Meet Penny, Gertrude and Harriet

My nieces day care (kindy as they call it) had chickens for a couple of weeks. My nieces actually had the pleasure of watching them hatch (scary as that was)! I was at a grand final day party last weekend, not watching Hawthorn beat Sydney because it was a rather boring match and the sun was shining outside. My sister texted me to ask if I’d like some chickens. I would love some chickens, but I’d also love a puppy, and our backyard isn’t really big enough for both. However, I was sitting on the deck of my friends newly purchased house in Wattle Glen on a big block of land and I knew he’d be up for being a chicken daddy. The only trouble was that he didn’t have a coup. Not wanting these little beauties to be destroyed, I offered to keep them at our house while he built a coup. He agreed, and Adam and I became the proud babysitters of baby chicks!

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Girls exploring the bathroom, their new home for the next couple of weeks.

I picked the girls up from day care yesterday. My sister, their chicken-mummy-to-be and I named them. At first I couldn’t tell them apart so my sister put some nail polish on them. The nail polish wore off after about 15 minutes of play time but by that stage I realised that Gertrude was slightly darker on her back, and Penny was slightly bigger than Harriet. I can only tell the difference between Penny and Harriet if they’re standing next to each other but I’m sure they’ll get more distinctive features as they grow.

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I was only half way through building their new play pen out of some Aussie Farmers Direct boxes that my sister gave me when the girls jumped in. All day today I’ve had the lid off and they’ve pretty much spend all day in the boxes. I guess it’s nicer underfoot for them in there than roaming around the laminate bathroom floor. The first box has a bamboo rod that the chicks like to perch on (but they’ll also perch on all the box edges, they’re not fussy). The middle box is where they like to sleep and the end box has their water station. It’s actually a rabbit water feeder that the kindy was using for them but it does the trick. They do everything together. If one girl wants a drink, they all start fighting over the drink bottle. If one girl decides it’s time for some food the others will follow and they’ll all stand awkwardly in the food bowl together.

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After the girls had had a good explore around their new home, I sat down next to their box and watched them. Before long I became their new bed and these gorgeous, warm balls of fluff climbed all over me fighting for the most comfortable spot.

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After a nice nap it was time to explore their new mummy. They jumped all over me, on my head, on my back, rubbing their heads on my cheeks. It was rather cute except for the fairly frequent poo and the loud chirps in my ears!

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“It’s tiring being so cute. But at least I’ve got my sister to snuggle up to.”

I think I’ll rather enjoy being chicken mummy until these beautiful girls are old enough for their outside coup.

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2 thoughts on “Meet Penny, Gertrude and Harriet

  1. Watch out! Chook addiction is so easy to develop, and so hard to get rid of… They are very sweet at this age, but personally I prefer them as leggy adolescent point-of-lay pullets, all anxious and insecure, and finding their way in the world: who’s the popular girl, who’s the nerd, etc. Plus of course, the eggs happen a lot sooner when they’re a bit older!

    1. I know! It’s only been two days and I’ve been googling “how to build a chicken coop”. I took them outside for the first time today and they were so cute! So useless and vulnerable yet curious. I’m looking forward to seeing who sits where in the hierarchy.

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