The path that led me to chickens

We had chickens growing up. Then there was a decade or so of no chickens. Then my dad got 4 chickens. Life happened, stuff changed and I inherited them. The coop and the ladies were transplanted to my backyard. I had not intended to get chickens. Now I had 4. Speckles. Boss. Runt. Vanilla.

Speckles and Runt after a flooding rain.
Speckles and Runt after a flooding rain.
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Boss
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Vanilla, Runt in the background
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Of course Speckles isn’t inside…. That would be unhygienic….

Sadly Vanilla died of natural causes after about a year here. Runt mysteriously vanished into thin air. I felt the backyard could take a few more ladies. So I went to get 2 more chickens (apparently you shouldn’t introduce just one as it will be picked on). I came home with 3. Bobby. Hugo. Priscilla. I learnt that it is hard to tell brown chickens apart.

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Bobby and Hugo
Priscilla with Herbs in the background
Priscilla with Herbs in the background

I loved having chickens!! I did little to keep them. I didn’t lock them up (I live in the city). They gave me eggs and so much entertainment.

One morning, about 2 and a half years after they arrived, I went into their area to find them all dead. Decapitated. Foxes had moved to the city. I was beside myself. Rage, Guilt, sadness, emptiness. I couldn’t believe the hole they left in the backyard. It was too quiet. I had no one to give the manky kale leaves too. What in the world was I supposed to do with the caterpillars now??

I have a friend who can fix or make anything. He offered to fix their home. So an extension was put on and it was fox proofed. I got 5 new ladies. The backyard is better again. 5 different chickens, unique in appearance and personality. I can’t imagine not having chickens. I still think about my old ladies frequently. I still accidentally call Bella Speckles. I love my new ladies (now almost 2 years I have had them) but I miss the old too.Β  I am somewhat paranoid about foxes (there are pictures of them everywhere, cute cartoon pictures on every childs backpack, sweater, coffee mug, everywhere! They Are Not Cute, apparently I hold quite the grudge..) . Even if I wake up super early I won’t let the ladies out til well after dawn. They are locked up by dusk, with out fail. Luckily for me my brother lives next door so if I am running late or plans change he is happy to lock the ladies up for me. Payment for thanks is in eggs.

Next I want baby chicks… I have started the research for this.

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6 thoughts on “The path that led me to chickens

  1. Had chickens many times on my parents smallholding. Lost them many times to foxes too; but they’re such wonderful birds that I believe it’s a risk worth taking. Just make sure the wire to their enclosure turns out for ~30cm at the bottom. (See the eglu design to see what Mean)
    They’re also great dustbins, chickens will eat most scraps.
    Enjoy your ladies (and their fabulous eggs) you’re doing great πŸ™‚
    GG x

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    1. Just had a little panic as I didn’t overhang any of the wire! I googled Eglu design, they have done it differently. I have wired the whole base of their home, with my residual anger over the loss of my ladies I nailed every single segment of wire with those u shaped nails (it took a while!). If a fox can get in there they almost deserve a chicken dinner! My greater fear is that more foxes have been spotted during the day, my chickens are completely vulnerable during the day. Oh well, you can’t control everything! Thank you so much for your comment and for the info re eglu designs, I will remember that for next remodeling.

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  2. Foxes can be cute, only when they are domestical. The wild ones are dubious @ best. There was an articel in a Serious Magazine about home Foxes. Anyway don’t let the rabid ones around; best to just Shoot Them.

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  3. I saw plenty of foxes when I lived in England but haven’t actually seen any here in Melbourne. I can’t say I would personally shoot them but I still don’t want them around, I hold quite the grudge. For some reason despite changing fashions there are still a lot of cute fox pictures around. Not in my home though! I will look up the article in Serious Magazine. Thanks πŸ™‚

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