Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trendy brooding chooks

The chookies now have that staple of trendy 70s architecture: the split level. With Cam digging around in there and shoring up edges with salvaged sleepers we thought perhaps we’d ruffled a few feathers when we couldn’t find any eggs for a couple of days. Perhaps they were in the orchard instead…

Note the beautiful, dark humus
the chooks have already made.
Since dug out and put on the lower salad bed.

Now the chooks can scratch around to heart’s content – they like to scratch uphill so everything always ended up piled up against the bottom gate before, and the concrete footing of the top post was exposed. Now that it’s level, we’ve put in a good thick layer of straw (carbon) and chuck in our kitchen scraps each morning (nitrogen) and they can scratch around (aeration) and poo (more nitrogen) and as a reward eat the worms coming up for a bite a

t the scraps too. And over time they have turned and tossed and aerated and wet a lovely rich compost for us to shovel out and use on the garden. Thank you ladies!

And then we found the white hen was broody (again!) and on lifting her out of her box found all the eggs of all the girls from the last few days, neatly nudged from all the nesting boxes to keep warm under herself. She tucked straight into some grain and had a good drink – broody hens go for 21 days without eating or drinking, keeping their eggs a constant warmth – but of course sitting on unfertilised eggs there are no chickies tumbling out at the end and perhaps they will keep on sitting and sitting and sitting until…! And so out she must go, although I feel very rude to do it.


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