Thursday, December 31, 2009

Are they or Aren't They? Update 1.

If you have been reading then you know that I spent $50. on fertile Australorp eggs as that is the breed that I decided I wanted. I bought 2 dozen eggs but only ended up with 6 chickens. Hubby cracked the unhatched eggs open after the incubation period and 11 were not fertile so I wasn't happy with that but you buy fertile eggs trusting that they are but no guarantee.

In buying a certain breed of eggs though that is the breed that you believe you will end up with. That's fair isn't it?

The women that I bought the Australorp eggs from has emailed me back saying that she did have a Plymouth Rock rooster at one stage.

So the PURE Black Australorp eggs that I bought weren't.

She has offered to swap the PR chickens IF they are hens for Australorp hens but not if they are roosters. Not happy with that and have told her so. I believe she owes me 2 Australorp hens regardless of what these PR are.

I am waiting to hear back from her about that but am very disapointed. This was the first time that I have bought fertils eggs from someone and it is sad knowing that they may not even be pure. Now I only have her word for it that the black chickens are pure but the PR rooster was obviously in with the Australorp hens or I wouldn't have ended up with 2 different breeds.

I am waiting to hear back from her and will update when I do.

Fingers crossed that she will do the right thing.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not A Resolution but...

I hate spending money, be it on food or clothes or stuff or anything. Unless it's a bargain! And cheap. Or doesn't cost much. I love op-shopping and garage sales, I think Swap meets and markets are the best but I don't go to any of these very often any more. I do miss them but cannot justify going and probably spending money when we (OK, I) have so much crap around the place already.

During 2010 I plan to have a few Garage Sales myself. This is to clear out junk so that I don't feel bad about going op-shopping or to garage sales or markets. lol. To this end I am going to start *decluttering* Come January. I have said this before though and haven't done anything about it yet so I'm not sure why I think this January will be any different. Maybe because I am *putting it out there* and now everyone who reads this will know if I don't. And I don't want any of you lovely people to think (know) what a slackass I really am.

So come on January, 2010

Sat 9th Jan.
I just found this post and realised that I hadn't send it so will do so now, to *get it out there*

Are They or Aren't They?

These are my 6 Black Australorp chickens. The end result of $50 worth of fertile eggs. 6 from 24. The start of my flock.

BUT... 2 of them are different and I have been told by 2 different people that they are not Australorps but Plymouth Rock chickens.

I was thinking that they might be roosters and so were taking longer to blacken up but now I'm starting to wonder. They all looked the same as newborns, they all had white on them. These 2 even have different coloured legs.

So, 2 look like the one on the left and the other 4 are black like the one on the right. What do you think? Different breed?

I have emailed the lady that I bought the eggs from but don't know when I will hear from her.

Sunflowers and Me.

Quite awhile ago I planted some Sunflower seeds that I pinched from the chook food. Not many came up but the ones that did are different plants.

We have the tall ones with the big flower

and the shorter ones with lots of small flowers.
I like them both and will hopefully beat the parrots to the seed from these to plant next year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

When It's Hot, We Swim.

It's another hot day today so Hubby took J down to the dam to cool off.

This dam is also full of Marron but they are down on the bottom during the day
The water is cool and refreshing and on a really hot day there is nothing better than diving in and getting cool. And because it is quite deep we need to pull ourselves out using a rope. but it is all good and, we think, heaps better than travelling in the heat to the beach.
If you sit still on the edge for long enough hundreds of minnows
come and nibble your toes.
Hubby was just watching a travel show on TV and they were showing how people go to pools to have small fish eat the dry skin off them. We can get the same treatment for free! lol.

What's For Tea?

We have a dam out the back, we swim in it but mainly it it used for the marron. Over the week before Christmas we had a few friends asking if they could get a feed for the special day.
After seeing a few nets pulled, all having more than a few marron in them, I asked Hubby "what's for tea?" His answer of "dunno" got me thinking that we should catch ourselves a feed, he readily agreed and here they are.

We only needed enough for the two of us so we were satisfied with this five. I did them in garlic butter in the frypan and we had them with homegrown salad. Yummo.

For anyone not knowing, Marron are freshwater crayfish.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

That's About The Size Of It.

Over the last week we have had a few big eggs from the Isa Brown chooks.
The tiny egg is the one from the Aracaunas last week. It weighs not even a gram. The next one, second from the right, is from the Mixed Breed chooks, weighing 49gm. Then there is an egg from the IB's, 70gm. The big egg? It weighs 112grams. I don't know if the big eggs are fom the same chook or not but either way, they're big!

We had to crack one open and see if it was or not and it was...
A definate double yolker.

Where do I bury him?

This is a question that I asked a friend when he asked us to dog-sit their old dog. Hubby thought that I was very insensitive. the wife laughed and said that the dog wouldn't up and die on me but if he did then let the crows have him. She was joking. I think. We do get a lot of crows here though...Wouldn't take long for him to be just bones...No! I will not go there. lol.
I know he won't, cark it that is...but what if he does? He is an old dog, they will be away for 10 days, what if he fretted and died? Or had a heart attack? Or got bitten by that big snake that is unaccounted for? "What if he carks it while here, where do you want us to bury him?" I still think it is a valid question but never did get a proper answer.

He is a big (fat) beautiful dog and I think I will enjoy having him here. He got dropped off on Tuesday and seems quite happy so far. He is old and arthritic so won't be coming on my walks with me but he follows me around when I am outside and sleeps when I am inside.

He likes to sleep on the mat in front of the door and is deaf so I don't like to push it open on him, I use the other door.
Told Son to do that yesterday and Hubby scoffed and said not to expect him to do that. Guess who used the other door this morning? Ha! You're a softy too Darl.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Free Food

Today will be another day of eating what we have produced ourselves.

I will have scrambled eggs with tomato, onion, zucchini added for breakfast.
Lunch will be rooster and salad. I could add cheese to this as it was free from Hubby's work.
Vegetable fritters for tea. I have zucchini that needs to be used and will add anything else that is out there. Will have these with rooster or fish that Hubby caught.
Throughout the day I will munch on strawberries and apricots.

I hate spending money so being able to grow our own food really pleases me. I do still need to get more stuff in and plan on getting seeds into some empty drums this morning.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

There's Something in my shed.

I have a big, open one side, shed just outside the back of the house. It is used for the garden stuff, bins of chook feed, lawnmower, junk...I do tend to use it as a general dumping ground.

Was in there just now getting chookfood and I heard a noise. Coming from an untidy corner. The noise stops, I move toward it and it starts again. I back away.

Now as we still have an unaccounted for BIG snake I am a little worried. Do I presume it is the snake and go look for it to get it out of the shed and out into the back paddock? Do I leave whatever it is alone and hope it goes away itself? Do I presume it is a rat or loud mouse and stop worrying?

What would you do? I usually have shoes on when in the area but not always. Not this morning.

If it is the snake then I want it gone. Pronto. We have dogs running around the place and grandkids to worry about as well.

There is no-one else here to help me today or tomorrow. But I NEED TO KNOW! So will put shoes on and go and quietly pull some stuff out. Using a long stick, not bare hands as I usually do.

Wish me luck, I'm hoping for a mouse.

I really gotta get this shed organised.

Update. I pulled a few things out but nothing happened. I heard the noise a few time throughout the day when walking outside. It's like something running away so I'm thinking more rat than mouse. A snake would slither away quietly. We have benches and a couple of crates on the floor in this area. I'm not going to pull them out, just in case. Straycat slept in there most of the day and even when the noise was happening he didn't seem too concerned. We used to have a Bandicoot over near the other shed...maybe he's moved.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Getting Healthy.Week 1

The beginning of my Get Healthy journey started with a couple of visits to doctors. Are the pains that I get in the chest serious? Is the not being able to breath going to kill me? I needed to know these things before I killed myself with getter healthier.

So tests were done and showed that my heart is mostly OK but as I still couldn't breath and still get pains I went to another doctor on Tuesday. She listened to me cry then arranged for some breathing tests and a chest x-ray. Had these done on Wed then saw her again and she confirmed my fears.
I am fat and unfit. Who would have guessed.

I don't have Asthma, my lungs are good and healthy...I do have a palpable liver apparently and need to get an ultrasound on that. Had blood taken Friday morning to be tested for all sorts of things but really, it looks like I'm just so unfit. No idea how that happened. lol. I do still walk. OK not far and not fast 'cause I can't breath and I get chest pains when I try but still...and I use the exercise bike most days.

So anyway, I need to stop being a Sooky LaLa and start pushing myself more.

Doctor wants me to do a *brisk* walk for 10 minutes each day, for a week. OK, what is *brisk*? If it's any faster than what I have been doing then I can't do it. I can't breath and get chest pains. You know the story. She came up with 1/2 km in 10 minutes. Sounds easy. I measured and the bridge is 1/2 km from here. I did this walk this evening. T. was with me. I was out of breath and gasping, with pain in the chest area before we were half way there.
I was nearly crying. Don't know if it was from frustration, scaredness or just sookiness. lol. Anyway when we were nearly at the bridge I realised that it was 1/2km home again. Now I was really crying. (Not really but it does sound more dramatic doesn't it? lol)

Tomorrow morning I will walk *briskly* to the first corner and back. That will be nearly the right distance.

I will record each day and see how much better I am by next weekend. Sounds like a plan. Anyone want to join be on this Get Healthy journey?

These *brisk* walks will be in addition to the other 2, slow, walks that I already do and I will still do the exercise bike.

Killer Chook

Friday 18, 8am.
Well, protective clucky hen. Same thing in my book.
I have had this chook sitting on 8 Hambough eggs for the last 3 weeks. I had noticed another chook getting in with her and laying in the nest and had removed the eggs, (with a stick, 'cause this is a killer chook remember) and put wire around her. Yesterday she was off the nest when I got home around 5.30, 1 egg was half hatched but dead and there were 3 other cold eggs there. Where were the other 4? Dunno but the KC was sitting on another nest with good eggs in it. She "attacked" when I went to shift her, that confirmed that she is a killer chook. And she has just had another go at me now. I need to go out but when I get back I will put her on some Aracauna eggs that I have here and lock her in another pen, by herself. Yes, I will be brave and put myself in danger to move this chook. And I'll use a towel to cover her when I pick her up. That'll learn her.

Making A List

Sat 19th. 6.30am.
It's suposed to be a hot weekend but there is stuff that I REALLY need to get done. Being unwell yesterday and not being home with visiting the doctor a couple of times this week has put me behind again.
Everything needs watering, that's a given but I want to get the second lot of Hammy chickens out into the bigger seperate chicken pen. They're going to be a bugger to catch even though they are in a small pen, they are very flighty.
I need to mow and whippersnipper out the back. Thanks Hubby for clearing up that pile of stuff but now I have no excuse. lol. I'm glad that T. did half of it last week for me.
And the front and side need mowing again. All up it's a weeks worth of mowing for me and I am going to try getting it finished over the next couple of days. Monday will have me in bed but that's OK.
I'd like to try and put the door back on the Hammy *Rooster* pen....I am just going to tie it to the post with baling twine though as it's easier for me to do that. These aren't our chooks so Hubby doesn't willingly do any work on their pens. He is going to build new pens for me though, I just have to plan them first.
I need to rake out and replace the hay and grass clipping in the 2 pens to as well.
Need to whippersnipper in front of the orchard so I can walk out there without worrying about bitey things.
More mulching needs doing.
Notice I haven't mentioned anything inside. That could be because the house is already clean and tidy. Or it could be because I am a slackass that doesn't do housework. You choose what you will believe. lol.
I really gotta get started.

What!! No Coffee?

Friday 18th.
It's 6.30am, I have been up for an hour and Iwannacoffee. Can't have one though as I am getting fasting blood tests done this morning. Only 2 hours to go...can I last...I already feel a bit crook 'cause I've not had anything to eat. And Iwannacoffee!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Who Needs a Sign?

Eggs have been growing in number over the last few days and I was going to put the sign out this morning but being a slackass I never got around to it.

I had a phone call this morning from a lady wanting a couple of dozen and just now a bloke called in asking for some. I did have to go and collect one of todays for him to make up numbers but...4 dozen sold today. Another $12 in the chookfood fund.

Thank-you Husband.

I am a bad chook mummy. I counted the 7 Hambough chickens on Sunday night and there were only 6 but I figured the other one was "somewhere" Well I was right, it was somewhere, it was stuck, good and tight, behind a post but I didn't find it until Monday evening.
I couldn't pull/push it out so I called Hubby and even though he wasn't too impressed he spent nearly an hour trying to get it out. He tried digging but the post is concreted in so that didn't work, tried pushing on the tin to make more room. In the end he had to take the screws out of the tin and push it out while I gently removed the chicken. It couldn't walk and was all out of shape, didn't look good at all, poor thing.
We gave it some water and it sure liked that. It probably hadn't had any since Sunday sometime. I put it in the coffee table pen and after a couple of days it was well enough to go back with the others. It still has a crooked wing but otherwise seems fine.
If Hubby had not been home I am not sure what I would have done. I couldn't get it out myself so would have had to rely on others and they are not always available. It would probably have died. I am so glad Hubby was home and I thank him heaps.

Slack Day

My hands and arms are too sore to do much in the garden today so I thought that I would just post some photos so all you lovely readers can see a bit of my yard.
We used to have a dozen or so Muscovy ducks as well as chooks but thanks to Mrs Fox the flock has been downsized to 3. I am looking to have these gone as well but want to sell them not have them wasted. I need to (get Hubby to) build a FOX PROOF pen and put the Australorps out in the orchard. So the ducks must go. If I can't sell them we may have to eat them. ;)

I love these daisy things, they are so bright and add colour to the place. Them being easy to grow is another plus. I have a dozen or so dotted around the place now and it all started with just one cutting.

We have a few old fridges that we use as raised gardens. These ones have beetroot. corn, cucumber in them.

In the corn fridge I have also planted beans and some pumpkin. I think it is known as a Three sisters garden. The beans aren't doing very well though as they are on the shady side of the corn. And the pumpkin? Not growing either. So not very successful but we should get some corn. That's a start. This is the first time that I have tried to grow this.

We also have 2 fridges with strawberries in them and one that has a passionfruit vine growing in it...I like the fridge gardens mainly because they were free and recycled but raised gardens are easier.

I love sunflowers, I want them at my furneral. This is one that has grown from seed that I collected from the poultry mix. I figured the chooks would enjoy these and wouldn't miss a few seeds from their food. Not as many plants came up as seeds went down though. That happens a lot with me. lol.

We have 1/2 44 gallon drums down one side of the driveway with stuff planted in them. They work well and I think Hubby was very clever to think to do it. I'm a bit slack with keeping them planted with good things to eat but hey...I have internet. How sad is that. I must remember that we can't eat internet. lol.

Just went out and counted them. There are 25 and 7 are empty. Oops. According to Hubby the one with the curry bush and the 2 with cape gooseberries could be growing something better. When he has something better to plant in those ones he can.

I bought one of these plants months ago but Sons dogs trampled it. Got it kinda growing again but in the mean time I bought another one and plonked it in this drum. It is doing so much better than the other one, which is in the ground. The other one has no fruit at all, a few flowers but nothing that even looks like a fruit. I have lost the name tag but I think it's a Pepino. I hope they taste good as there is a lot of fruit on this one.

I think it's about time I picked this zucchini. I will make it into fritters if I can find an easy recipe. Last time I made fritters I ended up having zucchini mash. Still was nice though.

Thanks for the Yummies.

I was given some lovely gifts today by the
parents and kids that I care for. (I care for the kids not the parents. ;) )

They gave me a beaut Gingerbread House and a Christmas ham.

How cool is that? That didn't need to but they are lovely people and I am lucky to be able to know them.

Thankyou "no names but you will know who you are"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hope They Work.

We, well a daughter (Hi L) actually owns them I am just the muggins that looks after them, anyway we have Hambough chooks, pretty little things that have been giving us fertile eggs for awhile now. We have too many Hammy chickens and I decided that L does too so I put an ad up to sell some of the eggs.

And I did! So another $25 into the chookfood fund.

When we have incubated eggs from these chooks the hatching rate has been pretty good so I am hoping that the same happens for this lady and she doesn't end up crying like I did with my bought Australorp eggs.

Monday, December 14, 2009


It's 6am here and I have just come in from a wander around the yard.

Picked and ate a few strawberries and an apricot on my way back inside.

Dug up another patch of garlic. This lot was not very impressive at all. lol. I'm sure that it will still taste yummo. I gave away a bunch of small ones yesterday to L and I still have a few more patches to pull. Pity we don't eat a lot of it...maybe we need to start. I may keep some of the bigger and better bulbs to plant out next year.

Is 6am too early to start whippersnippering? It needs doing and early is better than later for me. Will go out and see what I think. May just clean up ready to start in an hour or so.

I decided that it was too early to whippsnipper so dug up the rest of the garlic instead. Here's some of it.
And look how clever I am, I even plaited some. I am so good I sometimes scare myself .

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bitey Things.

Sat, 13 December.
We had our second snake sighting last night. This one was a smallish, 18inch? Tiger.
I have been trying to get the yard cleared and the grass mowed but it's a never ending battle and this area I hadn't even started on yet. It was near the trailer and all the rubbish had been pulled out as someone needed to use the trailer for something else and as I was walking towards it I saw the snake right in my path. Called Hubby and he relocated it but it makes me aware again of how we need to get the place cleared up. The grass in this area is at least a foot high but there is too much rubbish around there to mow.

Last week we had a 5foot Dugite on the front verandah and that was last seen going into the shed next to the house. I keep telling myself that it is long gone but do keep my eyes open whenever I am in there.

I really gotta get the grass mowed.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sold some eggs

We sell excess eggs to help cover the cost of the chook feed and a few months ago Hubby divided up some strawberry plants into pots with the thought of selling those as well.

I put a sign up outside our place when I have a few dozen eggs in the fridge. Some days we are getting over a dozen eggs so they don't take long to add up, espesially as we are eating the smaller eggs from the MB chooks.

Today I have sold 4dozen eggs at $3.00 doz and 8 strawberry plants at $2.50 each so more than enough for a bag of feed.

Once I start selling the chickens and excess chooks I'll have it made...

Cat Flaps

It's early, too early to get up yet. The clock still has a 4 as the first number, that's how early it is. So I'm lying there (laying there?) whatever, I'm still in bed wanting to sleep when FLAP... FLAP... FLAP... FLAP... FLAP... I think of the noise as a "flap' but it could be more of a 'bang'

I know what it is, it is STUPID Straycat trying to get out of the catflap.
My cat just pushes through it with his head to come and go but this thing. It uses it's paw to push it open so when it takes it's paw away to walk through...FLAP.

This cat has been living here for a couple of years now so you'd think he would have learnt. But it doesn't even know where it's real home is so that says it all, doesn't it.

Anyway I get up, feed the thing, go back to bed. I think I go back to sleep but I roll over and...the sun gets me right in the eye. Something tells me it's time to get up.

At least the time has a 5 as the first number...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Too Many

Too many chooks. Too many chickens.
And more to come. Over the last week we have had 1 hen hatch out 4 MB chickens and 2 chooks hatch out 2 MB chickens and 1 is sitting on 8 Hambough eggs and is due anytime. I think. I really do need to start writing dates down.

I have 14 Hammy chickens that I should advertise somewhere and try and get them gone. But they are so cute...

And way too many roosters but Hubby has said he'll deal with them on his next break.

Used to have too many ducks but a fox got their numbers down a couple of weeks ago. I would rather the too many ducks though. Actually, I don't want any ducks anymore so the 3 that are left is too many.

And you wanna hear something REALLY dumb? I have another 8 fertile Hammy eggs and am wondering which chook to put them under. Maybe I need to be put under for a while.

I really gotta get rid of some.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Old Grey Mare...

AKA me, sure aint what she used to be.

I am probably the unfittest that I have ever been and I get so out of breath and with chest pains that it sometimes scares me.
So the last week I have started walking again. I can walk, slowly, without huffing and puffing and feeling like I am going to collapse, for 11 minutes. I timed myself this morning. However after that 11 minutes I was still quite a way away from home so that was a bit of a bummer!

I have been to the doctor and had my heart checked and apart from a couple of iregularities been told that it is OK. So knowing that walking shouldn't kill me I have no excuse and will try and keep it up and improve on it each week.

I have also given up the popcorn, for awhile anyway. Will see how I go with that. I honestly think I am addicted to the stuff.

Too Many Deaths

I have had 4 burials in the last 3 days, 5 if I include T's cat.
One Silkie youngster and 2 of my Broody Box chooks died within days of each other. No idea why the Silkie died, maybe the heat, maybe it got too wet when I had sprinklers on because of the heat... Dunno.
The other 2 were from my Broody Box chooks that I hatched out months ago. I shifted them into a pen out behind the shed as 2 were roosters and we needed to get them further away from the house. They had been in the pen for a few weeks when I went out one morning and 2 had got themselves stuck and died. The sad thing is that the ones that died were hens and I still have 2 bleedin' roosters out there. The remaining hen had to be removed as the roosters must have been fighting over her and I found her in a different pen stuck between the water container and the door. She looked dead too but luckily wasn't so now I need to introduce her to the pen of Mixed Breeds.
The other death was so sad.
I had 2 clucky chooks in the MB pen and went out on Sunday to find that they had hatched out 2 chickens. Both hens were clucky and when the eggs hatched they both got off the nest to be *Mum*. I left the remaining 2 eggs on the nest to see if they would go back but by Monday afternoon they hadn't so I removed the eggs.
Now we sometimes crack the old eggs to see if they were fertile or not so I did that with these eggs. But...On cracking the first one some shell came off, membrane stayed intact, but we could see that the chicken in there was still alive! After more than 24 hours with no chook sitting on it.
Bloody thing. Now what do you do. Bury it alive or what?
T was with me and after I finished freaking out she suggested we try and hatch it. So we put in in an electric frypan and I thought that by morning it would be dead and then I'd bury it. Tuesday morning I get up and it was still alive. I had to go out all day and T was here at 5 when I got home so we went and checked and there was a tiny chicken, still wet so not long hatched. Now we had to make a brooder box for it.
Found a cardboard box and a light but by the time I had the temperature right the poor little thing had died in the frypan. Maybe that was too hot for it, I don't know.

So too many deaths but I am sure there will be more. That's a part of chook keeping I guess.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Outside Chicken Pens.

Beginning December 2009
The chickens are getting bigger and the days are getting warmer so I wanted somewhere outside to put the chickens during the day.

We had an old portacot so I washed that, added a little shelter, some water, a food dish, some shade and wire on top to keep the cats out and Tada...I have an outside chicken pen.

Some Hambough chickens are in a small pen on dirt, with hay, in the big mixed breed pen and they heard me talking to the Australorps out in their new pen so they asked for a pen on grass too. Yeah, they really did.

I didn't have any more portacots hanging around though so I had to go looking for *stuff* So much can be made from *stuff* I hope you all have a pile at your place.

I found some wire rescued from Hubby's work place, an old coffee table and some tools from the shed.

Staple the wire around the table, leave an opening for a door, shove in a cardboard box for a hidey place, add water and a food dish and Tada...a pen for the Hammy chicks. They love it. Love it so much it's a real pain trying to get them out to put them back in their proper pen in the evening, they keep running up to the other end so I can't reach them. Stupid chickens.

The Big and Small of it


We have always had Isa Brown hens for eggs and it wasn't until December last year that I was given some chooks from a friend that was moving to Queensland, these are our Mixed Breed chooks. Thanks Bev.

These have multiplied over the last 12 months and we have quite a few of them now, some lay normal size eggs but the smaller ones lay smaller eggs. They all taste good though.

We also have a dozen I.B's now and as the size of their eggs is "normal" we sometimes sell their excess eggs to help cover the cost of chook food. I don't think we'd get too many buyers for the small ones though.

One of the bantams has just started laying, tiny eggs but quite cute, if you can call an egg cute. See for youself.

Now, is that cute...or is that...just a small egg?
It looked cuter in the nest. Honest.

Ha!! You thought that was cute? This is cute...

These are 2 eggs that I found out in the Aracauna pen the other day. The first one is a normal sized blue egg. The other, well, it could be a birds egg from the size of it but the pen is netted and they were both together. From the same chook? Two different chooks? Dunno. One of the mysteries of eggs.

This is a photo of an Isa Browns egg and the Aracauna eggs,
just to give you an idea on the size difference.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shoot the Buggers!

Tuesday, 1st December.
Half past two in the morning. 2.30am. Three hours before I want to wake up. That's the time the roosters started this morning. Not happy and now very tired.
At last count we have 9, yes that's 9 and possibly 10, roosters fairly close to the house. One starts, they all start.
Four, or 5, of these are only young and will be culled as soon as Hubby gets time. He will make time I think as soon as he is the one woken up by them.
The Aracana can stay, so can one of the Hamboughs. The other Hammy and the Campine can go as can the Silkie and his girls. These ones belong to the daughter and she is on notice to relocate them before the end of the year.
I will keep the mixed breed one, for a while at least and I will have 2 Australorps sometime next year. Five sounds like a good number, aye? Definitely no more than 6!! But they must all live in a soundproof house and be let out only after I wake up. Yeah, that sounds like a plan. More nice wifey acting needed I think.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Flock of Australorps.

Monday 30th November 2009.

We have a pen of mixed breed chooks that give us eggs and there is a rooster in with them so we get chickens but for a while now I have been trying to decide on a *real* breed to, well, breed. So...
On the 25 October I drove to Bunbury to buy some fertile Australorp eggs from a lady that sells them. I bought 2 dozen at $25 dozen so all up $50. She told me that she was getting a good hatch rate so was I confident of getting at least a dozen chickens from the batch.
We put them in my daughters incubator along with 18 eggs from here that were a mix of Hambough and Aracana.
Three weeks later they start hatching. Very exciting, I was going to get my flock of Australorps. How cool.
She ended up with a lot of chickens from her 18 eggs...I had 7 hatch but one of those died. So I have 6 chickens from 24 eggs. How sad was that! I cried.

I now have 6 Australorp chickens in a broody box in the bathroom and they are getting bigger by the day.
I wonder how many will be roosters but hope not too many, no more than 2 but going by the rooster rate from my other chickens it will be more than that. I have a couple of months before I find out for sure but fingers crossed the females will win.

Daughter sold her Hambough chickens for $10 each so she made money while I feel that my little lot have cost too much.
In saying that though, if I had of bought unsexed chickens at $10 each then I supose that I am ahead.

I did email the lady that I bought the eggs from and she has said that she will give me a dozen eggs because of the low hatch rate. She says she is getting more than 90% hatching and cannot understand why my lot didn't. She thinks it could have been the incubator.
However Hubby cracked the unhatched eggs open so that we would have some idea what the problem was and 11 of them were unfertile so I know it wasn't all our doing. Two were maybe fertile and 4 didn't hatch. That was the sad bit and we won't know what went wrong with them.
Hopefully the next lot will be better but I don't know when I will be able to pick them up.
It's going to take a while but I will get my Austalorp Flock up and running.
Now...Have to get Hubby to build me a foxproof house and pen out in the orchard. Time to be a nice little wifey. Better tidy up before he gets home.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

About us and this blog.

I have been wanting to start this all year and figure if I don't hurry up then it will be next year and I still won't have started. So here goes...
I live with my husband in the Peel Region of Western Australia, in a little house on 5 acres .
We'd like to be able to grow our food and not have to work too hard for too many years.
This blog will sometimes be about what we do to achieve that goal. Sometimes I might just have a whinge about things but not too often I hope. Other times it might be about stuff that we have done.
It might not be all that interesting but I do hope that if you do read it then you don't find it too boring. That would be sad. lol.
Mainly, it is a record of bits of our life.

It's the end of November 2009 and 5 months ago I challenged myself not to buy any vegetables during 2010. If we want to eat it then I have to grow it. I'm not doing too good. I haven't planted enough, lots of seedlings have been eaten by slaters and...I haven't planted enough.
We have basic salad stuff that will be ready, but I don't have much luck with carrots so they may be in short supply. Should be right for tomatoes but Hubby wants some now and they aren't ready yet.
Potatoes grow all year round and we bandicoot for them as we want them. Silverbeet is easy but we don't eat much of that so I have pulled most of it out and will stick with Spinach which is also easy to grow and I think we will always have that. Lucky we are basic eaters but I do need to get out there and get heaps more in.

We have chooks. One pen with a mixed breed but they are pretty and the hens go clucky so we will aways have chook to eat. Too many roosters so some of those need to go. Soon! We have a dozen Isas and we sometimes sell their eggs to help cover the cost of feed. And I have 6 little Australorps in a broody box in the bathroom and they are the start of my Australorp flock. We bought 2 dozen eggs but only 7 hatched. From these remaining 6 some will be roosters. It is going to take me a while to get this flock up and running. A daughter is also into chooks but lives in town so we have some of hers out here. She has Hamboughs and Aracaunas, a Campine rooster and some Isa Browns. Hence the too many roosters. But we are getting chickens from them and are starting to sell some so that will also help with the feed bill.
I will add photos when I work out how to and try and add something every few days but for now I better go and get something done.