Friday, March 16, 2012

Chicken Coops

hen heaven
I want chickens, I want them to follow me around the garden on a soft 
spring day. I want to name them chickeny names like Henrietta, or Miss Prissy.  
I want to gather the eggs in a wicker basket filled with straw as birdies chirrup
my arrival to their mini Edwardian coup (in the matchy, matchy house colours) 
and I want a chicken keeper to do all the other stuff.
no chooks for me then..
My friend Georgie Leckey, the Bedhead Queen and boss of  Heatherly Designs
has perfectly behaved, photogenic chickens and a few very polite other pets too!
We photographed her spectacular garden in Acheron (Great Dividing Range)
for H&G (in this months edition) and had a wonderful time with
her curious chooks...Georgie and I are hiding at either end of the 
vernadah-she's tossing in chickens and I'm throwing bread.

or hell to have chickens? 
We have the perfect property(see second image below) for chickens and a ready
made hen house, needs a bit of work but was operating as a chicken receptacle
long before we bought Somerton. Granted we have 2 dogs, one of which loves to
retrieve balls, sticks, socks and the odd turtle dove. Plus there might be a few foxes
about given that the prior owners had a full hen house before a particularly
sad morning in April a few years ago.

Is it that difficult or, like anything worthwhile is it about time, 
commitment and tucking them in at night?
Q&A Should I revamp the hen house and toss in a few chickens?
dream V reality
ttfn Jo


  1. Well, chickens are a romantic idea...I can see the attraction. The reality is very different. My grandparents had chickens when I was growing up and I was often had to collect the eggs. Now, they had a chicken run outside, so they had a certain amount of freedom. Still, they would gang up when I went to collect the eggs and went away with bloodied ankles from the chickens. They also were escape artists and would get out of the hen house if I wasn't quick enough closing it. Now, there is the bird flu to content with...I can't imagine having to put down my flock because one bird gets it. Also, I don't have to tell you about chickens waking you up at 4a.m., thanks to the rooster. I now live on the edge of a 250,000 person city, and I recently almost ran over a Rhode Island red that ran across the road infront of me (no why did the chicken cross the road jokes ��). That would actually be the owner's fault if I had crashed avoiding a chicken.
    Now, all that being said, farm fresh eggs are awesome if you can keep your chickens healthy and there is nothing better than a freshly butchered chicken (they really DO run around after you decapitate them), despite having to dress it and pluck it. And I really do like that. So, if you can put up with all that, it is a great but expensive hobby. Whatever you decide, now you have a little more informed decision. Good luck!

  2. Keeping chickens is so much fun! You will grow to love them and they will become your garden friends, following you around, waiting for you to unearth tasty worms. You don't need a rooster and most hens are gentle, friendly creatures. I adore my chickens, who have free range of the garden, plus a large run and shed. They are easy to keep and if you only have three or four, then they are inexpensive. Just be sure to place rocks around your favourite plants, as they like to dust bathe. They put themselves to bed at night too!