Keeping Chooks

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In the big back yards some of us in Darwin are lucky enough to have, keeping chicken is a fantstic thing to do. They are great pets and give you eggs- a blessing when there is no commercial egg producer in Darwin and the eggs in most shops come over 3000kms to reach us!

Their poo is amazing for the garden- the trick is fencing where you would like to keep them and their poo! They eat veggie scraps and recycle them into this amazing fertiliser.

We got 3 day old chicks from Coolalinga- which were sexed- so you know you will get girls…for us this saved giving away or attempting to eat unwanted cockrels. They need a shelter and to be looked after pretty well when small, as flying birds, crafty cats and mysterious beings can take them. We lost a couple and later on bought a couple of 3 month old black chooks from an ad in the paper. They grow pretty quickly and in 5 months we had our first eggs- which was very exciting. Because we spent a lot of time with them from when they were very young they were super freindly and climbed all over us. This of course is optional.. and we don’t have a TV as entertainment.Image

The chook held above is at about a month old.  We ended up with 7 chooks and may get more- so we also bought another house for them. When they are chicks they just need a little run and then a bigger one. we get an average of 4 eggs a day, at first it was more. We are a house hold of 4-6 so they all get eaten. We are thinking of increasing the flock, as extra eggs are great to give away or trade.Image

So before you get chickens you need a run and a house. Jon made the house in the pictures, which I only can claim artistic additions to- camouflaged with palm fronds and amazing orange and green spray paint roof. I am not sure if the chooks really care. But in the wet they definately need shelter. They also need roosts when they grow older…

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We now let them free range the whole back yard every afternoon, which is why our intensive veggies are at the front- as they dig everything up. Sometimes you just have to compromise!!

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