Coming home to roost

Chickens are everywhere at Chez Fork. We have just returned from the Hunter Valley with five fairly new chicks (about 5 weeks old) from my sibling’s flock.

Five Frizzle chicks!
Five fiesty Frizzle chicks!

 If these chicks look a bit unusual its because they are Frizzles. These are chickens with a genetic disposition to have curly feathers. Here’s a close up of one.

One of the Frizzle chicks
One of the Frizzle chicks

At present they are living in their own pen away from our other girls, for several reasons. Firstly to avoid any spread of disease from either group. Because until they are a bit bigger the two hens might attack them. Also because they could easily get out of the big girls run and become prey to any many of bird, dog or cat in the vicinity. So for now we’ll watch them grow.

And just because I can here are some photos of the other girls. TB had the digital SLR camera out today and took some lovely photos.

The two of us, Letty on the left and Artemesia on the right
The two of us, Letty on the left and Artemesia on the right

Up close and personal with Letty the White Leghorn.

Letty giving us her best 'look'
Letty giving us her best ‘look’

And head of the hen house, Artemesia (Arte), the Ancona. 

Artemesia the Ancona
Artemesia the Ancona
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The Minimalist Chicken

The chook shed is looking pristine, at least for today, as I have done a big ‘spring clean’. This includes dismantling all the bits of the laying boxes and floor and then giving the whole shed first a brush down, followed by a good washing with hot soapy water to discourage mites and any other nasties that get into the woodwork.

Clean and tidy for at least half a day!
Clean and tidy for at least half a day!

I’d left the nesting box and floor out to dry in the sun and when I came to put it back together I found this!

It's Mid-Twentieth Century modern style for our chickens!
It’s Mid-Twentieth Century modern style for our chickens!

You can’t beat that minimalist design as far as one of our chooks is concerned! Yes Dotty the Australorp has taste beyond what we ever anticipated.

Yes, that's my egg.
Yes, that’s my egg.

Meanwhile TB has been trying out his new camera taking portraits of ‘the girls’.

She may be lowest in the pecking order but Letty is the fastest when it comes to eating apple cores.

Letty the Leghorn
Letty the Leghorn

Top of the pecking order, Artemesia the Ancona.

Artemesia the Ancona
Artemesia the Ancona

Not to forget the chief explorer and escape artist Dotty the Australorp.

Dotty the Australorp
Dotty the Australorp

Italian Style

The latest addition to the chook pen has really raised raised the style stakes. We went to the Royal Canberra National Poultry Show auction and came home with a Red Ancona pullet. Ancona’s are known as Marchegiana in Italy where the breed originates. They are good layers so we are hoping for good egg production once she starts laying.

Red_ancona

Of course introductions can be a bit fraught for a new chook in the pen so our latest has been in a seperate pen while the others get used to her. Although we suspect that given the below zero temperatures that the extra warm body will be welcome in the henhouse at night.