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25.3.12

Meet my girls


We've had chickens for a few of months now and we just love them. They are the ideal family pet - social, fun and no trouble whatsoever. I am not an 'animal' person by any stretch of the imagination, but our sweet little flock has already enhanced our family life immeasurably. There is something so relaxing about watching them forage and play and I am learning an awful lot about social practices from observing the strict criteria of the chicken world. Besides, keeping hens is just so darn 'country'.


We collected our chickadees from New Leaf Nursery - the most delightful sustainable nursery in one of those funny little 'rural' pockets that are dotted about Sydney. The owners set up the place as a 'children's garden nursery' and the little scooters, bikes, pictorial signs and petting area are just a joy for children and parents alike. The place is crazy with herbs and vegetables and chickens, ducks and quail roaming about the place. The cockadoodledoo of a glorious rooster or two is never far away.


So, we brought home three chickens initially - one for each Tsunami. For reasons unknown, Cappers' chicken Peep died in the night about three weeks ago, so we went back and brought in two more chicks, who are about 10 weeks old now. So we have Daffy Duck (Badoo's, an Isa Brown) and Benjamin (Maxi's, a Wynandotte - and wouldn't you know it, I keep calling Benjamin a 'he' too) who are both about 18 weeks, although we're pretty sure Benji is a bantam. The two new chicks are Sparkle (Cappers') and Chirp (everyone's) and they have only this week been invited to hang out with the older two during the day. That may well be because they are both bigger than Bantam Benji already...



Keeping chickens is such a simple, almost instinctual, practice. If you don't look too closely at them, they are really rather cute. I was initially very scared of all the flapping and the worry about whether we were 'doing it right', but now we just get on with it and enjoy watching our flock do just the same. In the end, whist initially nervous, I gained a lot of courage from reading Mrs Bok's lovely blog, The Bok Flock, and then we just went ahead and did it one day.


Speaking of 'flock', when I told Maxi that we needed to replace Peep with two new chickens as it was very difficult and lonely to introduce a single chicken to an existing flock, he snorted and said, "what, our two chickens. Some flock." Which seemed like the kind of thing a teenager ought to be pointing out, rather than a seven year old boy. That boy, I tell you!

Are you chicken keepers?

52 comments:

Squiggly Rainbow said...

Yes! We got our first flock about 6 months ago, maybe even 8 months ago... did you build that coop? It's amazing! Our coop is very basic, but is doing okay... we have Torchick, Dotti, Mia, Delilah, Fern and Olive... they are very therapeutic and lately we are getting 4 eggs each day! Love it! xx Rach

Kate said...

Oh, you know, does 2000 of the feathery birdies count?
I do think we miss out on a bit of the fun though as ours all live down in the paddocks. I've been thinking we might need to bring a few up to hang out with us. But ohmygoodness the 300 week old chickies that arrived last week are just about the cutest, fluffiest things you have ever seen.

Alison said...

Keepers of chickens and raising some chicken-handlers par excellence. I just had to rescue Hattie the Pekin from a bucket which had been winched to the top of the climbing frame. She was later found inside a feed container with the lid replaced by my cunning four-year-old. Lately the boys have taken to parading around with a chicken on each of their heads. Getting ready for the Easter parade, I think.
Welcome to the wonderful world of poultry. I think I am now a fully fledged fancier.

trudi@maudeandme said...

Our first rooster was a pencil wynadotte. He was gorgous, and all the hens thought so too. We called him "rooter".

Kim H said...

So very country of you, Bron;) I can't wait to get us some chickens as well. Soon, soon, soon.

Lauren said...

:) No we aren't but down the street there is a coop in the front yard! Very cool! I'd like too though...perhaps when we will when we don't like in a concrete jungle!

Emma said...

Oooh, you were in my neck of the woods! I am currently trying to convince my husband that we need and must have a flock of our own! Any tips? Emma

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

'scratchy' died in December and while 'flappy' remains, she no longer lays eggs. I love letting her hang out in the yard with me while I'm hanging out the clothes. The kids, unfortunately have lost interest a little now though and are begging for a cat or a dog, but I want to hang on to the easy and calm chicken for as long as I can! Your coop looks amazing and it looks like they are enjoying their new home.

therhythmmethod said...

We're hoping to be set up for our chickens by the Easter weekend. Mr Karen has been beavering away digging post holes for our coop underneath the oak tree at the bottom of the garden. I can't wait. I'm probably more of a chicken person than a people person, and I know my boys will love them to bits.

nicole said...

ooh they're gorgeous! so lovely :D
i am insanely jealous! i can't wait until i'm living in a place where i can have a couple of girls :D
they look like they're still a little while off laying though... the little rubbery things on their heads go super red!
xo

LionessLady said...

Ahh chooks! Think of all those lovely fresh eggs you'll get, perfect for baking!

melissa said...

We have 6 isa browns and we love them all. Can't tell them apart and their names change from day to day but they are great pets and keep us in plenty of eggs.

Caz (The Truth About Mummy) said...

Oh yes. We have Penny, Cinderella and Lara. We also had Benny until a few weeks ago. He (no your right she was a she too) literally fell off her perch in the night. Initially we let them wander the backyard - but I got sick of the chooken poo on the back verandah. They'd sit at the back door and peck to be let in!!!! Or maybe for food. Your kids will be so excited when the eggs start coming :)

Coal Valley View said...

Awesome Bron! Well we have the Silver Sapngled Hamburgs and the Silkies now. They really do bring a smile to your day, don't they!? Have fun with them xx

At Number 32 said...

We have only one lil chook left in our 'flock'.....waterboy!!! Whilst I do love how she roams the garden and enjoy watching her and the dog play together (who would have thought a lab and chook could play!!) but i have to say.......THE POO!! Man, can they poop!
Enjoy your flock and the fun they bring.

Cath said...

I can't wait until we get some girls of our own. Unfortunately, some major earthworks (all hand dug) are required first, and I'm really worried about that fox that's been skulking through the forest recently. I'd hate the Munchkin to have to deal with THAT!

Tips most welcome!

Joni Llanora said...

My family used to have a small poultry back in the Philippines. I enjoyed picking up the eggs. Now Im thinking maybe I should get some for Anya too!

m.e (Cathie) said...

Our girls are awesome, great to have around. There's maisy, poppy, chockie, screech & goldie.they all have their own personalities and their eggs are absolutely beautiful.
If you overlook the chook poo & pecking in the garden then they are the best pets. Enjoy x

Kymmie said...

We don't have chickens, but I really want them. Hubby is far too proud of his lawn.

"They'll ruin it", he said.

Our neighbours had chooks, but gave them up because they ruined their backyard pretty much. Such a shame. Because your own eggs are awesome!

xx

Deb @ home life simplified said...

we inherited our 2 chooks with the house when we bought it 15 months ago. we endured a broody summer (2010-2011) which was extremely difficult, but thankfully this year has been fine. Thank god for our eggs as we eat a ton of them.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

HOORAY! Your set up looks amazing and your girls are gorgeous! Your tsunamis are going to have so much fun when the girls start to lay...

:)

Love seeing your pics!

Diminishing Lucy said...

We are not.

Andrew, if you are reading this, we are not getting chooks. OK?

(Running battle. He wants. I do not.)

kell said...

Well I'd love some chooks, and all these comments make me feel that I want some even more, but sadly we're out in the sticks and I'm not sure I could cope with the stress of a) our cats making eyes at them, and b) the rodent + snake situation which I hear comes with the territory of keeping chooks! Will just keep checking in on yours through your great pix for now!

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

Oh look at those gorgeous girls!! Although i must say i was rather busy checking out your little picture added there on my right!!! FANCY! but yes dear, the chick thing is adorable and we would LOVE to have chooks of our own one day, and get the kiddies to pop in on them and get the eggs. they would be the perfect pet for me too seeing as i'm not very pet friendly. Your look divine! and Maxi - well, watch that one xx

Megan.K. said...

I love your flock! How exciting. I am sadly no longer a chicken keeper, but will be again just as soon as I de-jungle and fence the garden area they will live in.
Miss chooks - yours look lovely.
x

Maggie said...

I'm thinking about starting my first flock soon but I wondered if now was the right time since we are heading in to winter...
Sparkle must be a common name for chooks, we got some eggs once from friends and their kids had written on the carton "love from Sparkle and Snotrod" :)

Andrea said...

What a lovely bunch of chicks! We have 3 who roam about all day being followed about by kids and dogs. They don't seem phased at all. Lovely :)

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

Oh I love the chook, our neighbours ones come visit at times but I've just fixed the fencing as they dig up all my seedlings. Unfortunately our landlord says no to chickens.

Kelly said...

Beautiful pictures Bron. I've love to keep chickens one day. I think it would be fun to collect fresh eggs to bake with & they would make good pets for the kids.

I love the chickens names xo

Lou Lou said...

Oh they are so cute! My brother has some chickadees down on the south coast. Farm fresh eggs on a Sunday morning, mmmmmm

In Real Life said...

Fun! I would love to have chickens, I am hoping to one day, when we move to our little acreage. Cute pictures!

Anonymous said...

I'm so torn. I would love to have chickens but have also heard they attract rats like nothing else. We don't have a huge back yard - big enough for chooks but not for rats too. Eek.

Daydream Living said...

I saw a chicken photo and had to take a better look, I would love to have some chickens myself! I did a post about it two weeks ago but since we can't have chickens here (rented apartment in Switzerland...) I lurk around the blogs, reading one after another, way past my bedtime. I had to smile at this post, thanks for the link to your chicken blog, will have a look (I love reading Tilly's Nest, very informative). Thanks for showing your girls!
Maureen xx

Katie and Reuben said...

Oh, I would LOVE to get some chickens (though I very much AM an animal person so would quite like many, many animals!) But it would be so lovely to have home grown eggs. One day when we have more space...

Katie x

Katie and Reuben said...

Oh, I would LOVE to get some chickens (though I very much AM an animal person so would quite like many, many animals!) But it would be so lovely to have home grown eggs. One day when we have more space...

Katie x

Rhonda said...

I am so afraid of anything with feathers but I really want some chickens. I am hoping when we move that we will have room for them.

Anonymous said...

oh yes! We are on our second flock of browns ~ sadly there is only Harriet left from our first three {Billie just passed on the weekend,eldest very upset! Died of old age}
The second trio are just settling in and should be laying in a few weeks.
I love the eggs but also love how they eat up the scraps - particularly the crusts left in lunchboxes etc - cuts our waste down amazingly!
And we were all anxious at the start but now we just throw out food, clean out the coop regularly and leave them to their own devices! And collect the eggs, of course :)

Kellie said...

That last was me - I hit anonymous instead of published!

run poppy run said...

Love our chickadees... nothing better than farm fresh eggs for a weekend breakfast.

Cherie @ 'a baby called Max' said...

BRON,

I can't wait to read this post to my Mother in law!

She desperately wants chickens, & I desperately want to give her some.

You've just inspired me for her upcoming 60th birthday!

P.S I'm not sure if the photo of you top right is new, or if I never see it because I usually read blogs from my iPhone, but you're just so beautiful!

xx

Kelly @ Polkadot Lane said...

How cute! We have plans for chooks and rabbits soon, and the kids can't wait...it is just a little bit country :-P

Jeremy Bates said...

Chickens I don't mind whatsoever, but roosters are a different story.

My friend's mother used to raise chickens. She had one that was mentally challenged and we used to have fun sitting around their barn watching them. They are curious, funny little creatures.

Here where I am presently traveling, roosters can drive me crazy at times, especially those times when I am attempting to get some much needed rest. Roosters don't just crow in the morning! In fact, it is 12:31pm as I type this and a HUGE rooster is bellowing in the background.

Help me, Lord! llol

lipgloss mumma said...

Oh I looove chooks! I can't wait till we are in our new house because I can have some chooks. Yours look so sweet :)

Miss Mandy said...

We don't have chooks but I do love them and think they'd be awesome to have.

one claire day said...

I'm not sure which is more hysterical - "some flock" or the label 'so not a pet person but look at me now'. Hilarious!

I am a wee bit jealous of your little hens. I can't wait to have some one day. Do you live on much land, Bron?

The only thing holding us back at the moment is the fact that we have dogs... poultry loving dogs. Bit worried about how all that will pan out...

xx

Down that Little Lane said...

My bro in law does and husby wants them but until we have no dogs... Me thinks not!

Jodie Ansted said...

My oldest friend in the world had a chicken coop and we loved going in there and collecting eggs as kids.

This post brought back fond memories for me.

xox

Naomi said...

I love chickens, they are wonderful in so many ways... I think if I had them they's all have names of my favourite Bronte and Austen characters! x

Lisa H said...

I think my cat would LOVE chickens. Me, not so much.

Quill and Ink Handmade said...

I was a bit hesitant at first, but oh my goodness, I LOVE my hens now. They're a gallavanting lot though, which I think is just the breed; I'll often have to chase them down the street to bring them back (luckily they follow me when I'm calling them home), and our neighbours have found them randomly in their kitchens or bathrooms, when they've wandered in through an open door.
And even with clipped wings, they flap furiously and manage to fly over our high fences - cheeky buggers!

I've loved every minute of having them; and aren't gardens just so much better with them pottering around in them?

x

Catherine said...

You're so right they are the best pets aren't they, we love our girls and thank them always for their beautiful eggs:) x

Little Pinwheel said...

there are chicks at Taj's pre school, and he loves them. I showed him your chooks! x

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