, 2011

Meet Julia

Meet Julia. She is the top hen, the biggest and the most diplomatic and has the biggest bottom.She is a very good natured chook and always steps in to stop any squabbles around the hen house.
Here are the squabblers, actually they all get on really well. I have started giving them names, some thing I told myself never to do again as it hurts more when the fox gets them if they have names. But I think I have cracked it with the fox proofing.
This is where they lay their eggs. It is a converted kitchen cabinet. I took the doors off, pulled out the drawers and put in dividers between compartments and a strip of wood along the front to stop the straw coming out. They love it, especially since I turned it away from the sunlight. They like it dark and secret.

Here are the eggs. Delicious they are too. Got a double yoker this morning, always get excited when one of those comes along.
And here is the view from their house. Wonderful green paddocks just waiting to be explored by chookies looking for a juicy bug and fresh grass, no wonder the eggs taste so good.
All in all I think my girls are very lucky to have such a safe run. I have 11 hens of various ages. The other day we got 11 eggs but most days it is between 7 and 9. Which is loads for us. I sell a few dozen to my friends and that covers the cost of the feed I do have to buy. Laying pellets and some wheat and shell grit.
I have kept chooks for 20 years off and on and we had them when I was a child. I wouldn't be without them again. We love the fresh eggs and we love to sit and watch them busily scratching through the grass. Like brown sailing ships moving across the ground. They all have distinct personalities. Some more prominent than others, but I think some are still a bit shy of us yet.
I know sometimes I rack my brains as to what to give them for breakfast when I don't have any old leftovers or stale bread but I usually find something in the bottom of the freezer that has been forgotten. They like leftovers in the morning when I come to let them out. It is like a swap I do with them for their eggs. part of the deal. Recently I found that if I go down to the local bakery at 6pm and ask I can get a bag of that days bread for nothing. I got 9 loaves the other day, all full of seeds. I tore them in half and have frozen them, enough of 18 breakfasts. Sometimes I soak the half loaf in left over dinner sauce or marinade to make it soft and more flavoursome. Some times I just tear it up and throw it around for the girls to run after.
Recently a little butcher bird has come along hoping for a bit. I love the song they sing and he is a sweet looking bird, so now we play a game. I throw little bits of bread as high as I can in the air and he flies after them, always catches it in mid air. Such fun!
Anyway chooks are valuable to have around, they eat any leftovers (except onions and citrus), bugs and grass and convert it into eggs and manure . They have kept the grass down in their run so I don't have to mow. I am trying to find ways to avoid having to buy a ride on mower.
If you let them into your veg garden when most things have finished, in a week or two they will have eaten any peststhey find that are looking to build up in numbers and decimate next seasons crops.
Wonderful and entertaining they are, I thoroughly recommend them.
Oh! who am I going to ask to look after them when I go away for a few days?
This is a new azalea just coming out.

This is where I have put the blackberries (thornless of course) and blue berries.
Have fun.


  1. Happy looking chooks! If I had a view like that, I would probably lay an egg as well :-)

  2. yes they are very fortunate girls. I had an 145g egg the other day. It was wonderful fried up on toast for lunch. A double yoker!
    Thanks for commenting on my blog.