Friday, 6 June 2014

My lovely Chooks have a new home.

I love my chooks and love sharing their amazing abilities.
They lay eggs.
I just find this completely amazing.
A person I know whose family is in the egg industry once said to me, 'What other food can you get to feed a whole family so well, so cheaply?"
How true. 
A dozen eggs can feed a family quite well for around 6 dollars.
Well having your own chooks makes it even cheaper.
I now have 24 hens. 12 old, and 12 young.
They have a special new chook yard that I have been waiting for since my birthday in February.
It was worth the wait! The boys have done a top job of it.

Chookyard building- it is huge! with 2 big gates to drive through to get around the yard.

They can eat free range as well as have feed on hand in a feeder, plus they get all the kitchen scraps.
Mine have laying mash (I like the seedy stuff mixed with molasses)  The pellets made one lot of my chooks lose all their feathers, I think it makes them too hot. We go through a bag of feed each week, plus they are free ranging these last couple of weeks. I let them free range each afternoon since their move into their new yard when I get home, they're waiting at the gate for me and I let them out for a couple of hours.

I always have a mix of old and young chooks. I never have the heart to chop the heads off my old ones. They have worked hard producing eggs and I repay them with a long life.
The old red girls are 3 or 4 years old, and the black ones are 2 years old.
They have just finished moulting and we have gone from 2 eggs a day from 11 hens to 6 eggs a day.
I'm pretty happy with that, I thought they might have been past it.

This big guy has to be locked or chained up before any chooks are let loose!
He tries to work them to death!

The little dogs don't seem to be worried at all about the chooks. 
They're more interested in searching for scraps in the chookyard!

The chooks give them a little peck if they get in their space!

The young red ones are just starting to lay. I bought them back in March as 12 week olds.
I normally buy day olds at the beginning of October or November.
Last year we didn't get any babies though as all the chooks were in the big aviary (where I would normally put the chicks) waiting for a new yard to be built, as the new shed built for the solar panels meant my old chook yard and veggie patch had to be demolished! 

I find the tiniest pullet eggs in the nesting boxes.

I 'm getting 4 a day out of the 12 of them.
Of course this all depends on my ability to get them collected before lunch as there seems to be a family of egg thieving crows in the vicinity. I've lost 4 plastic eggs as well that they've taken.
I hope they gave them a royal gut ache!
Apart from sitting there with a  410 waiting for them to rob the nest, I'm not exactly sure what to do.
I would normally hang a big fake bird, but I think that might worry the hens.

Suggestions most welcome.


  1. I love chooks too Jodie. Your photos are just beautiful.

    1. Thanks Fiona, I've been doing a few photography courses :)

  2. we ended up covering our chook run with netting, to steady up the flow of birds eating chook food and helping themselves to the eggs. Yours may be a little big to do this though! but perhaps if you strung wire across, the fruit netting stuff might work just as well as the wire stuff (and not require the same infrastructure!)

    More pics of this glorious new run please?!

    1. That sounds like a good plan Sharon, we already have one bit of wire across the middle. I'm a bit worried about the heat in summer as well so am thinking heavy shade cloth might be a bit of a solution as well. we've planted 2 mulberry trees and am waiting for the bare rooted ones to come into the nursery to put in a couple more, but the next couple of years while we wait for them to grow will be tough.

  3. Your chook photography is beautiful. I find it a bit tricky to capture photos of our girls, they move at lightening speed and all I seem to capture is a blurr of feathers.
    Their new run looks amazing and sounds like the perfect birthday gift. x


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