Look at what my darling girls did! The chicks I minded for their first month of life have grown up into beautiful hens and laid their first eggs! Well, two of them have. I bet Harriet’s the one who’s slacking off. She was always lagging behind (in a cute, nervous girl way). I’m such a proud mumma, even though I’m not their mumma any more.
I haven’t seen them since they were getting their first brown feathers but I still recognise who’s who from this photo. From left to right: Gertrude, Penny and Harriet (although their chicken daddy is never 100% who’s who so he might have just told me I guessed right so he wouldn’t have to admit that he had no idea). I hope the girls will let me have a cuddle next time I see them!
Wind, white fly, chickens and time have started to get the best of my peas, so I did a big harvest today before we go away for the weekend in case these sweet parcels of goodness go bad. I plan to make a pea and beetroot salad out of them for a Melbourne Cup party we’re going to on Tuesday. If it looks pretty and tastes yummy I’ll no doubt blog about it.
I better elaborate about the chickens getting the best of my peas because it’s a good excuse to write about my darling girls again. FYI, they’ve gone to their new home and have apparently settled in nicely. They’ll have an amazing chicken life as long as the surprisingly stupid but incredibly lovely labrador doesn’t accidentally eat them. They have a huge home made coop with a perch and a bed of straw up high where it’s safe. Then they have an area outside that is fully secured with chicken wire to keep the badies out. During the day (under supervision for the moment at least) they are free to roam around the large backyard as they and the overly excited labrador try to get to know each other. This requires frequent human intervention but I believe they are slowly getting the hang of it.
Back to the peas (but still on the topic of chickens). The girls loved the peas when they were living here! Luckily for me they just loved eating the leaves, but they did do a bit of damage, inadvertently tugging some pea plants out. They also just loved hanging out in there where it’s cool and safe and fun. Ah, I miss them.
As our little darlings got bigger we felt bad putting the lid on their box at night and just let them roam the bathroom for the last two nights. Unfortunately, I had to work my usual 12 hour shifts the past two days, and Adam worked his usual, regular person hours. This meant the girls were confined to the bathroom (although free of their box) for a full two days and two nights, with just a couple of hours of outside play time each evening. (Also, one chicken would spend the evening falling asleep on my lap, getting patted as I watched TV to wind down from my day). This meant that there was barely an inch of black and white lino which didn’t have a darling little poo on it. Not the most pleasant place to take a shower! So, I spent my day off today cleaning up after my messy teenagers.
They spent the lovely 29 degree October day pecking around my vegie boxes. Within seconds of putting them outside they’ll find there way to the vegie boxes and spend their whole outside play time there. I guess they’re high and therefore safe, and they’ve got lots of great things to peck at. Thankfully, they prefer the pea leaves to the actual peas so they don’t do too much damage, but they did manage to pull out one of my four cucumber seedlings today. So while I scrubbed and mopped and vacuumed, Harriet buried herself in the cool, slightly damp soil, while Penny and Gertrude sunbaked.
Finally, after mopping the floor four times and using half a bottle of disinfectant the floor looks respectable again. Ignore the paint stains, I’m mid-way through painting the bathroom and we’re getting new floor coverings once I’m done so I just go crazy with my paint brush and drip paint everywhere. So much easier!
Lovely Gertrude stretching out in the sun. It’s a tough life when you’re a chicken!
My “proud mum” collage of our lovely girls:
When they first arrive at their new home. Travelling is tiring!
Getting to know Mummy. This was taken about 2 minutes after arriving here. So trusting!
Sunbaking. Involves laying on your side to increase surface area to absorb the most glorious sun possible. And it must be done urgently – as soon as the sun comes out from behind a cloud!
Penny built herself a lovely, dirty nest in the vegetable garden.
Stretching out on Mummy’s lap after a big day.
Harriet snuggling up. It’s always hard for a sleepy girl to find a place to rest her head.
Such big girls now. This was taken today. They’re starting to get feathers on their heads. 4 weeks old now.
When we agreed to mind some chicks for a couple of weeks I thought I’d be pretty smitten but I didn’t realise I’d fall head over heals in love with them! They’re so beautiful, even with their scraggley feathers coming through. I could just chill out with them all day.
Big, brave girls getting more an more confident exploring the big wide world. Penny found and ate a worm just after this photo was taken! I was such a proud Mummy! Little Harriet found a worm today but dropped it as soon as she realised it was alive and ran away before her sisters noticed it. The world is still a very scary place.
Give me a hot man looking lovingly at a gorgeous chicken and I’m gone! Adam’s not quite as in love with the little ladies as I am but he’s pretty smitten! We’ll definitely have to visit them lots when they go to their new Mummy and Daddy’s house in a weeks time!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
“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.