Meet the Girls

Some of  you may have caught a glimpse of a hen in my last post. Such eagle-eyed individuals. You are on the ball, that's what you are!

After months of not having any chook activity here, grieving the loss of our last flock after the devastating fox invasion and missing the sounds of the friendly clucking, we have taken a leap of faith and re-stocked the pen. The time felt right, we were ready to jump back in.

Five Rhode Island Reds at point of lay, bought at our local farmer's market from this reputable breeder.


They look extremely similar to Isa Browns (hybrids), although I was assured they were not.  Having kept Isa Browns in the past and noticing several of their flaws, I was keen to veer towards purebreds this time around.


Paranoid about the security of the chook run (even though hubby had been over it, veggie group had been over it and I had been over it), I fashioned a door to enclose them into their 'bedroom' within the pen at night. During the day I have been letting them into the fully enclosed run for dust bathes and grain pecking.


For a couple of hours in the afternoon, if the weather is fine (that is, not foxy..ie - gloomy), they go into the fenced off raspberry patch, hence the netting of delicate seedlings in the previous post. The first time they entered the patch I lost them immediately to the undergrowth of the raspberries and cabbages. It is any chook's dream in there and goodness knows there is a lot of bug control to catch up on!


We have also invested in a new poultry feeder that will hopefully reduce the vermin numbers we have experienced in the past associated with keeping hens. One step onto the platform pushes back the barrier, allowing the hen access to the feed. The barrier shuts back into position when the bird hops off the platform. It only took two days for them to learn! (www.chooktred.com.au)


Wish me luck as we travel down this path again. I watch them with quiet happiness this time around, not the eager excitement of a novice. Being burned does that to a person. Nothing will replace our lost birds but hopefully in time, these new creatures will become part of our family, offering their eggs, manure and entertainment via quirky antics to our daily life.


Breathinig deeply. Be safe, little hens. Be safe. xx

Comments

  1. Good luck with your new chooks. I love having chooks and have had chooks for about 30 years (not the same ones, obviously! We have been visited by dogs more than once). Your photos are beautifully intimate and show their personalities. Love yur chook feeder and thanks for the link to the breeder you got them from.
    Jo

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  2. Awww, all the best with your new babies.

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  3. Lovely, Christine. We also got 4 new ones today to bring our little flock up to 10.

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  4. We had the same thing happen a few years ago , Christine and I was the same ...it took a little while to 'take the risk again'. I am sure they will be fine this time round.Don't you just love watching them in the garden...I don't know how many times I have been 'conned' into letting them out somewhere and having all my seedlings scratched up, but those squawks of delight at finding a bug get me everytime!

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  5. Watch out! One of my pure-breds is broody and is miserably clucking and being emo all over the place...
    (The Isa Browns don't do that!)

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  6. That's great to see you have chooks again. I don't think I could live without them now. We've had chooks for eight years and the place would be empty without them. I must be becoming a hard person though, because losing a chook doesn't have the same impact that it used to. Fox attacks are the most distressing way to lose them though! I love the chook feeder.

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  7. Your chook feeder looks great, I always wondered if ours would be smart enough to use one :) I hate to tell you though, but they don't look like Rhode Is Reds! If you search google images you will see that Rhode Is Reds are a deep red with even darker green feathers on the tip of their tail. We have been keeping them for a few years, so I recognised that yours didn't look right. Unfortunately your hens look to me like hybrids. My parents in law made the same mistake, they were told their hens were Rhode Is Reds (and various other breeds, even though they all look the same) and when we finally visited to check them out they were very disappointed to find out they'd been sold hybrids. Maybe you could discuss this with the breeder next time you see them. I hope you didn't pay too much, a pure bred bird should be at least $25 (we've been quoted $100 for some rare breed hens!), and hybrids are usually cheaper than that. Enjoy the eggs though, whatever the breeds, its lovely to have hens in your garden :)

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  8. So glad foxes are not a problem here in Tassie but the odd quoll can cause havoc. Good luck with your new brood.

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  9. oh..i'm so glad you have more girls..and it sounds as if youve covered every base with regards the fox problem..i will get vicarious pleasure from your chook tales because i'm remaining chookless..

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  10. Love the chook feeder Christine! Good luck with your new flock.

    Gav x

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  11. So glad you were able to get more chickens! Love those fresh eggs! Here in the US, Rhode Island Reds have no white on them. Must be different over there, though I would have thought from the name that they would be from US descendants.

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  12. Well done on getting some more chooks. I remember how devastated we were when we lost our first chooks to a dog that wandered into our garden and created carnage. I hope they will be safe this time.

    I agree with the comments above about your chooks looking more like isa browns than rhode island reds. The rhode island chooks are quite noticeably bigger than the isa browns (which is why a lot of people don't want to keep them - they eat more!). I love them - they are my favourites and we have had many varieties over the years. They don't seem to get sick or get pests, only very rarely get broody or bad tempered. Just an all round good chook. Much harder to find though unfortunately.

    I love the look of your feeder and have just placed an order for one - thanks for the link!

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  13. Thanks all for popping by. Liz, Cat and Spice, thanks for the heads up. After I read your comments I emailed the seller and am waiting on a reply. It did strike me as strange that they looked SO much alike, but I'm no chook expert (probably any chook seller's best customer really!).

    I doubt that we'll return them anyway, the daughters have become attached to them and after having a chook drought for so long this would not go down well. Quite frustrating though...I had really hoped to go for purebreds this time around.

    I'm pleased that some of you found the chook feeder interesting, we're really happy with it so far. :)

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  14. I'll be hoping for your chookies safety too.
    We had to give our 2 away as we're moving and I can understand how you would have missed them, I miss ours.
    Love their feeder, and they sure are quick learners at getting the feed out.
    Good luck, and I look forward to reading about their antics.
    x

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  15. So happy to see chickens back again! Stay safe, little ones...

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  16. I'm sure they will be good layers no matter what. We have two "red sex-links", not sure exactly which variety they are (Cinnamon Queen, Isa Brown, etc...) and they lay very large nice eggs.

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  17. Thanks, Zara. That's very sad that you had to give yours away.

    Yep Celia, please stay safe, little ones. Please!!

    Thanks, Cat, that is one up-side with the hybrids, I agree. :)

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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