Brisbane Local Food

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So I reckon I have 3 cockerels and 3 hens. Of the 3 hens, one is probably going to die (J-Lo) and the other currently has a blocked crop! Last night was a big lot of drama, trying to force feed the chicken some olive oil, and massage the crop. Poor thing. No, poor me! I'm frightened of the critters (not big on flapping wings and poo etc) so I held it in a towel and even touched it's head. I'm not having such a great run, am I?

Now, onto the suspected cockerels. One of them is quite obvious - he's quite upright in his stance and very inquisitive. The other two are not quite as upright, but all 3 suspected cockerels are quite forward when it comes to eating food out of my hand and this morning, when my little girl was standing next to the cage, one of them jumped up and flapped about towards her. It could well have been that he was trying to have a look at what she had in her hand, but I couldn't help but wonder if he was perhaps being aggressive? They're about 5 - 6 weeks old... would this be right?

I don't think I can stomach the idea of slaughtering my own chooks at the moment, regardless of how nasty they are, so if it comes down to it, I'll either get the tougher half to 'dispose of' them. I don't know if I can even bring myself to bring them back to the breeder (who said I could bring them back and swap them for similar aged hens), as I only paid $5 each for them. I guess when it is confirmed what they are, I'll see if anyone on here wants to munch on them, as this wouldn't bother me at all. Maybe then I'll get a couple of Plymouth Rocks or Barnevelders as friends for my white dudes.

I found a place near where I love, that sell organic chook feed. I plan to use this for them when they are old enough to not require medicated feed. At $35 for 25kg, I think it's quite good value - I was expecting it to cost upwards of $50 for 25kg.

On the garden front, the seeds I sowed on Sunday (lettuce and pak choy) have all sprouted! Well, I did also sow corn, but I'm not expecting to see them for another few days, so who knows. I desperately regret not being better at this successional thing, seeing as the first lot of corn I grew were beautiful! I was even quite surprised at how well pollinated they were, given the fact that I only ended up growing 3 of them and hand pollinated them to the best of my (limited) ability. They were evil F1 hybrid types, but just beautiful.

Ok, better run!

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Comment by Florence on January 23, 2010 at 22:25
Little chicks are easy to pick up, I find they are more difficult once they are fully grown.. especially big and fat ones :P Although my youngest brother have no problem picking up any of them up..

I hope J-Lo and your other chick who had a blocked crop’s alright now.

We are lucky we haven’t had any aggressive chooks yet, although we’ve had two cockerals .. but I found the chicks likes to jump up a lot, especially when we’re hand rearing them.. they follow you around when they are outside and if they are in their brooding box (which is just a cardboard box for us) they tend to jump up and perch on the edge of the box, and if we hold our hand or arm out, they will jump on to you… oh we net the box when we’re not around as they don’t just stand on the edge of the box when no one’s around, they will jump out and explore … perheps that’s what they were trying to do.. but they do peck at everything though.. .. if you have moles on your skin they will peck them.. and repeatly if you let them.. we’ve tried putting few dots inside their brooder with a marker pen and there they were peaking away at the dots :P they stopped after a while, and will start again once they forgot they’ve done it before ^^
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 22, 2010 at 14:11
The succession thing takes some planning and application. Something I have almost never been good at :-) and it also needs a fair bit of spare garden space. I'm just beginning to get a bit of a handle on succession planting and I've been vege gardening on and off for 40 years - bitofa slow learner one could say ;-) Never had chooks though!
Comment by Vanessa Collier on January 22, 2010 at 14:10
Hi Lotte, and I thought I was having chook problems when my bantam had lice and mites!! You sound like you're doing well. I'm not sure what roosters are like but my female chooks aren't aggressive at all - although they do tend to be rather happy to see me in the mornings when I let them out. They jump and claw at the cage door raring to go and free range to their little hearts' content - if I didn't know what it meant I might be a little scared I guess. I was a little scared of the big chooks when I got them - I didn't realise just how BIG they'd be, and wasn't sure how tame either (they were all adults). They soon got used to me and I used to them - they squat for me when I walk close to them now so I make sure I give them a pat as a reward. I don't pick them up all that often though.

All the best with your chickening. I've heard females can act like males at times too so hopefully this is the problem you have.

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