Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Chooks on the Block

Ok, so they're not exactly new, and they're not at our place, but we have scored *the best* neighbourhood favour: feeding our neighbour's two chickens for two weeks, and collecting their nicer byproduct, two eggs a day.
I've never kept chickens, but so far it seems they seem to have pretty straight-forward short-term needs. The information we were given by the owner was:
1. Chickens need a constant supply of water, which needs to be changed every few days as it tends to get dirty.
2. Feed the chickens layer pellets and a seed mix every day. These chickens seem to eat the seed mix in preference to everything else.
3. They can also be fed other kitchen scraps, apart from citrus and banana peel.

A quick check online and I can supplement with
4. Chickens are happy to eat anything humans eat, but avoid salty or sugary foods, and avocado. So far the favourite kitchen scraps have been yoghurt and lamb chops.
5. Chickens will also eat leafy plants like dandelions, oxalis and clover. These chickens seem to especially like salad greens.

They're certainly better recyclers than worm farms or compost!

Two weeks seems to be a great length of time as it's not long enough that we get lumped with the dirty jobs like cleaning or worming, yet it's long enough to get lots of eggs and get used to the chicken routine, and for the boys to get used to the idea that we'll get more eggs home by sharing the egg-carrying job than snatching the eggs away from each other!

Hence our egg carton in an egg bag... seems a bit excessive for two eggs, but better than broken eggs!


Maxabella said...

Can you believe we STILL haven't gotten our chickens? I've been promised by Summertime so I'll keep my fingers crossed. I would love some neighbourhood chickens to look after to see how we go, but I'm also ready to just launch in there and give it a go. Eggs and pets all in one. My kinda lifestyle. x

_vTg_ said...

Didn't realise you were entering chicken-wrangling too! ("Too" referring to various friends and neighbours...) I've been really impressed by how easy they are in the short-term, though I'm unlikely to get any here as I don't think the garden would cope with free-range without major fencing, and the whole chook-shed (which our neighbour has) is a bit much to contemplate. These are Isa Browns FWIW- are yours a pre-determined breed?

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