Tag Archives: Chickens

Days of Our Chicken Lives

24 Jan

Here is the latest chicken gossip:

Princess Layer has started worming her way into the in-group! When the choice scraps get thrown out, Gertie and Jermy always get first dibs and if the other chickens try to eat alongside them, the old ladies will chase them away. But recently they’ve begun to tolerate Layer eating alongside them. My current theory is that it’s because Layer has started laying eggs and now the older two see her as their equal. They’re all like “you are a woman now, come eat this corn with us”.

Look at Layer being a sneaky social climber.

Ani has also started laying, so I’ll be able to see if my theory is correct. Here she is, pondering her possible ascension into the cool group.

While the cheese (aka Hen Solo) stands alone.

Ani and Layer both lay pretty small eggs (30g+ compared to the 80g monsters that Gertie and Jermy produce) Here is a Layer egg. It’s lovely and blue because she is an araucana, and she’s been producing eggs pretty frequently. This egg is 36g and according to Cat the yolk is normal size and the whites are tiny.

Here is a Layer egg next to a 75-80g egg from the Vic Market.

The ladies also like jumping onto Cat’s raised garden beds. Unfortunately they are not particularly aerodynamic.

Whee!

Once they get up there they just kind of walk around pecking at stuff and being very pleased with themselves.

They have totally hit the chicken jackpot – of all the possible lives they could have led, being a backyard chook who gets to free-range forage and eat chicken scraps is pretty sweet. My parents often bring the chickens leftover soy bean soup. Cat said that they’re really proud of how much the chickens like the soup, and she doesn’t have the heart to tell them that the chickens like everything. Apparently once mum gave them the soy stuff after they had just eaten, and the chickens were really unenthusiastic, and mum was crushed. =(

Also this photo makes me laugh. When you look at Layer head on, her face looks like a hand clenched into a fist.

Catching Up On My New Experiences (Plus Some Gratuitous Chicken Photos)

30 Dec

It’s been a busy few weeks so I haven’t been blogging about my new experiences as much as I should have (though I’ve still been doing them).

These photos are from the latest New Experience, where I had a baking day with Scott, Cat and Alex. I was annoyed at myself because I bought 500g of fancy Warrnambool butter that I accidentally left at home, and now I have a bunch of butter I need to find a use for!

We made maple butter cookies, gingersnaps, and espresso shortbread (though the last one didn’t really work out so I assumed it got given to the chickens). The original plan was to package them really nicely, but I just put mine in an ice cream carton because I didn’t have enough time. Everyone else had nice packaging though.

I always like going to Cat’s house so I can check on my awesome chicken nieces, and Cat updates me about what’s going on with them.

Ducky and the chickens are good friends. The three new chickens hang out with each other, while Gertie and Jermy are lesbonic together. And I’m not just saying that because they’re two old ladies who are good friends – if Gertie and Jermy are separated, Jermy gets all distressed and runs across the garden until she’s next to Gertie again – then they are content and keep doing their turn about the garden. But my point is, nobody’s that good friends.

But anyway, here are the new chickens with Ducky in the background. Things to note in this photo:

  • the awesome whiskers on Princess Layer
  • Anakin Skybawker has really pretty feathers but a bitch face
  • Ducky is digging herself a poo hole

I shouldn’t be mean to Ducky, because she chased away a neighbor’s cat who was stalking the chickens. But Cat said that Ducky once took over the chicken coop, and was sitting in there while all the chickens were freaking out cos they couldn’t go inside. So I am undecided whether Ducky is a hero cat or not.

Here is Cat’s new chicken fence. She got it to stop the chickens from pooping on the deck. She said it’s good for parties because people prop their drinks on the fence, and it has the effect of making the chicken zone seem like a petting zoo.

Also here are some extra photos of Gertie and Jermy loving greek yoghurt.

Week 1: Made vanilla extract
Week 2: BJJ day camp
Week 3: Used Myki and went to Beatrix
Week 4: Tried new skincare
Week 5: Competed at the Pan Pacs
Week 6: Joined Kiva
Week 7: Tried durian and frog fallopian tube
Week 8: Attended a chicken auction
Week 9: Graded for my BJJ blue belt
Week 10: Went to Isthmus of Kra
Week 11: Makeover at Mecca Cosmetica
Week 12: Tried the Melbourne Bike Share
Week 13: Picnic at the Carlton Gardens
Week 14: Johnston Street Fiesta
Week 15: Sydney getaway
Week 16: Helped James do a fresh install on the Vaio Z
Week 17: Tried Evernote (and loved it!)
Week 18: Rock climbing
Week 19: Baking Day with Cat, Scott and Alex

I Attended a Chicken Auction

11 Oct

I just made the deadline for my new experience this week – on Sunday I went with Cat and Scott to a chicken auction in Bacchus Marsh to buy some more chickens for their garden.

I thought it would be a live auction, but you had 2 hours to walk around and inspect the chickens in their cages, then write down your bid on a piece of paper outside the cage. Then you had to come back and keep checking if you were outbid or not.

The above photo made it seem quite spacious and leisurely, but that’s because that row didn’t have a lot of chickens in it. It was actually so packed we could hardly move, and we had to squeeze by people all afternoon. Also it smelled like chickens and poop, and the air was hazy from all the sawdust.

I liked these chickens with their fancy collar feathers. Some of them had grey collars, which looked really soft and pretty. That breed will be my pick for the next generation of chickens.

One of the chickens in the bottom cage had a floppy comb. Aw, little guy – why so sad when you have such a fancy hat?

There were some non-chickens up for sale, including some turkeys, ducks, geese, some guinea fowl, rabbits, and some fertilized eggs.

These goslings were so friendly! They would stick their chests out of the cages to be patted, and they kept tumbling over each other to get to the prime patting position.

Cat knew exactly which lot she wanted to bid on at the auction. A breeder had made a combination especially for her, so they were the only ones she was interested in. She went a little bit above budget for them, but who wants to drive to Bacchus Marsh only to come home empty-handed? This was the bidding sheet for her lot – it was one of the more popular lots there, and she was bitter because they were her chickens!

When we collected the chickens at the end, Scott was being nice and opened the box so they could breathe better. But his chicken flew out and tried to escape, scratching him in the process. =(

We wanted to get the chickens home as soon as possible, so we drove back to Melbourne and got some takeaway fish and chips. Sussex Seafood on Gaffney street in Coburg. It’s Cat and Scott’s regular fish and chip place, and it’s heaps better (and cheaper!) than anything near us.

The batter on the fish was slightly thicker than I prefer, but it was still superior to our local offerings, and the chips were spot on. I ordered a single serve of chips and a flake, and it was $7 – pretty decent!

But anyway, after all that, it’s time to introduce the ladies!

Hen Solo is Scott’s chicken. She is a black Australorp and is BFFs with Cat’s chicken.

Princess Layer Bakawk is my chicken (her surname was James’ idea). She is a lavender Araucana and will lay blue-tinted eggs. She is quite stupid and hasn’t learned how to leave the coop, though she is the only new chicken that has figured out how to sleep on the perch.

Anakin Skybawker is Cat’s – well they’re all Cat’s really, but whatever. She is a silver laced Wyandotte. Cat was describing the pecking order (oh yes, it’s an actual thing); Gertrude is at the top of the pecking order, and Cat’s chicken is at the bottom. All the chickens (except Hen Solo, the aforementioned BFF) take turns sitting on Ani and pecking her. James thinks it’s because they are jealous that Ani is the prettiest.

Cat said that this morning Scott set his alarm for 6:30am so he could check on them. And he crawled back into bed and said “your chicken’s the bitch”.

 

Week 1: Made vanilla extract
Week 2: BJJ day camp
Week 3: Used Myki and went to Beatrix
Week 4: Tried new skincare
Week 5: Competed at the Pan Pacs
Week 6: Joined Kiva
Week 7: Tried durian and frog fallopian tube
Week 8: Attended a chicken auction

Lunch at Cat’s House

29 Aug

Last Saturday James and I headed to Cat’s place for lunch with lunch with Cat and Scott. We got to see their furnished place and updated backyard. The garden isn’t finished yet – there is still some planting to be done, but you can see that the chicken coop has moved and some raised vegetable beds have been added.

The chickens were free-ranging in the backyard, and would constantly follow Cat around as she dug in the soil. Apparently they get very excited at the possibility of worms.

Scott fed them some kitchen scraps, which they were also very excited by. Don’t get in between a chicken and her scraps – look at those crazy beady eyes. She will cut you like a bitch.

For lunch, Cat made an awesome pie with a seemingly never-ending egg inside (from the chooks naturally). The yolks were super yellow, and the pie was surprisingly dense and filling!

This was some of our lunch spread. We ate it all on Cat’s back deck, soaking in the sun and admiring the chickens as they roamed around the garden, digging themselves holes to sit in.

After lunch James went home to help Kieren move a washing machine up a flight of stairs, and we headed to the Ceres nursery. I wanted some raspberries but unfortunately they were sold out, but Cat picked up a strawberry guava plant. The nursery was really beautifully laid out, and with lots of uncommon fruit plants like pomegranates and loganberries.

Also a whole bunch of herb and vegetable seedlings with rustic icy pole stick markers.

And this little guy roaming around the nursery. Look at his fluffy pantaloons! Also his head looks like a dried prune.

We had a wander around the grounds (which are enormous!) to have a look at the community gardens and stuff, but unfortunately a lot of it was closed. I was hoping to find the bee hives but it was not to be(e).

The day totally rekindled my backyard lust, but I will settle for occasionally dropping in on Cat’s garden. I’m trying to convince her to build her own pizza oven, but she is less than keen. She’s hosting lunch for our cousins next Saturday, so maybe I will try and convince her again!

Moving The Chickens In!

8 Jul

James and I spent this afternoon helping Cat and Scott move into their new house.

It was extra challenging because my whole body was aching from my first proper BJJ session in over 3 months. But luckily James and Scott were able to do most of the heavy lifting, while Cat and I just kind of carried boxes.

We also went to pick up a chicken coop that Cat bought awhile ago. It came with two Isa Brown hens, Gertrude and Jermaine. James said I was like Rocky because one of the chickens escaped while I was holding her, and I had to chase her after she ran into some bushes.

I love the coop, it looks like an old fashioned barn.

We had the chickens inside the cat carrier while we set up the coop. But it was hard to get the coop through to the backyard, so Gertrude and Jermaine were cloistered together for awhile. Once we set up the run for them they were really happy, scratching around and pecking at the grass. =)

We were rewarded with some fish and chips for lunch and a Magnum for lunch-dessert.

It was a super late lunch (around 3 or 4pm) so none of us were hungry around dinnertime, but Cat and Scott promised to take us out at some point in the future. And Cat gave james a 6-pack of James Squire as well. =)

Gertrude and Jermaine will suffice for awhile, but Cat wants to get three baby chicks so she has some chickens that she can bond with. Cat, Scott and I are going to pick a chicken each, and we will compete to see who has the best chicken. We’re all going with different breeds:

Cat – Orphington (because they are supposed to be really friendly)
Me – Araucana (because they lay blue eggs)
Scott – Langshan (because he wants a black chicken)

The breeder said he should have some chicks in a couple of weeks, so I’ll update again when we go to pick them out!

More Chickens!

25 Mar

This is Cat’s friend’s chicken. Apparently it is a Polish Frizzle.

James: Why does it have such a big head?
Me:
I don’t know, but it looks like –
James:
(interrupting me) – Pineapple

I was actually going to say that it looked like one of those Brazilian women with the big feather headdresses. Although now I think the chicken looks like Sideshow Bob.

Cheat Week

24 Mar

For my birthday week I decided to take a cheat week where I could eat anything I wanted.

Saturday – Rose Garden fried chicken
Sunday –
Peking duck!
Monday –
kebab for lunch with Cat, plus my free birthday Boost Juice! Then Rose Garden salty fish fried rice for dinner (and as a bonus, Rose Garden girl commenting on how toned my arms were)
Tuesday –
a roast chicken, avocado and coriander mayo sandwich at Sparrow’s Nest with Cat and Ivo, and a large Mexicana pizza for dinner with Ormi
Wednesday –
2 garlic naans from Classic Curry Restaurant (holy crap these are delicious. Also when I was done, I may or may not have licked the paper bag they came in)
Thursday – almond croissants for breakfast

As delicious as it has all been, I feel pretty sluggish now. I think I’ve had maybe 2 serves of vegetables all week, and it’s definitely affected my energy levels. I will miss pigging out, but I’m looking forward to feeling spry again.

If your birthday is coming up, you should register with Boost Juice. Then you show up with your Vibe card and photo ID on your birthday, and you get a free drink. I ordered a Raspberry Ripe, fully expecting to be given a kid-sized serve, but they gave me a giant cup! Awesome.

I used to get $10 gift vouchers from Myer on my birthday because I’m a Myer One member, but that seems to have stopped.

James and I are going to Living Edge this weekend so we can shop for my chair. We’re also going for a special birthday meal (and after that I’ll start eating normally again). Next weekend we’re heading to Shoreham to visit James’ parents (and go to the Red Hill Market) so that will be fun. =)

Also I was trying to decide on chicken names:

James: You should call it Henry
Me: (derisively) It’s a girl chicken James. Henry is a boy’s name.
James: (even more derisively) I know. First name Hen, second name Ry!

Whatever. Hen Ry is a stupid name.