"We're chook-less now. We were down to three hens and then a falcon killed two of them and so the last hen has gone to live with a large flock in a safer environment. A bit sad but we love the falcons and can't blame them for grabbing a…"
"What breed are they? If you are still getting eggs from them at this time of year then chances are that are good layers and will moult (or are moulting) and will be back laying again later in the year. A range of hens coming in and out of laying is…"
"I'm pretty certain that a normal happy hen will moult and then stop laying for up to a couple of months. It is a natural rest period for them and should be encouraged. If you have hens of different ages and stages then they should moult and…"
"We splurged and bought a front loader. It uses less than half the water of a top loader and is way easier to use than my old method of two tubs and a hand wringer. Remarkably the clothes are cleaner too, and I can dally on the internet while the…"
"Chooks like most animals like their food. Make sure they know where and when dinner is served and they should stick around, or at least return. Our bantam was a shy old thing and would fly off if she was frightened or upset, and it wasn't…"
"My chooks are better at eating worms than weeds. So I tend to throw them bits from the garden rather than letter them in. Alternatively make some low moveable fences that will distract the hens from the part of the garden you want to protect."
"Removing all the fly temptation. Which is mostly the poo. Or get fly screens on your windows. Basically the latter is the only real solution, unless you want to constantly clean up poo. If I get really creeped out by the fly explosion I go out with…"
"Our bantam got broody last year and despite all efforts remained so for weeks (longer than 21 days). Eventually we broke first and got her some fertile eggs. She is a great mother and now we have a new hen laying. In October this year she got broody…"
"We've used dusting powder for caged birds bought at a local pet store. The free-er the chickens range the less of a problem mites seem to be. After dusting the mites you have to give their house a really thorough clean to kill off mites living…"
We live a little off the suburban highway. In fact we're half an hour off the highway. 500m above sea level, in a cool climate, so it's hard to grow yummy summer food. The garden is full of leafy greens and some carrots and brassicas. We have a glasshouse full of tomatoes and a lemon tree (essential for G&Ts) and hopeful apple trees. The chooks do their bit to supply compost and eggs.
Most years, summer temperatures can get up to 28C and even the low 30's but it's a really short growing season. This year has been exceptionally cold and wet, would have loved to have had a greenhouse! I'm still a beginner and learning as I go along but definitely been bitten by the food growing bug!