We have over 20 chickens and about 18 ducks on our farm.  Most of our chickens we purchased from a breeder near Sydney in NSW (about 14 hours drive from here).  He travels around in a truck with mesh sides and sells chickens from there to here and back again.

His chickens are really well looked after and we haven’t had any problems with the ones we have purchased.  They are a White Leghorn/New Hampshire Cross, so they are white in colour.  They aren’t very exciting looking being quite plain but they lay a nice large white egg.

terri camera oct 2014 1310

We have been trying to breed our own chickens and as I have stated before we have a friend who incubates them for us her being called the “chook whisperer”.  My husband has made an incubator out of an old fridge and just needs a new thermostat now to get it working properly.

We keep our chickens in a big pen with laying boxes on one side and roosting bars in the other.  They are totally enclosed all round and on top with mesh.

Chickens in enclosed pen
Chickens in enclosed pen, this is where they spend the night.

We feed them a mixture of wheat and layers pellets each day and they are locked up until after lunch and then let out to forage around the farm.  We let them out after lunch because they lay most of their eggs by 2 pm and it saves the children scrounging around the hay stack looking for eggs.

We have 6 hens and a rooster locked up separately from the others to use in our incubator when we get it going.  These chickens get all the appropriate scraps from the kitchen and also wheat and layers pellets as well.

terri camera oct 2014 1303
Hens locked up to get their eggs pure so that we can incubate them.

Eventually we will have a mobile chook house down the paddock following the sheep and cattle around and will only keep our breeders in the enclosed pen.  Hopefully this is something we can get up and running next year.

Any way that’s  how our chickens live, I think they have a pretty good life here at Darling Downs.


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