Friday, January 28, 2011

The girls come for a sleepover and decide to stay

Remember a few posts back when I showed you that drawing of us living in the house- the one drawn before we even moved in? Well if you look carefully in the top right corner of the picture you will see 2 chickens.
Well they jumped out of the drawing and sought us out, initially  in the form of a chook-sitting opportunity.
We had talked about chickens for years but thought we should get the yard a bit more organized first. Well the girls had other ideas.

Only a few weeks after we moved in with Betsy some of my husbands work colleagues said they were going away for a months holiday and would we look after their girls for them. We thought what a great way to try before you buy and that weekend the girls were delivered complete with mobile coop, bags of seeds and treats, water dispenser and egg collection box.

They stayed and had a wonderful holiday for 6 weeks and then the owners came to take them away. They mentioned that they had dismantled their bigger coop and just bought a new puppy. The girls did not want to leave and hid under our house for an hour before being captured and packed away. Gardening wasn't the same without them - we would constantly dig up tasty beetles and worms only to remember that there was noone to share them with.
Then 2 weeks later we got the call and an offer to keep the girls and the coop for a small sum to compensate for the sale of the coop. We didn't hesitate and the girls just came home to us last weekend.

We seem to attract second hand pets who are prenamed so say hello to Sooty and Dora. Sooty is meek and mild and generally quite agreeable. Dora is like her namesake and is a complete explorer who frequently flaps over the fence into our neighbours yard to seek tastier treats or torment their dog. She is also much more assertive and has wandered into the house on several occasions to scoff down the cat's biscuits.

They are extremely good company and we let them wander around our garden digging and scratching and pecking to their hearts content. They  love nothing more than assisting in a little weeding and preparing of garden beds,

Followed by a feast in the compost bin and rounded off by a generous squeezy how long can a chicken hold it's breath kind of cuddle. They produce an egg each every day with yolks so yellow they are like a drop of pure sunshine.

The most wonderful and most surprising thing is that they actually talk. They are so happy to see us ( and our puffed rice and corn cobs) that they will run up tooking and clucking away in a very conversational manner ie I chat to them, they wait their turn and then answer me back. I am hoping they will teach this conversational style to Roboboy who is unable to answer any direct questions eg"  what did you do at school today "and interrupts with his agenda constantly " mama I've built you a cleaning machine with 27 attachments and here is a blow by blow description of how they all work......"

The chicken cuddle photo above also showcases Betsy's grubby blueness with equally grubby cream trim. Betsy and I have been experimenting with some alternate frock colours- more on that soon. And the giant yellow plastic thingy is a pig with a lid that followed us home from a kerbside cleanup and  is super for hiding little sisters in while mum panics that she has wandered off down the road.


  1. Gorgeous chickens... They look like they are slightly more spoilt than ours!

    Thanks for your kind comment on my blog.

  2. Our ISA browns are explorers too. In fact they got in in trouble with council :) But our silkies just wander around the yard contentedly.

  3. Hey there, I am so happy for you guys - isn't having chooks better than watching TV!! Sooty and Dora remind me so much of Maude and Shirley, poor old Maude and Shirley. This post reminds me of the day in year 9 biology, when our teacher (was his name Mr Gray?) told us that we had an overdeveloped instinct to anthropomorphize everything! Do you remember? Fresh eggs every morning sounds fabulous.
    With our impending move to the new house - finally 400m2 of yard to ourselves - I have been contemplating having chooks again. The yard would be plenty big for one or two, but being so inner city, I wonder how they would get on with the 50+ neighourhood alley cats that seem to wander through our yard daily - big bruisers with their ear tips frozen off, pirate patches and scars! I also spend time pondering how to keep chooks alive in minus 10 degrees. Might have to make a roost in our kitchen for really cold nights, like some of the locals I've seen...

  4. Chooks are absolutely the best, as to Mr Gray- wasn't he the one who was always telling us off for gossiping in class? And about the anthropomorphizing- you do know that my favourite movie genre is " talking animals". You will have to get some girls- perhaps you can knit them some beak and leg warmers and maybe they can also bunk down in your laundry. They certainly are the best company if you are out digging in the garden.

  5. Well on the subject of talking animals, you need to download yourself this series
    -saw the teasers recently, the boys and I laughed and laughed!