Thursday, August 25, 2011

Daphne & Roz

Who would have thought owning a couple of chickens could bring so much joy, 
entertainment and delight into ones life?

I have written about our little feathered friends before and I must say
 I can hardly believe we've had them for over six months now!
They were "pullets" when we got them
(this means young chicken)
and yet to start laying.

Now we get two eggs every day.
They are such spunks.
Daphne lays the smaller, lighter coloured egg.
Which of course makes Roz the proud producer of the larger "skin toned" egg.
We feed them a vegetarian grain mix purchased from a specialty food store here in the Hills.
(forgive me but I have misplaced the business card so when I find it I will give you budding chicken keepers the details) We discovered that regular chicken food is full of chemicals and processed animal meats... uh... Ewwww!? I'm sorry but I don't see the point in feeding my girls anything that comes with warnings all over the packaging.

Thanks to our dear friends down the road, who informed us about the vegetarian food option,
we are able to give them a balanced diet that has the right amount of protein and calcium in it - very important for egg production.
It also has nasturtiums added - a natural colour booster for the yolk.

Just look at how healthy Roz's comb and feathers look.
(personally I think she'd win a ribbon at any show)

Even though they have a special grain mix we still find them to be super dooper
recyclers... able to eat most kitchen scraps and vegetable peelings etc.
I sow cress seeds around their pen and that way they have a green treat when they free range.
Actually it's not entirely accurate to say "free-range" because I do pen off part of the yard for them so that they do not come along and mess up the deck or my flower beds.
(My romantic notions of Chooks roaming the entire yard at their own free will came to an abrupt halt only a few days into the adoption... have you seen how much Chooks can poo? Seriously I was gob smacked... eat, scratch, poo, cluck, scratch, poo, poo eat, scratch...more poo ...
I could go on but you get the idea yeah?

One thing I really enjoy doing is scratching around for earthworms and then hand feeding the girls these high protein treats. They love bugs more than any food they have access to. They also love peas, lentils and yoghurt. Go figure!

Here's Roz snatching a worm from me. She's the bossy one whereas Daphne usually waits her turn,
which is of course futile since Roz does not see any reason to politely leave a grub or two for Daphne.
I am so glad I did not give up on my dream of having a couple of backyard birdies and I would highly recommend it to anyone toying with the idea. Rather than bore you with my second hand knowledge I'd instead recommend an excellent site called Chooknet.
It offers a wealth of information for anyone interested in keeping Chickens.
I have found it to be really useful, especially since I was a complete novice to begin with.

So my dark feathered beauties... this post is dedicated to you.
Thank you for your sunny dispositions, your sweet natures and of course all your hard work in laying beautiful, chemical free eggs for us everyday.


Vintage Jane said...

Gorgeous girls. So wish I had room for some chooks. I used to have some at my old house and my Siamese cats used to take in turns 'rounding them up'! M x

Eleni said...

God, I want a pet, any kind of pet! Severe lack of gardens round here though = no pets for me :( I have eggs for breakfast every day, I am destined to have my own "chooks" (love that word, is that an Aussie thing?) someday! Although I think I would call mine "chicklets" and feed them leftover nomelettes :)