The chickens. Also known as the feather children. They help to deal with the weeds, the girls give us eggs, when they’re not being tricksy, and they are fascinating to watch. They are all pretty friendly and curious and love treats, when they’re allowed them. My chicken journey has had many ups and downs but I am definitely in the crazy chicken lady zone. I especially like raising feather babies.
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?
Australorp. 5 years old. The matriarch, sole survivor of our original 3 hens, most valued flock member. Main plotlines: Serial broodiness, excellent mumma to many chicks, hardy and obviously well-suited to our environment. Does carry some red feather genetics, so offspring have to be managed.
Australorp. 1 1/2 years old. One of our first incubator-raised chicks. Main plotlines: Big & hefty as a chick, no inclination to lay her eggs in a nestbox.
Australorp. 1 1/2 years old. One of our first incubator-raised chicks. Main plotlines: A good layer, always on the move, one of our most stable hens.
Australorp. 1 year old. Daughter of Frodo & Darrington (maybe). Main plotlines: Turning into a serial broody at her new home, so enrolled in an exchange programme with Duchess. A question mark about whether her father was Darrington or red-feather-gene-carrying Thomas.
Australorp. 11 months old. Daughter of Jemima & Andrew. Main plotlines: Friendly and fluffy but a real pecker in the nestbox, successfully raised a batch of chicks.
Australorp. 11 months old. Daughter of Tiggywinkle & Andrew. Main plotlines: A friendly girl who minds her own business.
Australorp. 8 months old. Daughter of Frodo & Andrew. Main plotlines: Our friendliest, most curious girl who likes to chase away the boys, laying extremely well.
Australorp. 8 months old. Daughter of Frodo & Andrew. Main plotlines: A big girl of great stature, probably our biggest. Intent upon laying eggs on the platform in the coop instead of in a nestbox.
Judith and Jacinda
Australorps. 4 months old. Daughters of Duchess & Mr Anderson. Main plotlines: Mr Anderson’s only female offspring, but could potentially carry red feather genes from Duchess if she was sired by Thomas instead of Darrington.
Australorp. 7 months old. Son of Tiggywinkle & Chippee Hackee. Main plotlines: Head rooster, a beautiful chap who is managing the flock well. Still a question mark about whether Chippee Hackee was sired by Darrington or red-feather-gene-carrying Thomas.
Australorp. 4 months old. Son of Tiggywinkle & Mr Anderson. Main plotlines: One of our friendly incubator-raised black boys, the last of Mr Anderson’s sons. No red-feather issues in his parentage.
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?
- 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 to others.