I’ll start this blog off with a recent picture of “the girls”. I finally know what breed the fancy one is too.
At the top we have “Smoke”, an Australorp x New Hamshire, “Punce” a Barnevelder, then “Cloud” the White Leghorn x New Hamshire, and not sure what the brown one at the front is… but it’s called “foghorn” (despite the fact its not male, and foghorn leghorn was white with a brown neck). My daughter named the first two, my sister in law named the other two.
I love their little clucky sounds as they wander around the yard gobbling up the grass. Pity they peck and aren’t the patting type. We got chickens because I’m unhappy with buying the cheaper caged hen eggs from the supermarket and paying $5 for a carton of supposedly free range eggs is a little expensive and means we can’t enjoy the eggs as much as we’d like. So I figured having our own chooks would solve that dilemma :) They aren’t especially good at laying, but its nice to go out and see if we have any eggs, since sometimes we don’t, so its a nice surprise when we do.
Last week I was surprised to find 4 eggs! Normally we get one…. sometimes if we’re lucky, 2. Normally a white and a brown (or just one). This time there was the white and brown, and a brown speckled with darker brown, and a brown speckled with white. So I think everyone laid one that day – YAY, must mean that after a year (we got them as week olds) the brown and blacky brown are finally laying.
Just because I can… here are the eggs – you can see the speckled one, its quite pretty!
We did have a 5th chook.. “cleopatra” (named by me because she had a black stripe that looked like egyptian eyeliner), but she died after a few months :( I’d really like to get another, as I think 5 would be a good number for us to have the eggs we want, but there are problems introducing a new chicken. There is a breed of chook that is a light greyish lavender colour, which I would really like (they lay blue eggs too!) One day!
We feed them on an RSPCA approved mix of grains… I don’t like the idea of pellets, as I worry what they contain. Some contain a special chemical to make the yolks brighter, and I don’t like the idea of that. Letting them out to eat some grass (or picking some to put in their coop) gives the eggs such a bright colour (I made a quiche yesterday and it looked for all the world like I’d added turmeric or curry powder to it!). They also get kitchen scraps (sharing those with the dog). We did have a compost heap, but now we have no compost to put in it :) What we don’t eat and the dog doesn’t eat, generally goes to the chickens!
I just bought them a special water container….. my suspended bucket with a hole in the side, was getting too full of dirt. But in summer I think I’ll need both, for the amount of water they drink.
So that’s our chooks. I should take a pic of the plant they keep destroying :( Little bugers go after the one plant in the backyard I love. I think I’m going to have to cover it in a mesh cage. It was a large vinish bush thing, now it’s a tiny little bit of plant.