The chickens are also known as the feather children. They are an integral part of the homesteading way of life. In case you didn’t realise, chickens are the gateway drug to homesteading. The hens give us eggs, when they’re not being tricksy, some of the chickens provide us with meat, they help to deal with the weeds and food leftovers and they help turn the compost piles. They are also fascinating to watch.
We breed Australorps here and they are the only breed we have at the moment. They are a great dual-purpose, heavy, heritage breed, useful for both eggs and meat. They are friendly and docile. Australorps are more inclined to go broody than lighter breeds and commercial hybrids, which is very useful if you want to hatch your own chicks and have a sustainable flock. They were historically exceptional egg layers, but looks-focused breeding has made the laying abilities of some lines more average. We’re working on that here.
The flock of chickens is a fluctuating thing, as we hatch, grow, sell and dispatch various chickens. This page is an attempt keep their profiles reasonably up to date. So, who do we have at the moment?
3 years old. One of our first incubator-raised chicks. Main plotlines: Big and hefty as a chick, friendly, curious and always the first one trying to sneak out the gate when it’s open. Deputy Prime Henister. Mum of previous roosters Chippee Hackee and Mr Anderson.
2 years old. Daughter of Chippee Hackee & Tiggywinkle. Main plotlines: She went and then she came back. Poor colouring but an excellent layer and a friendly, low-maintenance girl. Full sister of the late Winston Cheepers.
1 1/2 years old. Daughter of Winston Cheepers & Tiggywinkle. Main plotlines: The best-looking hen of this generation. Likes to go broody frequently.
9 months old. Daughter of Sage & Ninja. Main plotlines: The Little Fulla’s Ag Day chicken, our only splash coloured Australorp at present.
8 months old. Daughter of Sage & Judith. Main plotlines: Our new rooster by default. A quiet, nicely-coloured boy.
2 years old. Daughter of Andrew & Jemima. Main plotlines: Used her broody feistiness to propel her to the position of Prime Henister. Beautifully fluffy but a force to be reckoned with when broody. Has successfully raised multiple batches of chicks. Regularly lays giant eggs.
2 years old. Daughter of Mr Anderson & Duchess. Main plotlines: Our best-looking blue girl with nice lacing. She lays well and just goes about her business sensibly. Or at least that’s what she wants us to think.
1 1/2 years old. Daughter of Winston Cheepers & Trinity. Main plotlines: Likes to go broody frequently. Has a bit of spunk.
8 months old. Daughter of Jack of Spades & Dahlia. Main plotlines: Kind of shifty and I’m never quite sure what she’s up to.
Lavender & Rosemary
8 months old. Daughters of Sage & Judith.
My Top 5 Quick Tips For Keeping Chickens
- Join a good Facebook poultry group or two.
- The Chicken Chick – browse, learn, use.
- At least once a month.
- Night time – easier to grab, calmer.
- Appearance – healthy comb and feathers? Lethargic? Droopy?
- Behaviour in relation to flock – hiding away? Aggression? Broodiness? Pretending to eat?
- Poop analysis – learn what is ok and what requires investigation.
If a chicken is sick you basically have three options:
- Treat yourself and get someone to help if you can.
- Take to a vet.
- Health – if a chicken seems sick or ‘off’, deal with it ASAP. ‘Wait and see’ does not work, waiting = a chicken in pain or dead.
- Roosters – if you hatch chicks, have a plan for dealing with roosters. Dumping a highly domesticated animal is not an option.
- Sharing – pass on your chicken addiction, I mean knowledge, to others.