The Girls

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Taken a few days after they joined us. 18 weeks old.

 

I have a weird fear of birds. I like birds. I just don’t like to be near them.

So, we got chickens. Makes sense right?

It was my idea.

The interest was sparked when my daughter wanted to feed and hold a friend’s chicken every time we were there. I wasn’t ready for a big commitment pet like a puppy so I thought chickens would be a good idea. They are. I LOVE THEM. I have forced myself to get over my fear and get in amongst it.

I wanted free range eggs, I wanted to rescue some hens and I wanted a pet. Win win win.

They have been named Bridget and Branch. My daughter tells me those are names from the trolls movie? I think they suit very well, the lighter more softer looking one is Bridget and the bigger darker and rougher looking one is branch.

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The girls taking the journey to their new home. It was a 20 min drive so wasn’t too long to be cramped in there.

 

When they came home to our place they were about 17 weeks old. 2 weeks later we started getting 1 egg a day, I don’t know who it was from but we were very excited and grateful for them. Probably a week or so after that, we started getting 2 a day, Go girls! You’re so clever.

From some internet advice we started to put them on their roost at night which they caught onto quickly, only took a few nights and now they both sleep on the roost every night. However they lay their eggs in a nest they made themselves in the corner of the house, not in the nesting box, but that’s fine and it looks so sweet, they have made a circle of hay and both eggs are sitting there together everyday.

They put themselves to bed in their house each night, for the first 3 nights they were with us, we had to put them in there so they know that’s their house. They learnt very fast, clever girls.

They have a good size run, all down one side of the house, we started letting them out for some garden time now and then. It got to be more and more frequent and now they are full time roaming our garden. The only reason I would put them away is if we had people who weren’t use to them in the garden, if we needed to open the big gates or if we are doing building work.

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Just arrived home, they had never stood on grass before so they took a few minutes to first move from where I put them, within 2 hours they were walking around like they had always been here.

The fear of birds thing you ask? ALMOST gone. I can pick them up, pat them, be near them without a worry. I only thing that gets me a little is when I have their food and they know it. They run full speed at me and peck at my boots. GIRLS!, calm your farm, gimme personal space, I love you but lets all take one step back please!

 

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Branch and Bridget, now, approx 9 months old.

A friend said to me, now you have two, you’ll want ten. Yep. Just need more land now…..

 

Lara x

 

 

See how we built the chook house out of re purposed pallets here: Building the Chook house

 

Chook feed bag, bag

I have been holding onto the bag the chook feed came in, knowing it would be handy for something, surely.

I was right. I found an easy way to make it into a reuseable tote bag.

If you want to know how too, then keep reading…

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Clean out the bag before you start. Remove the string from the bottom and trim the bottom of the bag if its uneven.

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OPTION: Stitch along the bottom about 1cm from the bottom then turn bag inside out and stitch 2cm up from the bottom, this hides your seam and makes the bag stronger.

I didn’t do this kind of seam but I would if I made one again.

I turned the bag inside out and did a seam of 2cm without the first step.

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Stand the bag open end down and pinch in the two corners and make “dog ears”.  I measured 7cm in from the corner and sewed across.

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Turn bag right-side out.

Cut two 9cm strips from around the top of the bag.  These will be the handles.

NEXT TIME:  I would cut the handle strips from the bottom before sewing the bottom seam, that way the poor chook won’t lose her head!

Now zig-zag the cut edge of the top of the bag then fold down 5cm all around and sew.

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I used pegs instead of pins to hold the seam in place, these seemed to work a lot better.

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Cut the handle strips about 50cm long and hand press 0.5 cm to the inside on both long sides.  Fold in half and sew down the long side.

Attach the handles to the bag as you wish, I chose to put mine on the outside.

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Et Voila! You have successfully recycled a feed sack into something useful!

 

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Have a great day

Lara x

 

PS. Here’s Bridget photo bombing

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Building the Chook house

Here is the overdue story of how we made our chook house.

First I sourced some unwanted pallets, that was probably the easiest part of the whole process.

I spend hours spread over a few days/weekends pulling them apart, I separated 6 pallets, well, 5, then hubby did the last one. He powered through it twice the speed that I could.

A lot of the panels split due to being dry so you need to take your time and try pry them off evenly.

Once I had a lovely stack of panels I looked at them for about 3 weeks, wondering how I was going to make them resemble a chook house.

Easter weekend, when my brother was staying with us (egg hunt anyone?) he said, ‘Well let’s have a look at those plans of yours….’ and that’s when construction began.

Frame work done, time to cut those panels to size and make a floor.

As the panels went down, I could slowly see the image in my head coming to life.

I wasn’t great with the saw or tape measure but I was in there with the hammer and had a few goes with the nail gun. (Side note: I’m really really good at standing and holding things while they are getting cut/measured/fixed in place……yup.)

Sides were on, now to decide how to get the roof to sit and be functional as a lid/access point…..I’ll go make you guys a coffee yeah? Our son was right into it, handed us nails, hinges and was generally cute and entertaining.

Next big job was to move it to it’s home before the roof went on and made it a whole lot heavier. This part I could definitely help with as my brother had a sore back at the time, pump class paid off at this very moment. Once moved, the roof went on, I made a nesting box with some scraps of wood, a ramp to the door and started to plan how we would attach a gate.

Not pictured, there is a branch cut to size, from our cut down peach tree, to make a roost. The roof is made from corrugated iron which we found under a friend’s deck, score! The hinges were in our garage amongst the many other finds my husband has from second hand shopping.

The gate is made from part of a pallet that wasn’t taken apart which seemed to just be made for that spot.

Our daughter made a sign for the house, the sun started to set as the job was almost done, everyone had worked hard all day in different ways, we enjoyed a well deserved hot drink and takeaways.

 

 

 

Only thing that was missing now was…..Chickens.

 

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Lara x