My first chooks

Co-brooding not an option

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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

 

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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…

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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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Polly and Dolly are wondering who is this lady – yep haven’t seen them a week as it’s wintertime here in NZ and my commuting begins and ends in the dark – trying to kill us with those massive green leaves. And where is our sweet corn??? “Oh Dolly run away flee, she is as mad as a hatter, under the trees. Under the trees!”

Yeah thanks girls. Dolly remember last year I brought you back to life? “Yeah nice try you chicken murderer…”

About the lack of sweet corn. Well honey bees, the sweet corn costs $1.79 per husk at Countdown in Masterton so it’s back to silverbeet I am afraid.

The red ones – Jazzy, Poppy and Rocky – don’t care if they have never seen me before. They are scavengers of the worst kind and just want to eat. A dog could come and bring it.

Yeah I know your coop is a disaster zone. I’ll clean it after the ANZAC service in Featherston.  “What not good enough you uncivilised species called human. Get out shoo shoo!”

So I need to get a better work-life balance to make my chookies happy – so they can’t get into trouble and not get out.

wpid-20150314_170030.jpg   except Dolly…  wpid-20150314_170003.jpg She’s tiny but not stupid and she lays the biggest eggs.

On a happy note, a fantail chatted to me in our front garden when we got back from the Anzac Service. So I was at least appreciated by one bird species…

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Dolly: pick of the bunch

Jazzy, the red one with the white legs is the gang leader. After encouraging all 5 chooks to eat the rhubarb leaves – no no one died – they munched up the potato plant leaves. Luckily the potatoes had already grown. Then followed the strawberry plant leaves, and when that was gone they all jumped in the one raised garden I had fenced off. Perseverance does pay off. For them that is.

I would find at least one of them – mostly Jazzy followed by leader (but for how long?) Polly rummaging round and eating the basil, the chives, the tomatoes – I think I put in at least 20 tomato punnets. Yep even the chillies disappeared until the third raised bed was bare as well. Except the sage. Thank God they do not like sage… They loved the courgette seedlings though and the parsley. Of course the lettuce went quickly.

But on Saturday they really proved well nothing less than insane when 4 of them rummaged round in the small high raised bed I had covered completely with bird net. Silverbeet was their target. And they ate it all. But then they could not get out though…

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Yet Dolly the underdog roamed around the bare vege garden without a care in the world.

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Good on you Dolly. I have got a soft spot for underdogs!

Red ones laying?

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Think Jazzy with the white feet and Poppy and Melody – who I can’t tell apart yet – have started to lay and maybe all three of them because yesterday’s egg was slightly odd as well…

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They look a bit like potatoes, can’t wait to taste them!

Almost art

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Just got this present from Polly. She really does create state of the art eggs!