Long had it been a dream of mine to have my own poultry. I remember in my toddler years, oh so long ago! having bantums in the back yard and the charm and innocence of those years made poultry keeping so attractive to me, it is a very dear memory. Tiny chicks, clucking hens and watching their industry and comedy were something I wished to recreate and make an integral part of the self sufficient grow our own lifestyle so close to our hearts.
|branches become roosts|
|shed water storage|
The council had earlier in the year fortuitously changed over the green waste bins and gifted the superseded smaller bins to the household and this gave us the great opportunity of a rainwater storage unit to the shed and water on tap for the poultry. Rigging up the self watering system was a plumbing challenge that works perfectly with inline taps and filters and all the bells and whistles a chook could wish for and utilises a resource that had previously run away into a rear neighbours yard.
|Free range pond|
|Isa Brown hen|
Further to accommodating our fine feathered family we have made use of our location by foraging for seaweed to top dress our raised garden bed that is in winter fallow. This gives the girls access to micro minerals as well as encourages worms and insects to the surface for the girls to have all sorts of fun catching as they break up the seaweed and turn the garden over for us. Encouraging their natural instincts and behaviours makes for happy birds. Our State environment regulations allow us 20 litres of seaweed each per day which I think is excessive, but once a month for enriching the garden and the lives of our poultry it is worth our effort to make use of local wild produce. We also collected shell grit, which we are allowed 10kg each per day, and re-purposed a used tyre to make a shell grit bed for them. Some pummelling action from my son with the blockbuster rendered the shell-grit into a smaller mesh size and the girls now have access to calcium and a place the scratch in something different.
Mention must be made of our local hardware store who's assistance at times has been beyond the call of customer service, Our young neighbour and friend who has consented to short break small animal wrangling duty and of course my youngest son who has enthusiastically taken on the ongoing care of our extended family proudly announcing their production and cleaning the steps and paths as required.