Gathering the straws of life together

Tag: Chickens

We love our eggs

We love our eggs

We love our eggs. People all over the world, including Australia love their eggs. In Australia, people are eating more eggs. On average in Australia adults eat 5.77 eggs per week. Since we settled in Toowoomba 20 months ago we have not found an egg […]

Chicken Talk

Chicken Talk

There is a lot of chicken talk going on at our place. Chicken talk is when we talk to the chickens and also when they talk to us. Yes, it is a two way situation. You have to listen carefully to what they are saying. […]

CHICKEN’S ROYAL ADVENTURE

CHICKEN’S ROYAL ADVENTURE

The Princess Chickens, when they get the opportunity, like to have a Royal Adventure. As the Princesses are from a regal family they expect the best of everything in their daily routine.

The Princess Chickens have their own exclusive brand. One of their tiara's in the shape of an egg.
The Princess Chickens have their own exclusive brand. One of their tiara’s in the shape of an egg.

Recently I updated their egg label to be more fitting with their royal lineage. It is only proper that the Princess Chickens should have their own brand.

I was chatting to my “one and only” two nights ago and saying how pleased I was with our effort to make the Princesses home a safe place for them. It is entirely predator proof. So what a surprise yesterday to find only three chickens in the Palace (aka coop). I looked around and then discovered, to my shock, I had left the lid of the nesting box open overnight. I had intended to add more sawdust but got sidetracked.

This is the nesting box which is off the rest area. Only two chickens roosting in this area currently. The other three roost in the main coop area where it is cooler

On my arrival the two escapees’ came scampering up to me and in my bewildered state I let them into the run. I have no idea how long they were out and about on their royal adventure. It could have been all night! After I let the other three Princess Chickens out to join the royal adventurer’s, I put a food and water feeder in the run for them. This happens every day and allows them to help themselves if they get hungry or thirsty before returning to the Palace at night. The door of the Palace is closed while they are in the run to keep out any predators that might disappear underneath the scattered straw!

The two royal adventurers’s immediately after having their afternoon treat went to the food feeder to have their fine dining pellets. I could see they had not eaten for a while. It may have been fun on their royal adventure however they had to fend for themselves rather than getting waited on. Fortunately, it did not rain two nights ago, like last night. I can’t bear the thought of what might have been. The lady-in-waiting was close to losing her job! However, all is well and everything is back to normal at the Palace. I was pleased to say that the chicken’s royal adventure was not leaked to the press and therefore no need for damage control!

Five eggs again today! No after affects from the royal adventure yesterday
Five eggs again today! No after affects from the royal adventure yesterday

If you have chickens let me know of any funny stories about your chicken’s adventure’s.

A few chicken facts:

Chickens love to play. They enjoy running and having a dust bath (similar to sunbathing).

Chickens communicate with each other. They have their own language. They let one another know if a predator is around and where to find food.

Chickens are very inquisitive and have great personalities.

Princesses of Cluckingham Palace

Princesses of Cluckingham Palace

We have had the chicken Princesses of Cluckingham Palace for 4 weeks tomorrow. It has been an interesting and enjoyable hobby having chickens for the first time in my life! I had to wait until I was retired. Why did I wait so long? See […]

Queen Mother of Chickens

Queen Mother of Chickens

Now that I am about to be a chicken owner aka Queen Mother of Chickens (Princesses) my life is about to change. My awareness of chickens and their well-being has certainly escalated. It is therefore now time for ‘mea culpa’; confession and forgiveness. It is […]

My Life with Chickens

My Life with Chickens

The Palace is ready for the Princesses
The Palace is ready for the Princesses
Almost finished!
Almost finished!
The Palace arrives in boxes
The Palace arrives in boxes
The site of the Palace
The site of the Palace

My life with chickens is now just around the corner. This has been a subject I have thought about and researched for years! I know all about the different breeds of chickens, the ones who are the most admired for their looks and the everyday chicks that lay lots of eggs. With all my knowledge I have chosen my favourites. I like the pure breeds. The Rhode Island Red is a breed that emerged in the 1890’s in the Rhode Island area of the USA (this is some old chook!). This breed is good for both laying eggs and for the table. They also lay lots of eggs, about 280 per year. Then there is the Ancona from the province of the same name in Italy. As I love all things Italian this breed is attractive to me. Then there is the Aracauna that originate from South America with their coloured eggs; the Barnevelder’s, a Dutch breed; the Light Sussex which similar to the Rhode Island Red was breed for a dual purpose of laying and for the table. I was told by a woman I met recently that the Light Sussex is the chicken that P&O serve on their cruises. It must be a very good table bird. The list of breeds goes on and on and then there are the Wyandotte. They are a very attractive bird and visually exceptional. I definitely will add these to my flock once I become more experienced. In the meantime I have decided as a ‘beginner’ to go for the hybrids; the chickens that lay well.

Why did I decide to do this? The reason is I have to recoup some of my outlay for the little princesses. The palace for my chickens (whom I will soon meet) cost more than 90 dozen eggs that is not counting the days it took BJ and I to put their ‘wee’ palace together. It took me a great deal of research before I moved forward on the purchase of the chicken house. I wanted a dwelling that I could walk into to replace food, water and clean. It came from NSW via China in a box, actually three boxes. After waiting so long for this dream of mine of having chickens to come to fruition I was over the moon when the boxes arrived. Then there was the exercise of putting it together. While laborious I did not wane in my enthusiasm. All I had to do was to continue to encourage my “one and only” who did so much of the handy work, such as using the electric drill (note to self: learn how to use an electric drill!). All together it was great fun as we worked on this project together. We discovered that the wire floor was just wire without a frame! More work to be done! We had to measure, cut the wire and then nail to the frame. To do this we had to put the frame together and then turn the entire chicken house upside down prior to completing and then attaching the roof. When we were placing the roof on we discovered that there was a major gap all around between the roof and walls. We then had to source timber and then cut to size to fill the gaps so that no predators/strangers could invade the ‘palace’. The gap extended to the chickens ‘rest room’ (their bedroom) and we decided rather than closing off the space entirely we would use some of the chicken wire so that there would be an air flow. This exercise of preparing the palace for the arrival of the princesses took about 4 days. But as we know, Rome was not built in a day. Eventually my ‘one and only’ found the last nail he had been looking for and the job was finished! I am still thinking of putting decking oil on the outside timber to ensure the dwelling lasts for years to come. This will happen before the girl princesses arrive of course.

Given that I am now responsible for princesses I had to buy all the other necessary furnishings and food for the first banquet. The responsibility was weighing heavy on my shoulders! I could not buy just any standard food for the banquet, it had to be Accredited Feed with all the vitamins the princesses need and would enjoy. Then I had to buy other food such as cracked corn for treats. Then there were the straw bales to purchase. When in town and without notice to my “one and only” I announced we have to pick up some straw bales. These were then transported in the boot of our sedan car and secured with an elastic strap. There we were with not a care in the world driving home as straw scattered all over the road! Fortunately we did not lose too much as any of it that came away from the bale was scattered in the boot! Scattered straws are taking on a whole new meaning for me! It took me about an hour to clean it up. Keeping in mind what I said earlier about the overall cost. The cost is adding up at a ridiculous rate. I rationalise the whole event that this is not just about having chickens to supply eggs; this is my new hobby in retirement and these princesses will be my new friends/pets. And so it goes on…..it won’t be long and I will soon get to bring the princesses home to their palace. I am sure with our love and care they will live happily ever after!


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