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Chooks and chickens

Having grown up with chickens roaming round the yard and the boisterous crowing of the roosters as part of the soundtrack of my childhood, it seemed only natural that we should have some of the feathery fowl.

Getting started was easy enough as my mother still keeps a motley crew of hens. Working through the technicalities has been a little more challenging.  Chickens are generally low maintenance, forage for a good portion of their food and offer a variety of valuable by-products including eggs, meat, earth moving, feathers, manure and body heat.

Assuming you have a rooster, their tendency to hatch out large numbers of babies means, for better or worse, the size of your flock can grow very quickly.

Rooster

Rooster

Having a rooster offers a number of benefits, if you can overlook the noisy crowing:
  • Helps encourage the chooks to start laying earlier
  • Provides some level of predator protection
  • Creates fertilised eggs if yo want to hatch baby chickens
01 Oct 2014
Fire roasted duck leg with seasonal vegetables

Fire roasted duck leg with seasonal vegetables

A simple, one pot meal with plenty of taste.01 Jun 2013
Chicken garden

Chicken garden

We got the idea from an inspirational video and couldn't hold back.
By dividing the chicken run in half we tapped into the rich nutrient load. After adding some basic contour swale for easy watering and scattering a few seeds we quickly had a very productive piece of garden.
03 Apr 2013
Ducklings

Ducklings

After 35 days sitting patiently on 8 eggs, our first time mother muscovy hatched 3 cute little babies.
Now if only we can out smart nature and keep them alive.
05 Dec 2012
Swales and ducks for a wetter future

Swales and ducks for a wetter future

Climate change predicts a wetter future with more extreme rainfall events for much of New Zealand.

Trapping water in the landscape is a valuable technique for buffering rainfall to later irrigate downhill crops and trees.
13 Aug 2012
Ducks!

Ducks!

Keeping things interesting with addition of 3 half grown Muscovy ducks.28 Jun 2012
Chicken Prism

Chicken Prism

The latest development in our seemingly endless quest for perfect chicken containment, our version of the chicken tractor.
The chicken prism seems, so far, to be a fairly successful system. Good for converting grass to garden or invigorating existing garden while restricting the roaming and destructive nature of the birds.
07 Apr 2012
Bits and pieces from the block

Bits and pieces from the block

Coming out of the hibernation of winter things are speeding up with plenty to do, not that stuff didn't get done or nature deliver some excitement these past months...

Here are a few photos that sum up the past few days.
01 Sep 2011
New Blood

New Blood

As our flock of chickens has been actively breeding for a number of years using offspring roosters we thought it might be time to refresh the gene pool.
Until we 'dispose' of our current rooster the new guy must stay in quarantine to avoid bloodshed.
The friends who gave us this good looking fellow said he is a Rhode island red, for meat and eggs, perfect
22 Jul 2011