Posts Tagged ‘chickens’

How our cat deals with the those chooks!

Yes, one of our chooks laid this massive egg today.

No, it doesn’t fit in the normal egg box.

Yes, this is our cat and chooks stalking her in the background.

No, Panini is not enjoying their presence one little bit.

Yes, this is Panini inside a mini cardboard box.

No, she is not headless.

Things just seem better when she shuts those chooks out.

Oh, the pain!

Last weekend….

It was either Blacky McLaser Eyes or Sheryl or Beryl or Big Bertha who laid the first egg. We couldn’t tell because all four chooks had gathered in the nesting box vocalising their support as one of them squeezed out the very first egg. Hubby and I translated the “squark, crooak, roooak” sounds to “push, push, push!” Poor darling sounded like she was in shock…and pain. During her ordeal, all I cared about were the neighbours, who I quickly wrote a letterbox-note explaining that our chook was laying her first ever egg and we were sorry for the noise. It was 9am and the noise lasted for a good 30 seconds, but still. I have been told that as they lay a couple more, they become quieter. Can I hear anyone say STREEEEETCH? I think giving a couple of eggs to the neighbours down the track is not such a bad idea.

We were so excited when it went quiet and the four chooks sprinted out of the chook house and into the garden, none of them were waddling so we had no idea who had done the deed. We headed over to the laying area and opened up the lid to find our first golden egg (should I mention that before my hubby took a photo of this momentous moment in our backyard farming he actually thought about painting the egg gold!….I know.)

Just before we headed out for the day, we could hear one of our chooks in the nesting box fluffing about with the straw and making a nest. Sure enough, a couple of hours when we got home there lay another egg! This time it was definitely Sheryl. Good girl.

20110916-062912.jpg

D7000 Video: Chookens vs. Cat

This was the first day our chooks went exploring outside their pen (another story about it here) and you can see how one of our cats handled it. Our other cat was nowhere to be seen.

I made this video yesterday using my Nikon D7000 and Nikkor 28-300mm VR lens. You can change the quality of the video on the bottom right side of the video screen where it says 360p.

Music: “Rain” by Alison Krauss and Union Station.

Fencing in the Free Rangers

Surprise!!  Another chook post!

Yesterday we spent the day outdoors in our backyard, enjoying the beautiful sunshine! I dug holes and planted trees, and hubby put up a chicken-wire fence so our chooks wouldn’t escape. Yesterday was also the day that we introduced our girls to ‘free range’!

The first thing I had to do was clip their wings. I got onto YouTube and watched an array of videos on how to do it and it wasn’t as hard as I thought.

Click picture for more information.

It actually took 5 seconds to do both birds. This stops them from flying over the fence onto the street or into our neighbours yards. Once I got it into my head that the chooks couldn’t feel a thing and that it was like cutting our hair or nails, I felt like a farming pro.  They didn’t even flinch.

We have been keeping the girls in their pen for a week so they could get used to their new environment. We will lock them up at night and let them out during the day. I am still deciding whether this is a good idea while we are at work??? Any thoughts? We are total chook novices!

Here are some photos from yesterday:

Hubby's handiwork on the chook fence.

The other side.

The moment of escape.

Our ‘The Girls’

We picked up our new girls the weekend just gone. We were going to name them Sheryl and Beryl (and Meryl if we got a third) but they are now just going to be referred to as ‘the girls’.

I read on a blog a few weeks ago: “I started off calling our chickens names that went through the alphabet but once we got to Tess it began to get a little depressing.” Perhaps I am being a bit pessimistic, but that sounds like a plan – ‘the girls’. I am not good with things dying (not that it happens very often…promise!).

We collected our girls from a place that I expected to be murdered at and brought them back to their new home…our home. They are only four months old and should be laying delicious eggs when they turn six months old. In the meantime, we are just going to enjoy the ‘chick chick’ sound they make. At feeding time in our house you will now hear “Kirk, Kirk, Kirk”, followed by “Puss, Puss, Puss”, and a “Chook, Chook, Chook” to finish it off. Thank goodness we don’t have a pet bee or horse or turtle.

We ended up deciding on the chook breed of Australorps as they are friendly, perfect for the Queensland weather, excellent layers, recommended by Kirk’s dad who knows a lot about chooks, and they are cute. That last point is very important. While looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t going to be hacked into little pieces, I saw ‘the girls’ parents in a pen next to where our two girls lived and they are stunning!  They are actually show chooks, so we may have some real beauties on our hands. Already they are beautiful in my eyes.

We only got two chooks for now and will expand our ‘farm’ with two more in a few months. Hopefully that will take us to four alive chooks in total. Wish me luck.

Farmer K

Farmer K is the name I was given by my mother-in-law when I would come over to visit their farm. They had chooks (I get busted by hubby if I call them ‘chickens’ – so “unaustralian”), geese, goats, ducks, quail, cats and bees…all living harmoniously together. I would put her gum boots on and go out to feed some of the animals and this is how I picked up the name ‘Farmer K’.

I can see this ‘prophecy’ coming true of late with our back-to-basics, long-time life goal. We started by growing our own food, making foods from scratch that we once bought premade, and now for our latest project……chickens! I mean CHOOKS!

I'll take some of these darlings thanks.

We go through at least two eggs a day in our smoothie, and to buy free range eggs now it is up to $6.00 a dozen. Cage and barn laid eggs are a tad cheaper, but we avoid these ones. I remember someone saying to me, “each time you buy eggs, it is your vote for how you want these animals treated.” It is probably worth our while just getting our own chooks and sharing our goodies with friends and family at the same time!

Other things on my list to accomplish in the near future: my friend Jodi has inspired me to make my own jam. There is also a course you can take in Cooroy which shows you how to make your own wine and other fermented food that my friend Laura told me about. I also wanted to plant a lemon tree and have bees making honey in the backyard…but hubby said no – he has his reasons…which are valid I guess 🙂 Maybe if I had a garden like the one below I would get my own way.

The ultimate in kitchen gardening *sigh*

On a side note: we just had some exceptional Bluegrass music playing randomly in the background and hubby says with a big grin, “that song just makes me want to get chooks.” I think we need to move onto that farm of our dreams sooner than we thought….and just rereading this, we do sound a bit country don’t we!…..