The backyard vegetable garden is well and truly underway and now our chickens have arrived.
Yes, seven lovely chickens, who are already producing an abundance of chook poo to fertilise the garden and will in time hopefully be abundant egg producers as well!
After a little research, mainly from chatting with friends, who already have chickens, I decided it was time. A couple of weekend's of preparation from Paul and I, such as purchasing a coop and constructing a dog (Logan) proof fence, hand painting some signs and purchasing feeder & water containers, we were ready to pick up our new chickens.
We bought our chickens from Daniel & staff at New Leaf Nursery and Landscapes at Ingleside. They were so helpful in advising me about types, age, feed & care of the chickens.
We have chosen two breeds "Isa Brown" and "Black Australorp", as they are supposedly the best layers. The chickens were born on the 10th March and remained in Daniel's care at the nursery, under lights until 7 weeks of age. When they were ready to be outside permanently, we bought them home to their new home, the "Hen House" in our backyard.
We were all very excited when they arrived and the kids got into naming them and holding them, once we could catch them!
They really are fascinating animals and big time wasters, just watching how they behave and interact.
It has been a lot of fun for us all and we have realised just how many sayings have clearly originated from the days where everyone had a Hen House...."flown the coop", "the grass is always greener on the other side", "Pecking order", "Sticking your neck out" and "Hen pecked" to name a few.
We waited a day or two, before introducing the chickens to our Golden Retriever X Standard Poodle (Groodle) Dog, "Logan" who incidentally eats raw chicken for breakfast most mornings, thus the need for dog proof fence construction!!!
They are still working one another out, some days I think the chickens are frightened of her (the dog), then the next day it becomes clear she is frightened of them! A couple of the Isa Brown's "Speckle" and "Salt", seem undeterred by the size of Logan and continue to stick their necks through the fence and check her out! They occassionally peck at her and even chase her away! Clearly these brave ones are yet to realise, that she may just bite their heads off, maybe they are just "playing chicken"!
We all contributed names and our seven chickens are now known as "Pepper", "Salt", "Gertrude", "Mabel", "Ginger", "Jemima" and "Speckle".
At time of writing, our chickens are now over 11 weeks old, apparently they lay eggs around 20 -22 weeks of age. So for now we are loving them, feeding them and letting them settle in to their new home, in anticipation of many eggs to come!
We even got them a laying box made out of recycled fence pailings to give them some comfort and get them in the mood!
Although, it now seems, whether the eggs arrive or not, the chickens are right at home with us and us with them.
New Leaf Nursery and Landscapes
224 Powderworks Road, Ingleside NSW 2101
Ph: (02) 9913 3709
M: 0414 696 930