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Chooks ~ Our Continuing Adventure

September 3, 2012 in Blog


Well, our adventure with our four new feathered friends continues. We got our four girls about a month ago after some kind friends helped build a lovely chook pen for us. A bale of straw on the ground, two old mower grass catchers to lay in (and an old cardboard box too, not used any more), a bucket for water and a feeder with layer pellets – and they were ready to move in.

We got them from Bellchambers in Fyshwick, $20 each, the “Hy Line” variety, brown in colour, docile and good layers – and all on the point of lay (about 16-20 weeks old).

A week later, great excitement! Our first egg! And then more! Now all four are laying and we are giving the eggs away. Such a blessing! And still a daily thrill, collecting those beautiful eggs!

Rachel, Emily, Brownie and Midget are eating a lot. Layer pellets, kitchen scraps, weeds – and best of all (for them!!), our lovely garden and vegie patches! We shall have to do something about that – the two vegies patches need a low wire fence around them , so that will be our next project. We HAD a lovely patch of Italian lettuce from my Italian mother-in-law… well, that was the most delicious international gourmet food for our chookies yesterday at afternoon tea time! Finished off today at lunch time! Greedy gutses, they just ripped bits off and let it fly, eating just a few morsels in their destructive haste!

And our other animals?? Dog and Cat were most put out when the chooks arrived and took up residence. (Poor Dog, who is half Lab, half Border Collie – the pen was put on a nice flat area – HER pooing spot!! So now she uses the lawn!) Both were initially keen to get a bit too close… so when we decided eventually to let the chooks out of their pen, it was only after Dog and Cat were carefully put in the house with the outside doors barricaded with furniture as a reminder to everyone in the house (six in our family) not to let them out. All was going well especially for the chooks as they started their yummy rampage! And then Child No. One (15, computer-obsessed) saw the poor dog at the door and thought she must want to go out… I was horrified as the dog trotted towards me as I was hanging out the washing, imagining feathers flying as Dog and Chooks met and yummy chicken snacks for lunch for the dog. How wrong was I?! Nothing happened! Tranquillity continued. The dog did a little “rear sniffing” and was as unconcerned as could be, lying in her normal spot in the shade while the chooks bok bokked nearby. We let Cat out as a test run. She too seemed equally unconcerned, stalking them a little but keeping a cautious distance, and then disappearing over the fence. Phew! Amazing! So now Chooks, Dog and Cat can all be outside together, one big happy harmonious family!

21 comments to 'Chooks ~ Our Continuing Adventure'

  1. @Anna21 it’s good hear the dog is so well behaved around the chooks. That is one of the reasons we are hesitating getting chooks. We have two dogs and their main diet is chicken wings. I think we will just have to take the risk.

    • It’s certainly been a lot better than I anticipated dog- and cat-wise! If your chooks have a good strong fence, hopefully it will be ok for you. Overall they have been great, a really good experience for us as a family!

  2. Just wanted to add a bit more about the harmonious animal adventure. Harmony continues, more than I expected! I found our cat curled up inside one of the nesting boxes today, happy, warm and snug! Those old mower grass catchers are doing well!

  3. @Anna21 make sure the chook fence has a bit of height when you build it, I have seen them take off in fright and fly over a six foot fence before.

  4. @Anna21 & @Wombat01 my parents have 2 chooks and 2 dogs (mini schnauzers) as well and it took a couple of months but they now get along side by side without any problems whatsoever! They just had to be slowly introduced to eachother… and now my parents don’t have to cordone off the backyard or give ‘turns’ to the dogs or chickens – they live side by side in harmony! So it is possible.

  5. @Anna21 interested in finding out more about your homemade pen as we are keen to get some chooks. Did you build an enclosure for them to sleep in?

  6. @Anna21 I’m interested in your home made chicken coop! I’ve been looking at what is available out there, but don’t want to spend too much on it. Hubby still needs to warm to the idea, but would very much like to get chickens (the toddler friendly kind – though will definitely need to fence future veggie gardens to make those two work in harmony)!

  7. @Anna21 @Stanwix @Wombat01 @Tracey – Just to let you all know that the next series of Sustain ABILITY Workshops will be released next week – and there is a ‘Keeping Chooks’ workshops scheduled in for Saturday 10th November, 10.30am – 12pm. :)

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