Girls On Strike

Hi there keepers, we appear to be eggless for the first time in the last 18 months, I nearly considered buying some yesterday, then common sense prevailed. It seems as though Renee, the first to moult, and the only one who had started laying again, has decided to moult again, this is a first for us, and a bit strange as winter is here already, quite cold last night.

I hope the Minorca starts her winter laying soon, as I am missing the eggs, as they have become a constant in my everyday, also not getting my natural omega.  This is also part of being a caring chicken keeper, appreciating the birds for just being, rather than viewing them purely as a source of food or machines that constantly produce eggs.

As we have lost a couple of our flock, due to illness and possibly drunk youths, maybe it’s time in increase the numbers again, which in turn should increase the possibilty of an egg a day, to keep the psychiatrist away.


A Flaw in my Floor

Hi there reader, well I was thinking that all of the work being carried out in the back yard was upsetting the hens, as we have been down an egg or two each day, not so. As it happens the floor I made, from a single pallet, and hinged the bottom front of the coop to enable me to slide the floor in and out for easy cleaning, however what I didn’t think of, is not all eggs are the same size, and what had occurred was two eggs had infact slipped through the gaps, they can only of been there for 3 days at the most, because we got all the eggs on the previous days, still I gave them the floating test, to be doubly sure, so I think some adjustments will ahve to be made to the floor.

On another subject, is there anyone out there who has suggestions for hen bullying, one of the girls is constantly picked on by the others, mainly one bird ofcourse starts it then the others join in, Nancy is the Boss of the run, and today she had poor Nellie cornered against the fence, pecking at her furiously, which then made Daphne and Gloria join the afray, Nellie was helpless, liked a tired boxer caught it the corner with Mike Tyson bashing ten bells out of you, not very pleasant to watch either i might add, so I picked up a bit of bamboo, and gave Nancy a whack across the arse, she ran into the coop, an didn’t come back out til i’d gone inside, I know it’s nature’s way the pecking order and all that, but are there any ways to reduce it without seperating them?


Today Sunday the 14th of September 2008,  we purchased our first chickens, 3 brown shavers from a lovely lady in Massey , West Auckland, sunbathersNew Zealand. We keep them in our home built coop, made from bits and pieces around the house, but had to buy new chicken wire from hardware shop. Wood shavings and dry grass clippings seem to make for nesting materials. A run was constructed from some bamboo, and left over chicken wire from the coop, which gives them in total approximately  50sq/ft, plenty for 3 hens.

We have named them Nancy, Gloria and Daphne, Nancy seems to be the top hen, Gloria is in the middle, and Daphne the reserved type. There transition to their new home in New Lynn, was easier than we thought it would be, they seem to have settled in nicely.

They took themselves off to roost, when it got dark. So we await with anticipation, will we have our first home- laid egg, in the morning.

We shall keep you updated with our urban chicken run.



15th Sept 2008

No egg, didn’t really expect 1 on the first day, after all, they have been put into a dark box, then driven through the waitakere’s twisting roads, car sickness perhaps, they definately made a mess in the bottom of the box, but i don’t think it was vommit. They were scared obviously. Chicken equivilant of being kidnapped. They all survived the first night, only came under threat by a curious cat, but when they charge the fence towards it, the cat soon ran off. I think Brown Shavers can hold there own in a cat fight.

Now they live in a pen, Guantanamo for chickens, compared to where they were. I’m sure in time eggs will come, that’s what hens do, lay eggs. So once they’re are comfortble in their new surroundings i’m sure we’ll get an egg.



16th Sept 2008

Have been away most of the day, saw the ladies in the morning , all well, had managed to find their way through my security net, obviously just a net then really. By the time time i got home from work they had put themselves to bed. Still no egg.

 the chickenkeeper

14th October 2008

Well so much has happened, firstly, there are two new hens in the run, Daisy and Nellie.

This has caused more upheavel, Nancy the top hen has had to lay the law down, again, but that’s all she seems to do, she spends so much time fussing and bossing, but has not to my knowledge layed one egg.

However, the four other ladies, are laying regularly now, Gloria by far lays the most perfectly shaped eggs, Daphne has been laying in secret, and has illuded me until today, what a bounty three eggs in the secret ( not anymore) nesting spot. Daisy and Nellie seem to be intermitent with their laying, probably depends on how much they get picked on during the morning, by the barren Nancy.

On the subject of escape, both Daisy and Nellie seem to be the leaders in this field, necessity, stops them being attacked by Nancy. 

It’s been one month or four weeks now, and i think they all know their names now, whether they actually know their names i don’t know, but they definately react to them, Nancy has a quick reaction to the word stick, and an even quicker one when she see me with a stick in hand, as i use a piece of bamboo as a peacekeeper, nothing cruel, just a tap on the bottom, if fact i only had to do it once, now when she see me with it, she’s off, like a roadrunner. beep! beep!.

06th November

Well as some of you may have read in the Running around like a Chicken post, they have had me on a wild, well chicken chase i suppose, ( shaking fist at the hens), even though i had retrieved all the girls before going to pick up my son from school, he still had to dropped at the corner to get Nellie, who was spotted under a bush on the way down the road, i fear all of these excursions off the property and across roads is going to end badly.

Between that and a sore head from last nights activities, there wasn’t much work done on the new coop, i did spot another pallet waiting to be rescued around the corner today, which will give me enough to finish the coop. Daphne has already taken to sitting in there, even though it only has half a roof at present. I feel however that i will need to focus on the fence situation, which will give me back all the time i spend retrieving them from the surrounding neighbourhood. Fortunately, i have a large stock of bamboo growing in the garden, which will i can hopefully weave/fashion into a fence, i shall let it be organic in it’s design.


01 MAY 2009

Hi there keepers, well I have just found this post again after several months, and realised due to the title people might be coming here looking for updates, or see the date of the last post, sometime in Sept 2008 ( before this one) and think that nothings going on,

I started this page when the blog was in it’s infancy, I so was I when it came to blogging, as regulars will know, I now post on the home page, and put various posts in the catergories like D.I.Y. Corner.

So Welcome to my Chicken Run, please have a look on home page for the lastest.