Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for Chickens- #AtoZChallenge

Jago, Chatty, Cinderella, Bo and Cossa.

C is for Chickens! Because I HAVE to show off my fluffy bums! It's like, a rule, you know?

For years, I've always wanted my own chickens, even before I moved to Tasmania and started up with the self reliant urban homestead stuff. Many of my relatives had chickens, and the whole idea of collecting fresh eggs and watching the happy poultry as they foraged was just plain appealing. 

Chookie Chow: a mixture of veggie scraps, seeds, dried
meat, and dried herbs. An excellent chicken snack.
However, I currently live in a suburban unit with a tiny garden, so it wasn't exactly conducive to happy foraging birds. However, an opportunity arrived in the form of a friend purchasing a house that sat on a large block, and one of the first things she said about it was that it had a chicken coop, and that maybe we could have chickens in it. I was thrilled!

Bloomers hiding under the clam shell cover.
Chookie Blocks, a favorite winter poultry treat.
Once she had moved in and gotten herself settled, I went over and investigated the coop area. It was pretty sad, really. It had three intact walls, no back wall or ceiling, and no actual chicken house- it was just a pen. There was also an issue about the new fence going up, as the block next door was being built up with a house, new fencing, etc.

It took several months to sort the various issues out, and for me to get over my procrastination, but I was finally able to get my act together well enough to build a chicken coop. Thanks to a group of my friends, we had a chicken blitz, and using star pickets, free pallets, some other recycled materials and various hardware odds and ends, we got a 1mx1m square elevated chicken house made. Then, when the fence line issues were all worked out, I was able to fix up the pen itself with aviary wire, cattle panel, old timbers, and bird netting. By the time I was finished, it was pretty snug! I just added a few extra touches, and filled the house with straw and perches, and the birds were right at home. Thanks to a local breeder, I picked up several lovely ladies for our new chicken coop. 5 were cross breeds: 1 AustralorpX, 1 SilkieX, 1 Light SussexX, and 2 Buff OrpingtonX or possibly ISA BrownX
- that was never clear. There were later joined by 2 absolutely adorable pure bred silkies, in white and buff orange, the youngest of the lot.

Chatty giving me the stink-eye.
Unfortunately, our Molly girl got sick and no matter what I did to help, she didn't make it. She seemed to rally under treatment, but just didn't have it in her in the end. She is survived by the rest of the flock: Bloomers (brown BuffOX), Jago (black AustraloprX), Cinderella (Light Sussex), Chatty (SilkieX), Bo (white Silkie), and Cossa (buff orange Silkie).

They give us eggs (large brown and small cream colored eggs!), and patrol the garden daily, all day, eating bugs, seeds, weeds, fallen fruit (my friend has mulberries, apples, persimmons, etc) and other goodies. Their favorite treats are snails, sunflower seeds, Chookie Chow (made by yours truly) and, in the winter, Chookie Blocks (I make these from seed mixes, dried fruit, and tallow). They are truly spoiled babies!

Anyway, thanks for hanging around to read my "proud chicken mama" post. Hang about, and check out tomorrows blog! I'm sure it'll be D-lightful!

*Ducks all the thrown rotten tomatoes and exits stage left!*


  1. Aww, sorry about Molly but glad you were able to make a delightful chicken city for your gals.

  2. I am your father. Chicken is good. You should never name your food.


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