Friday, 7 September 2012

Peep-peeps and chookns

The Big Fella has always been really keen to have his own chickens - for eggs and possibly for meat.  So far we've had two attempts.

A couple of years ago we got 3 chickens.  One disappeared.  Then another.  It turned out that the butcher birds got them.  We decided to get a duck to keep the last one company.  The last one turned out to be a rooster.  It didn't survive very long after that.  The duck went to live with a bunch of other ducks and seemed quite happy every time we saw it.

The Big Fella got a book a little while ago that goes through the specifics of raising farm animals - chickens, sheep, cows and pigs.  He's particularly interested in raising his own pigs to then make his own smallgoods.  But he got excited again about the possibility of having chickens.  He'd arranged to get four "layers" from a lady at work, so he built the chicken yard.  The deal with the lady at work didn't come through as expected.

Then last week the Big Fella went and got a chook from a guy up the road who has a million of them (not really, but it seems like that sometimes).  He caught one and put it in the box then caught another, went to put it in the box and the first one flew out and away.  So he brought the 2nd one home.

He put it in the chook yard and it... flew over the fence into our back neighbour's yard where the dogs chased it until it flew to their next door neighbour's yard.  They have a little border collie puppy who proceeded to round the chook up and bite off it's tail feathers before the chook was finally caught and returned to us!

The poor chook was obviously traumatised and spent the rest of the afternoon trying to find a way out of the chook yard (with new fencing wire added to the top section).

In the morning the chook was gone.

The Little Big Fella was absolutely devastated!  The Big Fella was annoyed.

We ended up going a lady's place just out of town.  She breeds several "varieties" of chickens and had some in the incubator.  So we had a look around and a chat and decided we'd get some chicks once they hatched.

The lady called us yesterday afternoon and asked if we'd like to come and choose our chicks.  So this morning the Big Fella and the Little Big Fella went out there to choose our chicks and bring them home.  They ended up choosing three Orpingtons and two Rhode Island Reds.  Here's what they'll look like when they're grown:

The Little Big Fella is in love!  He hasn't been away from the chicks all day, except when I practically dragged him out for lunch with friends.  Everywhere we went (we had some errands to do after lunch) he told everyone about his "peep-peeps" and that they're going to grow into "chookns".

Here's a few pics from throughout the day :-)

Because they're so small (I think they only hatched 24-48 hours ago) we have to keep them indoors for a few weeks.  We also got a nice warm globe for one of our reading lights so they can keep warm under it overnight.  Tomorrow I'm hoping to take them outside for a little while and introduce them to the chook yard.  We introduced them to the dogs this afternoon (very carefully) and the dogs are very interested in them but behaved really well.

So hopefully it'll be "third time's the charm" and this lot will survive, not be roosters and start laying eggs for us in the near future!

No comments:

Post a Comment