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?

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Darrington. Australorp. 11 months old. Head roo, son of the late Mr Darcy. Main plotlines: A handsome boy who dislikes being handled. Trying to fulfill the high expectations set by his father.
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Frodo. Australorp. 4 years old. The matriarch, sole survivor of our original 3 hens, most valued flock member. Main plotlines: Serial broodiness, excellent mumma to many chicks.
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Paris. Australorp-Wyandotte cross. 1 1/2 years old. The bossy, independent head hen. Main plotlines: Being the boss, loitering around for food, going off-her-rocker when raising chicks.
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Pickle. Australorp. 11 months old. Daughter of the late Mr Darcy, shy but quiet. Main plotlines: An excellent layer, getting herself into a pickle.
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Blaze. Australorp. 11 months old. Daughter of the late Mr Darcy, friendly and curious. Main plotlines: A good layer but Crazy Blaze should not be allowed to sit on eggs.
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Jemima. Australorp. 6 1/2 months old. One of our friendly incubator-raised youngsters. Main plotlines: Big & hefty as a chick, no inclination to lay her eggs in a nestbox.
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Tiggywinkle. Australorp. 6 1/2 months old. One of our friendly incubator-raised youngsters. Main plotlines: Laying well, always on the move.
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Andrew. Australorp. 5 months old. Only child of Annie. Main plotlines: Being friendly, always wanting food, being much admired by Twiglet.
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Tabitha. Australorp. 5 months old. Daughter of Frodo. Main plotlines: Just hanging out, holding her own against the young boys.
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Moppet. Dorking. 5 months old. One of our first Dorkings. Main plotlines: Raised by Team Frodo & Paris, doing her own thing, having spunk.
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Mittens. Dorking. 5 months old. One of our first Dorkings. Main plotlines: Raised by Team Frodo & Paris, ‘Paddlefoot’ who had cardboard shoes to fix her toes, being friendly.
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Rory Jr. Australorp-Wyandotte cross. 15 weeks old. Daughter of Rory – good broody mum and snuggle chicken. Main plotlines: Being a snuggle chicken, following us around for a pat and food.

 

My Top 5 Quick Tips For Keeping Chickens

1. Knowledge

  • Join a good Facebook poultry group or two.
  • The Chicken Chick – browse, learn, use!

2. Handling

  • At least once a month.
  • Night time – easier to grab, calmer.

3. Observation

  • 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.

4. Treatment

If a chicken is sick you basically have three options:

  • Treat yourself and get someone to help if you can.
  • Take to a vet.
  • Cull.

5. Responsibility

  • Health – if a chicken seems sick or ‘off’, deal with it ASAP. ‘Wait and see’ does not work, waiting = a chicken in pain.
  • 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!

 

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