My first chooks



The chicks Phoenix (not a rooster, most likely an Orpington), Mini Me (most likely a rooster, comb in place and immitates mum all day long) and the unnamed little hen are 7 weeks old. Polly has started laying again and wants to go out.


Phoenix chased by Jazzy. Shreek shreek

Some time away

It’s hot in the Wairarapa, and while only a small part of the eggs hatched, it’s not easy having boisterous triplets…


“Let me out!”

So Polly gets some ME-time, whenever I can let her out of the coop. As you can see she below doesn’t stray far from the run…


“Ah, I can breathe again…”


Probably not normal

… to envy your chickens. But they have such a relaxed life. Here are some pics of proud Polly and fickle Phoenix. Eating corn is one of their favourite things…



Listen to mummy Phoenix


Happy 2016! No partying for Polly and her three chicks though. Young Phoenix in the photo still goes to bed when mum says so – she just goes up the ladder and they all wiggle along, but not quite sure how long that will continue.

After five minutes Phoenix ventured back down into the run. So I had to shut the coop door. Thank God their chalet does have a window as it is about 30 degrees and very, very humid in the Wairarapa.

The red ones aren’t even thinking about roosting. They might be planning a midnight party…


They can party all they want as long as they stay outside the chook fence. My veges are growing great at the mo.

Phoenix plays hide & seek

Added the run to the coop yesterday as it was so hot in the Wairarapa. The chicks are about 10 days old and they loved it. Phoenix has forgotten all about her – yep all the hatchlings are hens I hope – near-fatal adventure and played hide and seek with mum.

Here’s a short video on YouTube

Away in a new coop…


Phoenix, the only yellow and brown/grey hatchling is now a week old -the photo above was taken today – but last Thursday I luckily took the early train back from Wellington as she was lying outside the run. She was completely soaked and worse, dead I thought.

When I picked her up she sighed and moved her lil leg. Without giving it another thought I picked up the tray containing mum and the other bub and put them in the new coop. If nothing else, it was too cold for them to stay in the run and I did not want any more hatchlings escaping. They were a bit too young to venture out into the big world. Especially one that contains crazy aunty Jazzy…

I laid the soaked chick next to mum. Thinking that at least she would get to die close to her mum. But when I looked in 10 mins later Polly had taken her under her wings.

And when I checked the next morning at 6am before my last day of work before the break, I saw movement in three places under mum. The sun was shining when I got home around 5pm and not only had Phoenix turned fluffy again, she had also gained a new sister.

The three hatchlings and mum are loving their new wooden coop! How’s that for a happy Christmas story!


Cutesies but never again


Great food eh bro’

Can I just say that this was a first and a last for me. I have had sleepless nights, waking up every time our roof nearly blew off, or the rain smashed our bedroom window, or the temperature dropped below zero in this crazy El Niño spring and summer start.

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Crazy Jazzy happy under her roof, getting her off the broodiness is my next challenge.

Thinking of how to organise crazy broody Jazzy on her empty nest, the diligent layers Rocky and Poppy, and give la madre Polly her peace and quiet…


Chook yard, closed off run for Polly and crazy Jazzy under her coop roof.


Got there in the end after a near disastrous “lets sit on Polly and her eggs”-attempt from mental Jazzy, followed by a vicious “surely you don’t need eight chicks, let me eat one”-attempt from Rocky or Poppy.

I closed the coop to the run and took off the sheltered side of the roof, near the trees so Jazzy could still be broody, and Poppy and Rocky would feel protected enough to lay their daily eggs.

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But Sunday was day 21 and day 21 is when they are meant to hatch. They did not. Wairarapa train guard Rod said: “Ahhh, it can be two days later.” Wise chicken woman Nicki advised it could even take up to five days if the weather hadn’t been that good…

And this morning Polly made some surfing motions and two bubbies appeared from under her feathers. You can’t help but love them, and they love her that’s for sure. They hide in her feathers and look at her for what to do when big lady with camera appears.

“Hide,” says Polly and off they scutter…


Co-brooding not an option


Polly has thrown showpony Jazzy off the nest after the latter abandoned her task on the first night already in favour of sleeping in the coop.

At first there was one circle of six abandoned eggs but Polly took the henless eggs under her wing in the time it took me to check on Jazzy in the coop.

19 days to hatching.

Brooding in the tent



Polly (right) and Jazzy on their half dozen eggs each.

Won the fertile Barnevelder eggs in the auction, surprise surprise and drove up to 858 Norfolk Road outside of Carterton, about a 35 min drive northwest from here.

858 Norfolk Road

It is beautiful there and I paid Leonie the 19 dollars for the dozen Barnie eggs. Back in Featherston I did not have a nesting place for the girls – “You cannot let them sit together on the eggs, they will break them” from Leonie still ringing in my ears.

I thought I’d use the cats’ travel kennels but Polly and her red friend Jazzy did not think that was a good idea, so I took it apart and now they are cosy in the front of the run with the tarpaulin as protection. I just hope they let Poppy and Rocky through to the coop, and that it doesn’t blow too hard…


Chook yard with the brooding run.


art prescription

The queen of the farm

Watches over her herd and

The makings of milk.

Art Prescription:  I drive past Mapleview Dairy on my way to see Finn. I love seeing the cows grazing in the pasture.

8 1/2 x 11 watercolor

Hogan's Cow 72

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