We have been talking for years about how much we'd love to have chickens but didn't think we really had room in our yard, as much because of the layout of our gardens etc as the actual yard size. What we are really lacking is a suitable position for a permanent coop. After seeing a portable backyard coop at a market I began researching these and after a bunch of research and a tonne of nagging (I enlisted the kids to help up the pester power) the hubby finally agreed.
There seem to be quite a few farms around that sell hens at point of lay, but we decided to get day old chicks so that we could raise them from babies. We thought this would be good for both us and the chickens to allow us all to bond and for the chicks to become used to their new human family. I found Craig's Farm in Cranbourne South approx. half an hour away so on Saturday morning we all piled in the car with our Aussie Farmers Direct box to choose our chicks. They are day old layer cross breed(Isa Brown/Leghorn/Australorp) and are sexed at a day old so fingers crossed they are actually all girls.
From left: Goldie, Mrs Egg, Winona & Vanessa
It was a beautiful sunny day when we got them so the whole family got to enjoy some time in the sun getting to know the new babies while we got their new home ready.
For the first 8 or so weeks they'll be living inside in the laundry. On the way home from the farm we stop at a pet store and got some wood shavings for bedding and some chick starter feed. We bought the water dispenser with the chooks but for food just cut the top off a little Jalna yoghurt tub. We quickly realised we'd have to fit the food container to the side of the box to stop it getting tipped over every 30 seconds.
We put a piece of dowel through the box so they could practice perching when they were ready. At a day old all they do is eat, sleep, pooh, repeat!
Add a lamp for warmth and they are all settled in for the night.