June 01, 2011
June 01, 2011
The Triplets of blockhillOf the twelve eggs, only three have successfully hatched. There are three little fluffy feathered babies...all black like the mother, though they may be from other hens eggs...we aren't too sure. We have put some of the remaining eggs under the speckled hen who has also gone clucky, but it's been a few days now, and no other baby chickens have emerged. So it looks like we have just the three. Hopefully they will survive the ferrets and the cat!November 10, 2009
Using odds and ends I was able to construct something that looks like it will do the trick. Read more about materials and construction process.January 30, 2011
Here are a few photos that sum up the past few days.September 01, 2011
Rather than unleash the chickens in the garden I decided to take the garden (at least bits of it) to them.January 31, 2010
Chicken PrismThe 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.
Win-win-win with pigs and chickensWe run a small flock of mixed breed mongrel chooks. Our primary motivation is a quality source of eggs but there are many other benefits to having a few poultry.
In addition to the hens and their loyal rooster we keep 3 kuni kuni pigs. This is a small breed, hairy and very affectionate. Their roles are as lawn mowers, soil cultivators and manure makers. Kuni kuni pigs are unique in that they can survive on a diet of grass and need very little supplementary food unless raising babies.
Over the last few years we have been impressed with how the chooks, young chickens, rooster and pigs all get along in the slowly emerging food forest they call home. They range freely together and at feeding time jostle with each other for access to kitchen scraps and grain.
Our chooks and ducks get fed supplementary grain that has been soaked in water. This makes it softer, easier to digest and because it swells up means they don't eat as much.
One unintentional positive side effect of feeding grain to the chickens while the pigs are present is they inevitably end up eating some of it. Being greedy, they swallow most of it whole and it passes straight through and ends up spread around their territory in the manure. The chickens have discovered this and are very eager to get at the grains embedded in the poo. This results in frantic scratching and disintegration of the pig turds resulting in faster breakdown and absorption into the surrounding landscape.