First of all - our chickens are not ever called chickens or hens. We call them "chooks". To the stage that Farmboy was practicing reading last night and didn't know what a hen was.
Our chooks come from an egg laying farm. Basically when the girls can't keep up with the required laying rate at the egg farm, they get retired and you can buy them cheaply. Once they get to The Farm and are fed lots of scraps and grain and given a decent area to scratch around in, they tend to start laying again like there is no tomorrow. I must admit that they are not treated as pets though. They are not named or anything like that.
Our chooks live in the chook pen which is completely fox proof. It has a net roof and the edges are well buried. If there is the slightest way a fox can get in, it will and twice I have lost all the chooks because of a fox digging its way in. This hasn't happened for ages as we really beefed up the chook pen security after the last fox episode.
|Chooks, Doing Chook Stuff|
They are communal farm chooks and the chook pen is near our sheds. We have about 10 chooks at any one time and they get fed grain and the scraps from our house and also any of our staff houses/ quarters that are occupied. They lay up to 12 eggs a day at their peak. Most days we get 4-6 per day. This keeps our house and a couple of other families on The Farm well and truly in eggs. About two months of the year they just stop laying all together. Then we have to buy eggs and talk sweetly to the chooks about getting back on the job... Apparently it is normal for chooks to do this and is something to do with a seasonal variation. It usually happens when the weather is either very hot or very cold.
Here is Farmgirl (complete with purple tutu, which is obviously necessary egg collecting attire) showing off an egg.
Hence I now wear these.
|High Tech Snake Protection Boots|
I am pretty careful about sticking my hand in the laying boxes and have a big piece of poly pipe near the chook pen in case I do have a close encounter of the snake kind.
So there you have it - that about sums up the chook situation on The Farm. I love them because they are the ultimate recyclers. Being able to turn kitchen scraps into eggs is brilliant.