Today is a big day in our backyard – we have collected our first egg from the chooks. [Breaking news! Make that two eggs!]
A couple of weeks ago we bought a pair of young hens from Dave at Rent-a-Chook. Their names are Lemon and Butter. Rent-a-chook provides everything : feed, hay and a brilliant fox-proof (so far!) coop. The chooks have been enjoying their days roaming our backyard and we find them snuggled in the coop before sunset ready for lockdown.
Since it is the dead of winter, and the hens are young, they’ve not started laying yet. Impatient for our first free-range backyard eggs we trekked out Llandilo in Western Sydney, purchasing an older hen (named Butter) who is at the end of her commercial egg-laying life. Now three days later she’s obviously settled in, because she’s now laying.
Our next job will be to learn more about raising chooks – a great place to start will be http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Raising_Chickens. A big part of the learning for us will be how to integrate the chooks into our fledgling start at growing our own veggies. We’ve been using Bokashi composting for a few months, which has reduced our garbage output and increased our usable soil. Now the chooks will be competing for the scraps, but all to the same end I suppose.
Of course since we are always a few steps ahead of the pack, today there’s an article in the herald 🙂
What has changed is the opportunity for low-cost gardening. “Unless you keep goats or chickens, which fewer people do, you had to buy your fertilisers and manure from a nursery, making it less affordable,” Gaynor wrote.