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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicken Update

Chicken coop to go here.
Monkey Man finished digging up all the bamboo for me (phew!) so there is now a place for the chicken coop to go.  We've still got a massive pile of bamboo rubble under the plum tree in the middle of the yard which he thinks he's going to chop up for firewood - but I think he's dreaming.  I've given him a rest for a few weeks before starting on the building of the coop because we won't need it straight away.  After quite a bit of considering and faffing around on the internet, I've decided to have a go at hatching some fertile eggs.  Now, given that I am a complete novice this could all end in disaster but I'm keen to give it a go.  I'm hoping it'll be a great, fun, learning experience for us - especially the kids.  Also, these chickens are mostly going to be our pets (with added perks like providing manure, bug control and eggs) so it's nice to have them right from the start I think.   

I was initially planning to hire an incubator but that surprisingly works out to be more expensive than buying one (if you're fussy about the breed of chickens you want).   I ended up getting one from ebay for $118.   I figured that we can later loan it to others who may want to have a go as well.  If you are thinking about doing this yourself of course you need to keep in mind that you'll get a fair share of roosters.  You need to have a plan for what to do with them.   Local council laws are different everywhere but in ours we're not allowed to keep them.   I'm hoping we won't get too attached to the boys because they're going to our neighbour's family who have a farm.  I've ordered some fertile eggs from Sharni at http://www.shrimanifarm.com/ who has been very helpful with her advice and prompt with responses.  We've got a week or so to wait for the eggs to be laid but fingers crossed they'll be posted out soon.

Updates to follow.
Now - what do I do with these bits?

5 comments:

  1. Yay! Chickens! Very exciting. The kids will love them. Hope it all goes to planned.
    With your bamboo, if they stems are straight, they make the best stakes for tomatoes, etc or you can form them into teepees. They last for ages.

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  2. Sorry - just read your older post - You are ten steps ahead of me.

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  3. Yep Missy it is very exciting. The bamboo stakes are great. But we've had WAY too many! And I have to make sure the ones not being used aren't used by my monkeys as weapons. I don't know what it is about little boys and war toys! (Sigh.) Anyway, I've given the majority to our neighbour who is helping their primary school build a veggie garden so they're going to a good use.

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  4. Shani's great, I've had eggs from her. What did you choose? I also have that incubator which I have found pretty easy to use. Have you seen the Backyard Poultry site, there is really good advice on there for getting a successful hatch, it's harder than you think.

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  5. Hi Greenfumb. We're getting 1/2 doz black and 1/2 doz white silkies. I'm glad to hear from someone who has had success with the same incubator. Yep, I've been checking out the Backyard Poultry site for a while now it is good - that's how I got onto the eggs. But now I'm nervous to hear that it's hard! I'm expecting to turn the eggs twice a day and to make sure the temperature's right but am I missing something? What do you think is the expected success rate for a complete novice? Any tips gratefully accepted. And I'd better refresh my reading on the poultry site!

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