Chickens – a beginning

We’ve had our chickens for a year now, so it is probably time to show them off here.

Thanks to our daughter, Grace, they all have names. Although it seems that it’s only the kids who can tell them apart. Or at least that’s what they tell me!

Say hi to Velma, Mrs Jessop, Esmay, Fred, and Hayley. They are Rhode Island Red cross with New Hampshire. Common garden variety layers, I believe.

still young here, about 20 weeks. is it Hayley or Esmay?

Ethan and a couple of the girls

They are housed in a garden shed, turned chicken coop and have several different spaces to roam around in. There is the inner sanctum of the coop, about 4 square meters, where their feed and water is left. Next, past the bush gate, is the main chook run. They have access to this area all the time. It is about 50 square meters. When the dogs are out of their dog run, the chooks are let in, another 80 or so square meters. And when the dogs are inside, later in the day, they get the full run of the yard too.

the chicken hotel

We have restricted their access to the full yard to only a few hours each day as they are capable of wreaking havoc in the garden if given the chance!

We feed them seed, grain and pellet mix from the rural shop, scraps from our kitchen and other scraps scrounged from friends and friendly market shops.

In return they have been providing lovely eggs (about 4 each day), great composing poo and straw from the coop, a weed and bug eating service in the garden, and lots of fun and activities for the family.

I know when I was starting to build their coop and enclosure I enjoyed looking at others efforts in this area, so I’ll include a few pics of the set-up.

chicken coop takes up half the garden shed

nesting boxes are used now, after some training

roosts are popular with our girls

its an organic structure!

More will follow in posts to come I’m sure…


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