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Friday, March 23, 2012

More on Movable Chook Runs and Garlic

Well I got my garlic in on the autumn equinox as instructed by Hazel. It meant I had to dig up all my basil to make room and it was a beautiful warm sunny day. So it went completely against my instincts. But I did it. And I made a load of pesto to freeze. Fortunately, the weather has now turned drizzly and nippy and how I would expect autumn to be.
Loads of basil
After some deliberation, I ended up getting the bulbs from New Gippsland Seeds and Bulbs as suggested by Liz at Suburban Tomato. They were very reasonably priced and arrived the day after ordering which was most impressive. So I am keeping my fingers crossed and following as much of your garlic advice as my lazy bones will permit. So thank you to all who made comments and suggestions. And good luck with all of your garlic growing.

Mrs Bok and L from 500m2 requested a little more info and pictures following my chook run post a couple of weeks ago. You might remember that I'd decided to move them around a bit in the garden to help out with my weeding. Previously, their run had been along the back fence and under the trampoline. But they'd pecked and scratched that area bare. My silkies can't fly so I really only need a little stake and some chicken wire to make movable runs for them.

Here's their house. Around this area I'm using the child proof fence I had to keep the monkeys out of the kitchen when they were toddlers.
Their run now goes under that slide and makes a narrow path in front of this wood shed. More adventurous chooks would surely have a snoop about in that wood shed, but my silkies are timid so they stick to the suggested routes.
The veggie patch directly in front of the shed is where I planted the garlic and the patch in the foreground has some broccoli and cauliflower seedlings with room for more later. At some point when the veggies are done, I could extend the fence to around these patches and set the chooks free in it to clean up and do a bit of fertilising.

For now, the chooks can wander up the path to this big basket (which did house strawberries until next door's goats came and gobbled them).
And into this big patch of weeds. Where Wokee sits and watches. Those chooks look remarkably like her. Unfortunately, they are not in the least interested in being pounced on and played with which is what she does when she is with them. I wish one of them would give her a good peck so she'd keep her distance but for now she sees them as her fluffy playthings.
The chooks do seem to be gobbling at weeds and scratching about all day long. Even in the rain.
But I must say they've barely made a dent in this weed patch in the two weeks since they've been set free in it. They are rather slow lawn mowers. I do wish they'd get a wriggle on because there are even more weeds that I can't be bothered pulling out behind the pond. If they get a bit better at their job I'll just keep relocating the fences.

15 comments:

  1. LOL the chooks and wookeeeeeeee really do look quite similar :D

    Love your set up. Looks like so much fun for a chook! My chooks are massive and fly. Trying to put up an enclosure for them too because they keep getting up to No Good!

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  2. My silkies are fairly timid too, one does like to try to fly though, she launched off the back step and sort of careered into my leg, poor thing, very undignified lol. And they look so bedraggled in the rain, mine do the same, their bantam wyandotte freinds fly up onto a perch when it rains, but the silkies just hang about forlornly underneath, looking up longingly. Aww, they're cute though, and 1 is now laying, yay!

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  3. That last picture looks like the push me , pull me from Dr Dolittle...its got two heads!...lol....and yes your doggie looks just like the chookies,maybe he thinks he is one too...

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  4. I am thinking of finally getting some chooks and do like the idea of nice timid birds who do what they are told so perhaps I need Silkies. Glad you got such good service from New Gippsland - I buy from them quite often and find them generally pretty good.

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  5. Cute creatures you have there.

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  6. I can't stop talking about how useful chooks are as gardeners. You really do only need a little fence don't you? My chooks are like Mrs Bok's they require a tall fence or a roof to keep them in. I find it really useful to move my girls from bed to bed every couple of weeks. If you find you want to move them often I would highly recommend making a simple movable enclosure out of pvc pipe and wire.

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  7. Bantams are just so cute, I love them. However (as you've found out) they def don't scratch around as much as bigger hens.

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  8. We are looking at getting silkies for the farmstay next week. they are just gentle and good with children. Very cute chickens!

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  9. Oh yay to Liz and Kim if you get silkies. I thoroughly recommend them. They are good pets - gentle and friendly. And they don't make a mess of your garden. They don't lay as well as other breeds but that I think is because they often go broody. I get 2-3 eggs a day from my 5 girls but for ages two of mine have been sitting in the nest. I really should do something about the broodiness I suppose but I tend to let it just take its course.

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  10. Always lots happening in your backyard VG, your basil sure looks good and enough to freeze, yum.
    Little silkies are very cute and I'd love to get some but think my big chooks might bully them.

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  11. Ha ha, like Enchanted Moments^ I thought that looked like a push me, pull me too!

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  12. I just love your little punk silkies, wouldn't it would be great if you could get ones that look like that all the time, not just when they are wet?!!

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  13. If the chooks are too slow at weed-clearing, maybe you'll have to give in eventually and get some goats...?

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  14. Are the chooks all silkies? We used to have some of them and they never did do a very good job digging up the weeds - which was great in that they didn't do much damage to the rest of the garden, but they made hopeles "chook tractor" residents!

    I just popped across from the Sustainable Suburbia Linky List - did you realise your link didn't work? You forgot the .blogspot.com.au, LOL! I fixed it up though. :)

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  15. Hi Kirsten, yep they're all silkies. Thanks for fixing up my link-I'm a duffa! Your blog's great by the way -very informative.

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