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.