Revival in Chicken Keeping

After the WWII the people of Britain were still on rations into the 50’s, so after seven or so years of powdered eggs, it seems the spoils of war didn’t include food for the people, of course everyone had been so busy building weapons they didn’t have much time for farming. To combat this new situation alot of the UK’s city dwellers took up urban chicken keeping. Infact it was what you might call a ‘ Boom ‘ in chicken keeping.

It appears to me that we are renewing our interest in urban chicken keeping once more, it would seem for different reasons this time around, mostly from what I have gleened, the new set of keepers are doing for health reasons, both for the birds and for our own health too. Sadly it was after WWII that factory farming took off in a big way, all those production lines during the war must have given some farmers bad ideas, and it has taken us 54 years to realise that, although we are far from ending it tomorrow.

Figures  show that more people are keeping backyard chickens today than they have since 1952. So much so that today I saw online someone looking for a chicken sitter( minder) in London, to look after their birds while they were on holiday. This could open up a whole new industry, another reflection though on the time we live in, back in 1945 everyone knew their neighbours, and they would have gladly looked after your hens.

Back at the Ranch!

Hi there, well I’m back, where did the time go, I hear you cry, well maybe not, but I certainly am, it seems to have flown by, no sooner had we arrived in the UK, that I wished we would be there for longer, it was and still is a great summer. My 12 year old son had a great time, all the sights of London, and time with his sister and cousins.

Ofcourse apon return the first thing we both did was to say hello to the hens, I do believe they knew it was us who had returned, they all seem fine, although Nancy looks very much in the later stages of moulting, and it seems the chicken sitter has done a fine job, Betty looks as if she has fully grown while we’ve been gone, which in turn has made Manuella the Minorcan, look as if she has shrunk. I shall look for eggs tomorrow, looking forward to fresh healthy eggs again.

It seems as though it has been very wet here, the back garden as turned to mud, although the sun has just poked it’s face out, here’s hoping for a few days sunshine for our return.

 chickens

Chicken Sitter

Hello, as some of may be aware, I am going to the UK for 4 weeks, in about two weeks time, we have been a bit worried about how the girls will cope with us gone for such a long time. We have enlisted the help of a couple of friends, to come over and replace feed and water etc, however they probably won’t interact with the hens as much as we do, when we’re here all day.

So since we got the new feeder, which holds about a weeks worth of feed for them, I ve been trying to avoid contact with them, to an atempt to get them used to the idea that there isn’t going to be someone out with them during the day, giving them scraps of food and so on. We’ll probably find that they have moved out by the time we get back, maybe over to Gary and Gloria, a couple of pensioners who feed Daisy bread on a daily basis. I’m still worried about how they be without us here to look out for them, I’m sure they’ll be fine.

New Feeder

hi there keepers, up until now we have had several home made feeders, fashioned from pieces of plastic guttering or ice cream containers, these have served well, but they weren’t covered, so the weather and other animals would get to the feed, hence costing us more in feed, so we have finally purchased a silo type feeder, it consists of a tappered cylinder in the center, with a shaped bowl underneath, the edges of which curve up to prevent the feed from spilling out, and making it harder for non chicken feeders to get a nibble.

There is a bar hinged on the top, to enable it to be hung a couple of inches off the floor, again to prevent other critters from getting to the feed and it stops the splash from any rain spoiling the feed, the main reason for getting the feeder is that we are going to away for a few weeks visiting family in the UK and Ireland, so we wanted to be able to feed the girls for several days without any one here, then all our chicken sitter will have to do is come around every few days to top up the feeder and water troughs, as we have a creek running through the property and it the rainy season, I don’t think shortage of water will be an issue. I have yet to fill the feeder to capacity to work out roughly how long it last the hens, I’ve been giving them a little time to get used to it, which took all of about 20 minutes, once they had worked out this was the never porridge pot of pellets, the fact that it is a strange grey metal hovering device, no longer seemed to bother them.

 

feeder

feeder

 I have noticed that the sparrows are having a great time at the feeder, I think it will have to go inside the coop?? or maybe a seperate feeding house.

Finding a Chicken Sitter

Hello keepers, it seems that going away on holiday is going to be harder than it was pre chickens, it’s one thing to ask friends to come over and water your plants while your away for a week or two, however trying to find someone to either live at your house while your away, or come over at least twice a day is alot to ask, no matter how good a friend.

Feeding a cat is a common request from holiday goers, which again isn’t that much of a hardship, cats are so independant, they could look after themselves while you were away, they’d probably just go to the neighbour, as they do that whether your on holiday or not. However looking after a small flock of hens seems to daunt some people.

Where have all the Eggs Gone!!!

Hi there keepers, it appears are girls are drying up, I feel for our chicken sitter who has only had the pleasure of two eggs all week, not much of return for 5 days caring for the girls, we knew Nellie had stopped before we left, due we now realise to moulting, big pile of Nellie feathers under the deck.

As we have been away for 5 days , I have no idea if they have moved nest again, or just gone on strike due to the re-introduction of the budget pellets? We just didn’t have the time to drive out to the rural farm shop for the tastier ones. I shall have to observe them in the morning to see what’s going on, other than that nothing to report really, I have a nice tan after 5 days in the sun in the north of the north island, a beautiful spot called Mangawhai Heads, but you don’t want to hear about me, so I shall report on the girls as soon as i know what ‘s going on.

The Chicken Sitter

Hi Keepers,  as it is summer now in this part of the world it’s holiday season, and we are going off camping. It’s the first time we’ve left the chickens, fortunately we have a great friend with chicken keeping experience who is going to look after the place while we’re away.

It feels a bit strange, that i’m worrying about the welfare of our chickens, I look at it as a sign of getting older, having things at home to worry about, of course in my younger days I would have packed up a bag and off I’d go, with everything I owned in the bag probably, therefore nothing at home at all.

Well on reflection of all the things that I need to ask Terry to do, I have realised how much effort is required to keep everything alive, in this climate if you leave the tomatoe plants unwatered for 1 day they will wilt, and so on. I have been telling myself I need to do more in the new year, which I will, so I definately have my work cut out if we are going to be more self sufficient.

Once the civil engineers have left the garden and returned it somewhat to a habitable situation, I shall set about it like a man posessed, I want to turn the piece on the otherside of the creek into one big veggie patch, using the water as a natural barrier to stop the hens messing it all up.

Lots to do, not to mention then writing about it on here, which takes some considerable time being dyslexic, I think I spend more time correcting than writing, however I did realise yesterday that I type faster than I read, strange.