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Category Archives: Pets

The Chicken and the Egg

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More new additions to our household… Chickens!

Chook shed

We brought home four chickens last week and they have been settling in to their new home very well. Happily eating, clucking and scratching under the shade of the backyard mango tree. After working out how much it would cost to finish the chook house, we gave up on making our own chicken coop and bought a package deal from a local hatching and produce supplier: Heritage Hatching and Hens. Everything we needed to bring the chickens home for a very affordable price… about 18 months supply of eggs. The chickens should lay for a couple of years and the hutch and feeding containers will hopefully last a couple of chicken generations.

The hutch was flat packed and so Mr T and I happily spent the afternoon putting it together. I finally learnt how to use a drill and found out that it’s really not that difficult after all. And here I was always so intimidated by the bleeping things. Well not anymore.

Two of the chickens are Black Australorps and the other two are mottled (Siamese?) Silkies. The Black Australorps are about five months old so it will probably be another month or so before they start laying, nevertheless, we keep eagerly opening the nesting box each morning to check.

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The chickens are somewhat nameless at the moment (I think I remember a saying about never naming your food). However, I did make an off-the-cuff comment about John, Paul, George & Ringo so that may or may not stick. I’d appreciate hearing any chicken naming tips… anyone???

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Bee Watering Station

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Inspired by this video I’ve put together my own bee watering station – no activity yet. Although I do know there are bees around as I encountered a few yesterday on what I think is a Corymbia ficifolia (Red Flowering Gum) growing in the front yard.

bee watering station

Bee Watering Station

A New Relaxing Spot to Start the New Year

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front verandah

Front verandah

Since the dog has taken over the backyard (and made a mess of my gardening attempts in the process) I’ve decided to concentrate on the front yard until our puppy settles down.

First things first, we bought a new outdoor setting for the front verandah and celebrated with a mini-date while our toddler slept.

The Pallet Chook Shed – Part Two

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a little while, you’ll know that just over a month ago I salvaged a pallet from a neighbours front yard (they were getting rid of it) and decided to turn it into a chook shed. It’s been lying neglected in the backyard for the last few weeks. However, last weekend we seized the opportunity while Miss M was taking a nap and got to work.

It still needs a roof and chicken wire but the skeleton is there. We’ll probably prop it up on bricks in the back corner once it’s done. In the meantime, I’m scouring gumtree ads looking for scraps of roofing metal & chicken wire.

Here is a picture of the screws we used. Note that they are galvanised because they’ll be exposed to the elements. Mr T simply drilled them straight into the pallets using an electric drill. No pilot holes or fancy carpentry methods. Simply line up the screw, apply pressure & drill. We didn’t even mark out plans before-hand, preferring instead to make choices in the moment. I call it mindful carpentry, others might call it lazy (and I’d agree to that too).

Getting Started on the Chook House

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Last week I came across a pallet on the street. It was out on the footpath for the taking. You see, when people don’t want large pieces of rubbish they put them out on the footpath. The council does a collection about once a year and you’re supposed to wait until then but often you’ll see stuff on the kerb. There one day and gone the next.

So I saw this pallet and remembered I’d seen designs for recycled pallet chook houses on the web. This simple chook house is perfect for the subtropical Brisbane climate. It’s partially sheltered for the winter but allows plenty of air flow so that the chickens won’t overheat during the summer  There are plenty of other designs you can find and depending on your climate some will be more suitable than others.

The first step in making the new chook house is taking the pallet apart. My wonderful husband spent about an hour this afternoon doing this for me while I swept the driveway. I still need to buy new screws and source some corrogated iron before we can put this thing together.

House Guest

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We have a house guest at the moment. He (she???) turned up on our backyard verandah one morning and hung around until we decided to put him in the guinea pig hutch to stop him pooping on the verandah. The guinea pigs are in a cage at the moment so the hutch was empty. We were stunned by how tame this little guy is. He basically flew onto my shoulder the moment I first stepped outside and chirps away . No idea how long he will be hanging around. It may even be a permanent move but we have to wait a few weeks to confirm. We took him down to the local vet the first day he arrived and put him on the lost animals register, if in four weeks, he isn’t claimed, then he’s ours. In the meantime our house guest is keeping Miss M quite entertained.