This blog is a bit of a ramble through my life. There's a lot about quilting and textile arts, a sprinkle of my family life and some of my thoughts and ponderings. We currently live aboard an old wooden 1945 Navy boat, called MV Cerego, so you'll find me writing about that too. Welcome aboard!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spreading the chicken bug.

Easter is the start of my son's school holidays. Two weeks of freedom. His cousins are coming to visit too, so two weeks of freedom and NOISE!
When school finishes we'll be bringing home the dozen school chicks with us. I lent my incubator to the school and the class above my son's got to look after it. I set them up with fertile eggs (not my chooks) - Orpingtons, Plymouth Barred Rocks and Gold and Silver Laced Wyandottes. Each egg got named and the anticipation grew with each week that passed. When the chicks hatched, the classroom was like grand central station. All the teachers, children, parents, EVERYONE found an excuse to come and oogle!



Now the little darlings are about a week old and just gorgeous bundles of fluff. The kids are all in love and they've learned so much. One has a wee splint on it's foot to correct some bent toes. These usually occur if the humidity spikes or falls in the incubator and seeing as the teacher accidentally let the water reservoir run dry one day, this is most likely what happened.
Once the holidays are over, I'll be taking them back to the school. Eventually the hens will go in the school chook run - unused at present - and the roosters will come home with us to be roasts. We're being honest about this with the kids, the whole exercise was to help them learn about life and food and roast rooster is just part of it.


Speaking of chickens. These are my six week old Houdans. I moved them into an outside run over the weekend and they think grass is just amazing! Unfortunately out of seven, I have five boys and two girls. You win some and you lose some.

4 comments:

  1. cute! I wish we'd got to do stuff like that at school.
    Do you know what the other 2 chooks you had are - both boys???
    xx

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  2. My best score so far - 9 roosters and 2 hens! That lot went out to a farm to be delt with.

    viv in dunedin

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  3. Hi Ms Lottie!

    Do you have a preference to what chook breeds become "roasted rooster"?
    Some breeds I have looked into are quite high in price to purchase - $25ea ... which makes for an expensive roast!!! Any feedback is appreciated ... from anyone.

    Cheers Pen
    Tarcutta NSW Australia

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  4. Hi PoppyK,
    Heavy breeds, such as Orpingtons, Wyandottes, Rocks etc, make the best roasts - but you can eat any young rooster, there just might be not as much of a Leghorn as there is of a Barred Rock! But I never buy roosters just to raise them, they are a by-product of hatching eggs to raise my own egg-layers.

    It can be expensive to buy chooks. But once you have them, they can be self-perpetuating, so a good investment goes a long way. You don't even need a rooster to raise your own chicks. You can buy fertile eggs from a breeder and put them under a broody hen and 21 days later - you have babies! Half of them will be future egg layers and half future roasts.

    For anyone starting out with chickens and thinking about what breeds to get, you need to spend some time thinking about what you want them for. If it's just purely for eggs (and poop and bug and scrap eating which you'll get with any chook) then a light breed usually lay better than a heavy breed and don't tend to go broody often (they stop laying when they are trying to hatch out eggs). If you want dual purpose - then a heavy breed. Heavy breeds tend to be a little more docile as well.

    I like a mix, so I can pick and choose - plus I love the patchwork of colour and shape and size of a flock of mixed birds!

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