The hen house has been vacant way too long, but at last it is fully occupied, and the outdoor enclosure is aflutter. On Sunday I acquired seven lovely chickens. Only one is fully grown, and she’s a gorgeous bantam.
The other six are (black) Australorps (an Australian variation of the Orpington, for you chook lovers): five hens and a rooster. The Australorps are two and three months old, so they’re not even speaking ‘chook’ yet. They’re still cheeping! I still don’t understand how chicks say “peep” without any lips.
I have a lovely big chook run which has a closed top, so while they are small the chickens are protected from marauding hawks and eagles. Once they are bigger, they can be out on their own.
Some would say I spoil my chooks. Maybe, just a little. Let’s just say I augment their diet of chickenfeed and table scraps. I add some shredded cheese, corn, and on very cold wintry days perhaps a bit of warm mash, made up of oats and corn soaked in hot water. We all know porridge is a great kick-starter on a cold winter day. In turn, they weed and fertilise the garden, reward me with wonderful eggs, and provide great entertainment. How good is that!?
I can’t wait for the first egg. The blackies aren’t yet old enough, but Blossom is. I don’t know if the trauma of the move to a new home will put her off or not, so I don’t have any idea when she might produce an egg. Doesn’t matter, really. I just like looking at her. She’s much more confident that the youngsters. She has a bit of attitude, actually, and a large amount of savoir faire. The others will all out-size her when they are fully grown, but I reckon she will continue to rule the roost even then.
Before I got these lovelies, I ordered a half dozen Barnvelders from my hairdresser, who is as much a chook-nut as I am. His nuttiness is more specific; he is an aficionado of the Barnvelder, which is also a handsome bird.
It’ll be several months before they become available, thank goodness. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with thirteen chooks, though. Perhaps I can start a little egg-run to pay for my next holiday. MM